01/24/2007 12:00AM

Saratoga adds second twilight card


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Buoyed by a successful introduction of twilight racing on the last Friday of the 2006 Saratoga meet, the New York Racing Association on Wednesday announced the addition of a second twilight Friday for the 2007 season, which begins July 25.

The first twilight card is scheduled for the Saratoga meet's first Friday, July 27. The second twilight card, like last year, will be on the final Friday, Aug. 31. First post on both programs is 2:45 p.m.

Last year's inaugural twilight Friday proved to be a rousing success, attracting a crowd of 17,993, an increase of nearly 30 percent over the corresponding days of 2005 (13,960) and 2004 (13,794).

"Our fans really supported the idea of a Friday twilight card at Saratoga," said Bill Nader, NYRA's senior vice president and chief operating officer. "It gave them a chance to enjoy the town of Saratoga in the morning, and revel in its favorite sport in the afternoon. Plus, it served as a terrific start to a big weekend of racing."

Last year, NYRA moved the Woodward from Belmont Park to the final Saturday at Saratoga.

This year, the first Saturday program, July 28, has been rearranged as part of a "win-and-in" series of stakes races leading to the Breeders' Cup. ABC will televise the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap for 3-year-olds and up; the Grade 1, $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap for fillies and mares; the Grade 1, $500,000 Diana Handicap for fillies and mares on the turf; and the Grade 2, $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt for sprinters 3 and up. The two-hour live telecast will begin at 4 p.m. Eastern.

The winners of those races automatically qualify, respectively, for the Breeders' Cup Classic, Distaff, Filly and Mare Turf, and Sprint.

Evening Attire breezes at Belmont

Evening Attire, unraced since a sixth-place finish at Belmont last May, breezed five furlongs in 1:03.26 on Belmont's training track Wednesday. A 9-year-old gelding with lifetime earnings exceeding $2.5 million, Evening Attire raced in three stakes on Aqueduct's inner track last winter, his best finish a second in the Aqueduct Handicap.

"We're hoping to get something in February for him," said trainer Pat Kelly. "Something easy where they give him a head start."

Rahys' Appeal drills five furlongs

Rahys' Appeal, the New York-bred mare who ran second in the Grade 2 San Gorgonio Handicap on turf at Santa Anita last out, also worked five furlongs at Belmont. She turned in a time of 1:00.46, second fastest of 22 at the distance. In her last New York start, Rahys' Appeal was disqualified from first to second for illegal whipping in the Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap.

Also at Belmont, Sports Town, a promising 3-year-old coming off maiden and first-level allowance wins at six furlongs, prepared for an upcoming stretch-out in stakes company by working six furlongs in 1:12.27 for trainer John Terranova.

At Aqueduct, Count Fleet Stakes winner Pink Viper, pointing for the $65,000 Whirlaway Stakes on Feb. 10, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.61, second fastest of 16 works at the distance.

My Cousin Matt heads veteran field

Among the eight veteran sprinters in Friday's second race is My Cousin Matt, an 8-year-old multiple stakes winner who is within hailing distance of $1 million in earnings.

Now trained by Tony Dutrow, My Cousin Matt snapped a 19-race losing streak winning his final start of 2006 at Woodbine. He needs $63,326 to reach the milestone, and would pick up $28,200 if he can beat the likes of Stonewood, Callmetony, Indian War Dance, and Dashboard Drummer.

Race 8 is a $45,000 first-level optional claimer for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. Street Sass drew on the outside in a short field of five.