12/15/2005 1:00AM

Trainer Randy Schulhofer calls it a career


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Randy Schulhofer, who took over head training duties when his dad, the Hall of Fame trainer Scotty Schulhofer, retired at the end of 2001, is leaving Thoroughbred racing to enter the corporate world. Schulhofer's last official day as a trainer was to have been Friday when he was to have run two horses at Aqueduct.

"Since I had kids my priorities have changed," said Schulhofer, a 44-year-old father of two. "I got an opportunity to have a five-day-a-week job, benefits, heath care, weekends, holidays, more time to spend with family, and I'm doing it."

Schulhofer will be going to work for Isco Systems, a company whose roots are in Germany but which has divisions throughout the U.S. Schulhofer said he would be trained at the company's Burlington, N.J., division before being assigned a location to work, possibly in the Albany, N.Y., area.

Schulhofer had three stints as a trainer. From 1985-89, he won 12 races from 86 starters. From 1997-99, he won 17 races from 172 runners. Following his father's retirement at the end of 2001, Schulhofer mostly has trained horses for his father's clients the last four years. In 2002, Schulhofer won 33 races from 151 starts, and his stable banked $2,060,744 in earnings.

For his career, Schulhofer trained 103 winners from 737 starters for purse earnings of $5,453,299.

As an assistant for his father, Schulhofer played a role in the development of Grade 1 stakes winners Mac Diarmida, Fly So Free, Scan, Lemon Drop Kid, and Exogenous.

On his own, Randy Schulhofer trained Whitmore's Conn, a New York-bred, who won the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational in 2003. Other stakes winners trained by Schulhofer were Irish Colonial, Owsley, Union Place, and Ready and Alluring. Ready and Alluring, who won the Bison City at Fort Erie in July, remains in training and is on a farm in Florida and will be sent to another trainer.

Though he has been in the game virtually his entire life, Schulhofer said it wasn't a tough decision to get out.

"To be honest with you, no, it wasn't," Schulhofer said. "This opportunity is very good; good salary, more time at home. The game has changed a lot, even in the four years since dad retired."

Clever Electrician ready for Gravesend

Trainer Bruce Levine was very pleased with Clever Electrician's third-place finish in the Grade 1 De Francis Memorial. The 6-year-old New York-bred gelding rallied from 10th to third in that 14-horse field on Nov. 19.

"He ran super that day," said Levine who saddled his 1,000th career winner last Sunday at Aqueduct. "It was probably his best race ever."

Clever Electrician, 48-1 on the board, certainly outran his odds in the De Francis. He figures to be a shorter price in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Gravesend Handicap at six furlongs.

The De Francis was a solid bounce-back performance following a dull try at 7-5 in the slop against statebreds in Belmont Park's Hudson Handicap.

"He just spun his wheels in the slop," Levine said. "He just couldn't get a hold of the track."

Clever Electrician tuned up for the Gravesend with a half-mile drill of 48.14 seconds at Belmont Park on Monday, the fastest of 59 works at the distance that morning.

"He did it very easy," Levine said.

Santos rebounds from spill with two wins

Jose Santos returned to win two races on Thursday after bruising his back in a spill in Wednesday's fourth race and taking off his final two mounts of the day.

"There was nothing broken," Santos said. "I'm just a little sore."

Santos, who did not see a doctor, treated the injury at home with ice and heat packs and said he got a solid night's sleep. He won Thursday's fourth race aboard Indian Hawke ($18) and the sixth aboard Spin Factor ($6.70).

Early posts this weekend

Aqueduct will offer 10-race cards on Saturday and Sunday with first post set 20 minutes earlier than usual at 12:10 p.m.

"We added an extra race each day because of the overwhelming number of entries," said Bill Nader, senior vice president for the New York Racing Association.

Horsemen are eager to run because following this weekend, Aqueduct closes for a Christmas break. Racing resumes Dec. 28.

All paid admissions this weekend can grab a NYRA stocking-stuffer, left-over 2005 giveaway items from the Big A, Belmont, and Saratoga.

- additional reporting by Mike Farrell