02/11/2003 12:00AM

Street Life for trip players

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Horseplayers who like to handicap route races may be tempted to skip out of work and come to Aqueduct on Thursday, because seven two-turn races are on the program.

The best among them is the featured eighth race, a $46,000 allowance at 1 3/16 miles for non-winners-of-three lifetime.

The field of eight is a mixed bag of older males, and can be approached from several different angles.

Trip handicappers have been waiting for Street Life to run back ever since his nightmarish trip on Jan. 24, when he stumbled after breaking from an outside post and then steadied along the inside at the quarter-pole.

Before that, Street Life had run the two best races of his nine-race career, coinciding with the addition of blinkers by trainer Dominick Schettino.

Street Life gets a switch to leading rider Javier Castellano.

Trainer handicappers may go for St. Dehere, a gray 5-year-old who has not been out since a last-place finish on a sloppy Aqueduct main track last May.

Before the layoff, St. Dehere, trained by meet-leader Gary Contessa, had run well in three consecutive route races on the inner dirt, and his one start on a fast main track last spring came against Snake Mountain, who has since gone on to become a multiple graded stakes winner.

St. Dehere has been training long and strong recently, logging no less than 40 combined furlongs of published workouts in the span of about a month.

Amazingly for such a high-volume operation, Contessa's 453 route starters over the past year-plus are virtually a break-even proposition with a collective return on investment of $1.96.

Longshot players may want to give Falso Testimonio a look, because the Argentinian import has two shorter races under his belt since returning from a layoff. He may be closer to the early pace here while adding Lasix for the first time. Moreover, his trainer, Bruce Levine, has produced 24 percent winners and a $2.53 ROI with his last 234 route runners.

A wet track could greatly improve the chances of Foreign Authority, Duvalier, or Celtic Park.

Also in the field are Shelby Lane, who is eligible for an entry-level allowance condition, but comes off a sharp on-the-pace try at this distance; and Court Notes, who figures as the longest price on the board after being claimed from a 17-length loss for $18,000.

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