05/01/2005 11:00PM

Riding title first since '99

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Richard Migliore gets his 4,000th career victory, earlier this year.

Five years ago, Richard Migliore wondered how much longer he could continue to ride.

He was recuperating from a broken arm suffered in a spill at Belmont Park in July of 1999, and the fight to make weight was agony.

"I was coming off being hurt, and it was tough getting my weight where I wanted it to be," Migliore said. "I thought, 'I only have a few more years left. This is too much of a struggle.' " The way he feels now, retirement is the furthest thing from his mind.

Migliore was the leading rider at the Aqueduct spring meet that concluded Sunday. He had 31 wins to 26 for runner-up Jose Santos. It was his first title since the 1999 Aqueduct spring meet.

Migliore said he is fit, healthy, and consistently hits 112 pounds every morning.

"The way I feel now, and as easy as it's been making weight, I don't see any end in sight," said Migliore, who earlier this year registered his 4,000th career win. "I feel like I could ride forever."

Heading into the Belmont meet that starts today, Migliore feels he is at his peak at 41.

"I really feel right now I'm a better rider than I've ever been," Migliore said. "I see a race better, almost like things happen in front of me in slow motion."

And he no longer fears the scale.

"Maybe it was learning over all these years how my body works that I actually get more nutrition now, and my weight doesn't fluctuate at all," Migliore said. "I don't have that anxiety getting on the scale every day, not knowing how much you're going to weigh and how much you're going to have to lose."

Migliore gained an important client during the Aqueduct meet: Shug McGaughey. Migliore rode Survivalist to victory in the Gotham Stakes, one of three

races he won that afternoon for McGaughey.

The addition of the McGaughey mounts to Migliore's long-established business with trainers Mike Hushion and Kiaran McLaughlin helped secure the riding title.

Bold Ruler distance right for Don Six

A cut back in distance to six furlongs makes Don Six a formidable figure in the $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap on Saturday at Belmont.

"I don't think there's a horse in the country that can catch him going three-quarters of a mile," said Scott Lake, who trains Don Six. "At seven-eighths, there are a lot of them. In this spot, he will be awfully tough."

The Bold Ruler will be fifth start for Don Six as a member of Lake's barn. Owners-breeders-trainers Patricia and Frank Generazio sent the horse to Lake following a tiring eighth-place finish in the slop in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct on Nov. 28.

He showed immediate and dramatic improvement in his new surroundings, reeling off dominant front-running wins in the Grade 3 Gravesend Handicap and the Paumonok Stakes, both at six furlongs over the Big A's inner track.

Don Six was less successful in his next two races, both at seven furlongs. He was beaten a nose in the Grade 2 General George Handicap at Laurel and finished third most recently after setting a blazing pace in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct.

Aaron Gryder, who was aboard for the Paumonok, will be back in the irons Saturday, replacing Mike Luzzi.

"I talked it over with the owners, and we agreed that Gryder fit this horse a little bit better," Lake said.

Other possible Bold Ruler starters include Dashboard Drummer, Thunder Touch, and Uncle Camie.

Acey Deucey to Nassau County

John Morrison so enjoyed his first graded-stakes training victory with Acey Deucey that he will likely try for another with the 3-year-old filly in the Grade 2, $200,000 Nassau County Handicap Saturday at Belmont.

Morrison, 42 and a former assistant to David Whiteley, Richard O'Connell, and Rusty Arnold, has trained on his own for the last six years. He is still savoring Acey Deucey's come-from-behind win in the Grade 2 Comely Stakes on April 16.

"It was a big, big thrill," Morrison said.

In the Comely, jockey Diane Nelson, followed instructions "almost too well," according to Morrison, saving every bit of ground into the stretch. Unfortunately, Nelson wound up behind a wall of horses.

Nelson was able to eventually angle outside for clear running room and the Acey Deucey responded with a bold late run.

"Had anyone else been riding, they probably would have moved too soon," Morrison said. Morrison is leaning toward the Nassau County, but he does have another option: the $100,000 Bouwerie for New York-bred fillies on Sunday at Belmont at the same seven-furlong distance.

More superfectas approved

The New York Racing Association has been given approval by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board to increase the number of superfectas it offers each day during the Belmont Park meeting.

Superfecta wagering, which has been available on the last race of each card, will now be offered on up to three races daily. In order for superfecta wagering to be offered, a race must have eight individual betting interests and not contain any coupled entries. The minimum superfecta bet will remain $1.

* Trainer John Quiles will serve out a seven-day suspension through Saturday for a Lidocaine positive in Watrals Strike Go, who ran second in the first race on March 4 at the Big A. The 15-day suspension was reduced to seven when Quiles waived the right to appeal. Quiles also received a $1,000 fine and the horse was disqualified from purse money.

* "Thoroughbred Action" on Fox Sports Net will offer expanded coverage Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to commemorate Belmont's 100th anniversary. In addition to replays of that afternoon's races, the one-hour program, hosted by Eric Donovan and Jason Blewitt, will feature interviews with horsemen and personalities closely associated with Belmont.