12/14/2001 12:00AM

Summer Colony a terror since switching to two turns


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Summer Colony won her last four starts by a combined margin of 53 3/4 lengths. It looks like the time is right for her to make her stakes debut, and she will do so in next Saturday's $100,000-added Ladies Handicap at Aqueduct.

Summer Colony, who is trained by Mark Hennig, began her career as a 2-year-old on a less-than-auspicious note by losing her first three starts in sprints. Hennig, who trains Summer Colony for Edward P. Evans, put the filly away for the winter and returned her to the races late in May. Summer Colony lost three maiden races before she was entered in a two-turn grass race at Saratoga. The race was taken off the turf and Summer Colony rolled to a 32 3/4-length win over four rivals. That's right - a 32 3/4-length win.

"The track was a little wet and she bounced out there and got loose on the lead," Seth Gregory, Hennig's assistant, said. "The two turns flipped the switch for her and she hasn't looked back. The [Ladies] is a step up, but she's handled everything we have put on her plate so far. Now we'll see how she handles this."

Since her runaway win at Saratoga, Summer Colony has sailed through three allowance conditions. At the end of August, she won a 1 1/8-mile race by 9 1/2 lengths. Back at Belmont Park in September, the distance lover won a 1 3/8-mile race by 8 1/4 lengths. In her last start on Nov. 23 at Aqueduct, Summer Colony's margin of victory was a more modest 3 1/4 lengths.

Gregory said John Velazquez, aboard for three of Summer Colony's wins, has the mount in the Grade 3 Ladies.

Among the early probables for the 1 1/4-mile Ladies are Irving's Baby, Kris Pit, Letter of Intent, Resort, Rochelle's Terms, and Strolling Belle. Strolling Belle won the Ladies in 1999 and was put up to first in last year's running when impeded by Pentatonic.

Lezcano right back after spill

Apprentice Lorenzo Lezcano was not injured in a spill in Thursday's ninth race, and returned to the saddle on Friday.

Lezcano won with his second mount on Friday's card, Pocus Hocus, a runaway winner of the second race. Lezcano is tied for third in the standings with eight winners.

Julian Pimentel, the leading rider with 10 wins, won with his last mount as an apprentice: Mount Intrepid ($8.40) in Thursday's feature. In his first race as a journeyman, Pimentel won Friday's fourth race aboard Silent Serenade ($25).

Track superintendent retiring

After 41 years of service at the New York Racing Association, Don Orlando, the track superintendent, retires on Wednesday.

Orlando, 63, said he intends on spending time traveling with his family and will do some consulting work.

Terry Meyocks, NYRA's president, said Orlando would be missed.

"Donny is an institution," Meyocks said. "He did a good job and had a good rapport with the horsemen."

NYRA hasn't named a successor and Meyocks said in the interim, Jerry Porcelli, Orlando's assistant, is in charge.

* A special entry schedule is in place next week because of the holidays. There will be no racing or entries taken at Aqueduct on Dec. 23, 24, and 25. Entries for Dec. 26 will be taken on Friday and entries for the Dec. 27 card will be taken on Saturday.