11/07/2001 1:00AM

Trainer: Easy race for Reduit


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Trainer Tom Skiffington believes Reduit can be his next big turf star.

"I think he's a real top horse," Skiffington said. "I think he's going to be one of the major turf horses in the country next year."

This year is not over yet and Skiffington has an ambitious schedule laid out for Reduit over the next 2 1/2 weeks that culminates with a start in the $500,000, Grade 1 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 25 at Hollywood Park.

First, however, Reduit, a 3-year-old son of Lion Cavern, must prove himself Derby-worthy Friday at Aqueduct in a second-level allowance race at nine furlongs, a race in which he will face a full field.

As a 2-year-old, Reduit raced for trainer Gerard Butler in France, where he won one of four starts but did finish second in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud. The winner, Sagacity, was good enough to run third in this year's Arc de Triomphe. The third-place finisher, Sligo Bay, came back to win the Cinema Stakes at Hollywood in May.

Reduit came to Skiffington's barn in late spring. Bad post positions have hindered Reduit; he drew an outside gate in his first three starts in this country. In his most recent start, Reduit left from post 3 and won an entry-level allowance race by 1 3/4 lengths at Belmont on Oct. 18.

"He bruised his foot when he won here and I missed a little bit of time," Skiffington said. "I need to do something, and they don't let you breeze on the turf anymore - so rather than work him on dirt, which he hates, I thought I'd give him a race."

Skiffington did work Reduit a half-mile in 53.42 seconds over Belmont's dirt training track on Wednesday.

Skiffington thinks enough of Reduit that he doesn't anticipate the horse having a hard race on Friday. He will break from post 4 as the 120-pound highweight under John Velazquez.

Christophe Clement sends out the coupled entry of Act of Reform and Broadway Snowman. Act of Reform drops into allowance company after three stakes tries. In his last outing, the Franklin Stakes at Keeneland, Act of Reform was forced to check at a crucial point in the race and finished fifth.

Broadway Snowman has not been out since Sept. 3 when he finished fourth behind Krieger in an allowance race. Krieger won a Belmont allowance on Oct. 18.

Illusionary has won two of his last three starts for trainer John Kimmel. Two starts back, he finished one-half length behind Reduit when they finished second and fourth in a Sept. 8 allowance.

Mid-Atlantic shippers Shablam, Tactical de Naskra, Gethsemane, Pegylation and He Flies add to the contentiousness of the field.

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