07/08/2002 12:00AM

Street Cry gearing up for the Whitney

Email

ELMONT, N.Y. - Twelve hours after his Godolphin Racing stablemate E Dubai made his mark in the handicap division with a front-running victory in Saturday's Grade 2 Suburban Handicap, the division-leading Street Cry began preparing for the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap on Aug. 3 by working five furlongs in 1:03.25 at Belmont Park.

It was Street Cry's first workout since his runaway victory in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. Street Cry is 3 for 3 this year including a victory in the Dubai World Cup.

Street Cry was originally being pointed to the Suburban, but his connections decided against coming back in three weeks.

"We weren't looking for a whole lot, we were looking for a 1:02 and change, and he went 1:03 and change," Tom Albertrani, Godolphin's assistant trainer. "We got plenty of time. We don't need a lot. He went 1:04 before the Stephen Foster, so I guess you could say he's doing better. It's not going to take a lot to get him ready."

Albertrani returned to England following the workout and said he will be back in New York by the weekend when Street Cry is due to work again.

Meanwhile, Albertrani said E Dubai came out of his front-running victory in the Suburban in good order and will be pointed to either the $300,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup on Aug. 17 or the $350,000 Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Park the following day.

Both Lido Palace and Macho Uno, the second- and third-place finishers from the Suburban are expected to run back in the Whitney, their connections said.

Left Bank likely for Whitney

Trainer Todd Pletcher said he wants to give Left Bank the opportunity to stretch out, and the Whitney looks like the spot in which he will give the horse that chance.

Left Bank is coming off a track record-setting performance winning the seven-furlong Tom Fool Handicap last Thursday at Belmont. Although his best races have come at seven furlongs and a mile, Left Bank did win the Discovery at nine furlongs as a 3-year-old. He also won a money allowance race by 13 1/4 lengths at 1 1/16 miles.

"We haven't said absolutely that's where we're were going, but that race falls in the schedule pretty well," Pletcher said Sunday morning. "If he were to run well it puts is in the position to come back and run in the Woodward. If he doesn't we could always go Forego and Vosburgh."

Plus, Left Bank would have John Velazquez in the saddle, and it was Velazquez who stole the Suburban with the supposedly distance-challenged E Dubai.

Arroyo's license could be reviewed

If jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. is convicted of the assault charges brought against him last Friday, he could lose his license to ride, a spokeswoman for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board said Monday.

"If he does receive a conviction, we'd take a serious look at whether it would be appropriate for him to continue," said Stacey Walker, a board spokeswoman, who added that such decisions are made by Nicole Robilotto, the state's licensing manager.

Walker said the only way the board would get involved is if Robilotto denied Arroyo a license and Arroyo appealed the case to the board.

Arroyo was arrested Friday at Belmont Park and charged with three counts of assault in connection with an incident at a Long Island pool hall on June 9. According to Nassau County police, Arroyo hit three men with a wooden pool cue, injuring one to the point where he had to undergo brain surgery.

Arroyo, 25, was arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead on Saturday and released on $20,000 bail bond or $10,000 cash.

Arroyo was New York's leading rider in 2000 with 188 wins and was runner-up in the Eclipse Award voting for top apprentice rider.

After missing his scheduled mount aboard Yonaguska in Saturday's $200,000 Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup, Arroyo was back to work Sunday at Belmont, where he won the seventh race board longshot Magic and Bird, one of his four mounts.

Arroyo has declined comment.

Velazquez has monster week

With nine wins - including four stakes - from 27 mounts last week, Velazquez began to take the drama out of what was shaping up as an intriguing five-way scramble for leading jockey honors at the meet.

Entering the week, five jockeys were separated by five wins with Jerry Bailey holding a 36-35 lead over Velazquez. At the conclusion of the week, Velazquez had 44 winners, a five-win lead over Jose Santos. Bailey, who went only 2 for 25 last week, is tied with Edgar Prado with 38 wins apiece. Jorge Chavez is next with 34.

Velazquez swept the weekend stakes, taking Saturday's Grade 1 Prioress board Carson Hollow and Grade 2 Suburban with E Dubai and Sunday's Grade 2 Dwyer with Gygistar. On Thursday, he won the Grade 2 Tom Fool with Left Bank.

Velazquez won last year's spring title with 66 wins, edging out Prado by winning the final race of the meet.

Orseno taking on outside clients

Joe Orseno, who has trained exclusively for owner Frank Stronach the last four-plus years, has taken on horses for outside clients. Orseno said of the 25 horses he has in his Belmont barn, 14 are owned by Stronach. Orseno said he is also anticipating getting six Stronach 2-year-olds in a few weeks.

Among the other owners for whom Orseno is training are Eugene and Laura Melnyk, Dogwood Stable, and DJ Stable, a longtime client of Orseno's.

Orseno began taking on outside horses in March when he returned from Florida with a low number of horses. Orseno said he did not want to lay off employees who had worked for him for years and Stronach suggested he take on outside clients.

"Business with Mr. Stronach is as good as it's been," Orseno said. "He's been real good about my career. I've gotten plenty of support from the Stronachs. I'm going to start to build up outside clientele and hopefully we'll be active in all departments again."

Orseno's contract with Stronach ends next spring, but Orseno hopes to continue training for him.

In 2000, Orseno trained champions Macho Uno, Perfect Sting, and Preakness winner Red Bullet as Stronach earned an Eclipse Awards as the nation's leading owner and breeder.

Zito back in the 3-year-old game

After missing the spring classics for the second time in three years, trainer Nick Zito is optimistic about his 3-year-old division entering the second half of the year. Zito runners Nothing Flat and American Style finished second and third in Sunday's Dwyer Stakes. Earlier in the meet, Quest, a son of Seeking the Gold, won a pair of allowance races.

Zito said Nothing Flat, a son of Peaks and Valleys who closed stoutly to finish one-half length behind Gygistar in the Dwyer, will likely run next in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on Aug. 4. Quest, owned by Arthur Hancock, will run in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga the same day.

Nothing Flat, owned by Bill Condren and Mike Sherman, won the Francis "Jock" LaBelle Memorial at Delaware and finished second behind the undefeated Running Tide in last month's Leonard Richards.

"I'm excited because I think this could be the start of something big," Zito said. "He really should improve the second part of the year."

* Doug Hatten is the new agent for jockey Paul Toscano.