02/10/2007 12:00AM

Summer Doldrums alters tactics


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Summer Doldrums is certainly enjoying the winter in New York.

Summer Doldrums, a 3-year-old son of Street Cry, may have put himself on the Triple Crown trail Saturday with an authoritative 5 1/4-length victory in the $70,070 Whirlaway Stakes before 3,671 at Aqueduct. Sir Whimsey rallied to be second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Sports Town. Brass Run finished fourth while the previously undefeated Lawrence the Roman, the 1-2 favorite, finished fifth. Pink Viper, the Count Fleet winner, finished last.

It was the second consecutive victory for Summer Doldrums since he finished a distant seventh behind top Kentucky Derby contender Nobiz Like Shobiz in last November's Remsen Stakes. In a first-level allowance run here last month, Summer Doldrums came from off the pace. Saturday, with Mike Luzzi aboard, Summer Doldrums dueled with Sports Town through six furlongs in 1:11.35 before opening up turning for home.

Summer Doldrums left Sports Town reeling at the eighth pole and covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.23 over a fast inner track. Summer Doldrums, owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, returned $9.30 as the second choice.

"I thought [Sports Town] would go a little bit quicker and I found myself like a half-length in there but comfortable and doing it pretty nicely," Luzzi said. "I just edged up in there on the turn and man, he finished up nice. We planned on rating a little bit today, I just think he was better today."

Trainer Rick Violette, watching the race from Gulfstream Park, said he was surprised to see Summer Doldrums on the lead, but happy that the horse could win with a different style.

"It's nice when you can have a horse go to plan B and C and still win the way he did," said Violette, who also won the Grade 3 Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream with Dream Rush. "Mike [Luzzi] did a great job adapting. This is a very nice horse."

Violette indicated that Summer Doldrums would most likely stay in New York and run in the Grade 3, $200,000 Gotham Stakes here on March 10.

Lawrence the Roman, who was wearing front bandages for the first time, was sitting third early in the Whirlaway, but never got involved when the real running started.

"I don't know what to tell you really; he broke okay, I was right behind the speed, I thought I was in a good spot," jockey Edgar Prado said. "Hitting the backside he dropped the bit and kept going back. I thought something happened, but he came back okay."