05/08/2002 12:00AM

Real Cozzy on turf. Satisfied?


ELMONT, N.Y. - Real Cozzy, a Grade 2 winner and multiple Grade 1-placed filly on dirt, will make her turf debut Friday in a third-level allowance race at Belmont Park at one mile. First post Friday is 3 p.m. as Belmont kicks off its Friday Sunset Racing series.

As a 3-year-old, Real Cozzy won the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks and was second in the Kentucky Oaks and Mother Goose - both Grade 1 races. After poor efforts in the Alabama and Gazelle, Real Cozzy was put on the shelf for the remainder of the year with recurring hind end problems.

Real Cozzy returned to training at the Fair Grounds in March, but since returning to New York has littered the work tab with bullets. Real Cozzy is by Cozzene, a sire who wins with 15 percent of his turf starters. Trainer Danny Peitz said he breezed Real Cozzy on the turf once last year and called the move "fairly ordinary."

"This is for all the turf writers, friends and family, and everybody in the world who's been asking when we're trying the grass," Peitz said. "Here we are. If she can grass, it'll open up some options for us. If she can't, and we waste a race, so be it. I'm happy with how she's doing right now and it's time to get going."

Friday's race is not an easy spot for a turf debut or a return from an eight-month layoff.

Among the contenders are Libretto, who makes her second start off a layoff for trainer Joe Orseno. On April 5, at Gulfstream, Libretto was boxed in entering the clubhouse turn and then again in the stretch. When she got out late, she closed quickly, but fell three-quarters of a length short to Ing Ing. Stylish, the runner-up from that allowance race, came back to win the Citgo Distaff Turf Mile Saturday at Churchill.

Richard Migliore rides Libretto from post 7.

La Croisette, a Chilean-bred, finished fourth, 1 1/2 lengths behind Libretto in that April 5 race. That was his first race in North America and first since Nov. 5. La Croisette gets the services of Jerry Bailey.

If you subscribe to the theory there's strength in numbers, perhaps the three-horse entry of Russian Sweetiepie, Longingtobeme, and Eventail is for you. Russian Sweetiepie and Eventail are a combined 0-5-2 from seven turf starts at Belmont. Both are making their seasonal debuts for trainer Richard Schosberg. John Morrison trains Longingtobeme, who was beaten a half-length at this condition last month at Aqueduct.

Riotous Miss is a three-time winner over Belmont's turf course and was 2-2-0 from four starts at Gulfstream this winter for trainer Phil Hauswald.

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