01/30/2004 12:00AM

Rogue Agent shooting high


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Rogue Agent came out of his bang-up race in the Aqueduct Handicap a little worse for the wear, but the gelding quickly rebounded and is now being pointed to the $100,000 John B. Campbell Handicap at Laurel Park on Feb. 14.

Rogue Agent, who was 30-1 in the Grade 3 Aqueduct Handicap on Jan. 17, set the pace and gave way grudgingly in the final yards to finish third, beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Seattle Fitz and Evening Attire, who finished noses apart.

Rogue Agent stumbled when leaving the gate in the 1 1/16-mile Aqueduct Handicap, slicing the back of his right foreleg with a hind leg.

"He got about 14 to 18 stitches," said Mike Brice, Rogue Agent's trainer. "He took the [skin] right off when he stumbled. It looked worse than it actually was, and considering what happened, he ran a great race. He only returned to training four days ago, but he keeps himself fit because he gets a lot out of his gallops."

Brice said the only way he wouldn't run Rogue Agent in the 1 1/8-mile Campbell was if he found a third-level allowance race at Aqueduct scheduled around the time of the Campbell.

Wherever Rogue Agent runs next, Brice will then point the horse to the $100,000 Stymie Handicap on March 6 at Aqueduct.

Since Brice claimed Rogue Agent for $30,000 on behalf of My Goose Stable and partners in August, the 5-year-old has been in super form. He won back-to-back allowance races and was second in the restricted Montauk Handicap before finishing third in the Aqueduct Handicap.

Ubiquity faces pace problem

Ubiquity, a graded stakes winner, was away from the races for 20 months when he finished second in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 1. He makes his second start off that long layoff in Sunday's feature at Aqueduct, a $54,000 conditioned allowance race at a mile and 70 yards.

Ubiquity, who won the Grade 2 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs in 2001, is probably primed for a top effort with a race under his belt. But the presence of Trompolino, who like Ubiquity has early speed, could set things up for a stalker.

New York Hero, who won the Lane's End Stakes last year, fits that profile, but is coming off three losses in a span of 22 days. Still, the class is there in New York Hero and there are no standouts in the field.

Judge's Case hasn't won a race since June 2002. Classic Endeavor and Lord ofthe Thunder, who is coupled with New York Hero, are both coming off poor races in the Aqueduct Handicap.

Danthebluegrassman, no factor at this level in his last start, gets blinkers on. Midnight Charlie is probably better sprinting.

Best New York-breds of 2003

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders announced the nominees in nine divisions for the champion New York-bred horses of 2003. The criteria used by the NYTB in selecting nominees was that a horse had to fulfill at least one of the following in 2003: earned $100,000, won a stakes, or placed in a graded stakes. Voting will be completed by 27 turf writers and the winners will be announced at a dinner at the Desmond Hotel in Albany, N.Y., on April 26.

Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide is a slam-dunk to win the 3-year-old male championship, in a division that featured seven stakes-winning nominees, including Bossanova, Go Rockin' Robin, Spite the Devil, Grey Comet, and Traffic Chief.

The favorite among the seven nominees for 2-year-old male is Read the Footnotes, who won the Nashua and Remsen at Aqueduct last fall.

Seven 2-year-old filly nominees are on the ballot, including Capeside Lady and Mother's Sacrifice, who each won two stakes last year in New York.

Early favorites in four other divisions are Well Fancied (older male); Buy the Sport (3-year-old filly); Whitmore's Conn (turf male); and Bossanova (sprinter).

The older female division has several outstanding nominees, including She's Got the Beat, Carson Hollow, Shawklit Mint, and Message Red.

Five evenly matched candidates - Lady Bi Bi, Dynamic Lisa, Ma Femme, Perfect Energy, and Wake Up Kiss - are the turf female nominees.

There are no nominees for horse of the year, so voters will be asked to submit their top three choices. Funny Cide almost surely will be the No. 1 choice on each of the ballots.

* On Friday, Message Red worked four furlongs over Belmont Park's training track in 51.04 seconds. She is being pointed to the $75,000 Rare Treat Handicap on Feb. 16.