03/28/2005 1:00AM

Strategy's barn on roll


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Shug McGaughey will look to continue his sizzling start to Aqueduct's spring meet when he sends out in Wednesday's $46,000 second-level allowance feature race at Aqueduct.

Following a three-day hiatus, racing returns to Aqueduct with a pick-six carryover of $51,401. After a pair of four-day race weeks for holiday observances, Aqueduct's regular five-day schedule returns for the final five weeks of the meet.

On March 17, McGaughey shipped six horses up from south Florida, where he was enduring a terrible Gulfstream Park meet. Four of those horses won at Aqueduct - including Survivalist in the Gotham and Daydreaming in the Next Move - while Salute finished sixth in the Cicada. Strategy would have substituted for Daydreaming in the Next Move had McGaughey deemed the latter not ready to run.

Daydreaming proved she was ready by winning the Next Move, thus McGaughey gets to stick with his original plan of running Strategy in this allowance spot. Strategy, a daughter of A.P. Indy out of the multiple graded winner Educated Risk, has not run since finishing second in the Exogenous Stakes last December over the inner track.

She has trained well over the deep Payson Park surface in south Florida and looks to be fresh and fit to take on a group of horses that has run long and hard here this winter.

"She's always trained like a filly that was better than she ran in the afternoons," McGaughey said Monday from Gulfstream. "Her last race up there was pretty good; she met a filly that was a short price and was in front the whole way. She's trained excellent at Payson Park."

Rafael Bejarano rides Strategy from post 3.

The major threat to Strategy could be Auntie Inda Attic, who looms the main speed in this one-mile race. Trainer Steve Klesaris purchased Auntie Inda Attic following a second-place finish behind the sharp Todd Pletcher-trained Colony Band in a race similar to this on Feb. 10 at Gulfstream. Prior to that she finished fifth in the Stage Door Betty Handicap after setting the pace.

"To me, she's a filly that looks like she's headed in the right direction," Klesaris said.

Of the locally based runners, Tax the Queen appears to be in the best form with a strong entry-level allowance win over the inner track last out. She finished only 2 1/2 lengths behind Strategy when sixth in the Exogenous last December and owns a 7 1/2-length win in her only main-track start.