01/08/2002 1:00AM

Too Scarlet finds a softer spot


JAMAICA, N.Y. - An irritated hoof forced the scratch of Too Scarlet from an allowance race last month. The problem wasn't serious, and trainer Kristina Dupps has found a similar spot for the 4-year-old New York-bred Too Scarlet at Aqueduct in Thursday's eighth race.

Dupps nominated Too Scarlet, who is 5 for 7 lifetime, to Saturday's $100,000-added Affectionately and said she would have run there if this third-level open allowance race didn't fill. Six fillies and mares entered the mile race, which will be run around two turns on the inner track for a $48,000 purse.

Too Scarlet was scratched the morning of a Dec. 27 allowance race when it was discovered a wood chip, which she picked up in Belmont Park's jogging barn, lodged itself in a tender area of her foot and was causing her discomfort.

"It was like a pebble stuck in a shoe," Dupps said. "She was fine the next day."

Too Scarlet won five consecutive starts before finishing second in the Montauk around two turns on Dec. 2. Dupps's filly showed the way for six furlongs, which was run in a very leisurely 1:14.45, and gave way in the stretch to Lovely Amanda, a 7 3/4-length winner.

Dupps said she would prefer that Too Scarlet came from off the pace on Thursday.

"I'm hoping for speed, so she can come from off the pace, which is best for her," Dupps said. "She gets to lollygaging too much on the lead. She only puts as much effort as needed."

Jean-Luc Samyn rides Too Scarlet for the first time. Too Scarlet drew post 6.

Kingsland and Busy, who both have early speed, might grant Dupps her wish.

Kingsland, a Mr. Prospector filly, controlled the pace while winning back-to-back allowance races at seven furlongs and a mile in the fall. In her last start around two turns on Dec. 12, Kingsland chased the loose-on-the-lead A. P. Andie and finished second, beaten 6 1/4 lengths.

Javier Castellano rides Kingsland.

Diversa, a monster on the inner track last year, is looking to rebound from her fourth-place finish as the favorite behind A. P. Andie. Diversa came up empty and was beaten 9 1/4 lengths by A. P. Andie.

Letter of Intent is an interesting contender. She has been running against much tougher and might get the wet track she likes.

Busy returns to a route after four losses sprinting. Busy won a $20,000 optional claimer at Pimlico in August while controlling the pace of the two-turn race.

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