11/22/2005 1:00AM

Thunder Touch threat to repeat


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - A hot pace and a sloppy track was a recipe for success for Thunder Touch in last year's Fall Highweight Handicap. Both conditions could be in play on Thursday when Thunder Touch seeks a repeat in the Thanksgiving Day feature at Aqueduct.

First post Thursday is 11:25 a.m. Eastern with the last post scheduled for 3:13 p.m.

While this year's Fall Highweight has the same $100,000 purse as a year ago, it has lost its Grade 3 status and is now a listed stakes. In another change this year, no horse was assigned 140 pounds, which had been written in the conditions in years past. This year, the 11 horses entered for the Fall Highweight will carry between 123 and 127 pounds. Lion Tamer, the assigned 133-pound highweight, is running in Saturday's Cigar Mile.

will be making his final start for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin in the Fall Highweight. Ro Parra, who runs Millennium Farms, purchased Thunder Touch from Frank Stronach last Saturday. Following the Fall Highweight, Thunder Touch will be sent to California-based trainer Vladimir Cerin.

McLaughlin said he believes Thunder Touch can leave his barn a winner. In the Vincent Moscarelli Handicap at Delaware Park, the stewards moved Thunder Touch from second to first after he was interfered with along the rail in midstretch.

McLaughlin said that the six weeks between races would benefit Thunder Touch, the 127-pound highweight who will break from post 3 under Jose Santos.

"He's training fabulous, he's doing well, he likes Aqueduct," McLaughlin said.

There is plenty of speed in the Fall Highweight, including , and Introspect.

Attila's Storm finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, and was scratched from Grade 1 De Francis Dash at Laurel after being saddled with post 14. The rail post, a weight assignment (126) his connections deem questionable, and the possibility of an off track could put his starting status in jeopardy on Thursday. If he does run, however, he will most likely be the main speed under Ramon Dominguez.

Richard Dutrow Jr. has three contenders in the uncoupled trio of Mr. Whitestone, Byanosejoe, and Yankee Mon. The first two are coming off wins while Yankee Mon, a New York-bred stakes winner going long, cuts back to six furlongs, a distance at which he is 2 for 2.

Sir Greeley and are both coming off solid allowance wins.