12/27/2004 12:00AM

Travelator starts off on wrong foot

Email
Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Travelator, trained by Gary Gullo, will skip Saturday's Interborough Handicap.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Gary Gullo was hoping he could end 2004 and begin 2005 in the same manner: with stakes wins. But his hopes of starting 2005 with a victory in Saturday's Interborough Handicap were ruined when Travelator developed a problem that will keep her out of the race.

Coming off a head victory in the Garland of Roses Handicap on Dec. 11, Travelator would likely have been a strong favorite in the Interborough, run at six furlongs. But Gullo said she just doesn't seem to be doing well and will need more time.

"She just doesn't seem to be right, so it looks like we're going to pass that race," Gullo said. "It might be her feet a little bit, but I just think she's going to need a little bit more time between races. To me, she's not acting right, so I'd rather wait."

The next sprint stakes for fillies and mares in New York is the Correction Handicap on Feb. 5.

Travelator was one of just 13 fillies nominated to the Interborough, the feature race on the New Year's Day card. As of Monday, the only three definite starters were Belong to Sea, winner of the 2003 Miss Preakness Stakes; Lavender Lass; and Sweet Vision. Candybedandy and High Peaks are listed as possible starters.

Robb Handicap coming up tough

While Gullo would have had the favorite in the Interborough, he will be running a longshot in the $75,000 Alex M. Robb Handicap when he saddles Say Cousin Lenny in Friday's feature for New York-breds.

A 5-year-old gelded son of Smart Strike, Say Cousin Lenny is only 3 for 27, but his last race gives Gullo confidence that Say Cousin Lenny can be a factor in the Robb, run at 1 1/16 miles over the inner track.

On Dec. 4, Say Cousin Lenny finished second behind Cuba in an entry-level allowance race but had a troubled trip.

"I like the way he ran last time," said Gullo, who is 3 for 9 since resuming his training career last month. "He probably should have won the race. He got stuck inside and had to wait and got in trouble. I think he'll run good in that stake."

Gullo said Fernando Jara would ride Say Cousin Lenny in the Robb. Say Cousin Lenny is a half-brother to Say Florida Sandy and Dancin Renee, who both had success over the inner track. Say Cousin Lenny has a second and two thirds in three inner-track starts.

The Robb is coming up tough, with Little Matth Man, Lord Langfuhr, and the rejuvenated Stellianos expected to start. Little Matth Man went 2 for 2 over the inner track last winter, including a victory in the Whirlaway Stakes. He was injured while running eighth in the Preakness, but came back to win a third-level allowance sprint at Pimlico on Dec. 18.

Lord Langfuhr has won his last two starts and is 2-2-0 from four starts over the inner track. Stellianos has won his last three races for trainer Mitch Friedman. Others expected to run are Coined for Success, Halo Malone, Levendis, Mr. Determined, and Rogue Agent.

Coyote Lakes enjoying retirement

Coyote Lakes, the Arizona-bred gelding who won three consecutive runnings of the Gallant Fox Handicap, is enjoying retirement on a farm in upstate New York, according to his former trainer, Bruce Levine.

Coyote Lakes, who will be 11 on Saturday, resides at the In Front Training Center, an operation run by Michael Shrader in upstate New York.

"He's turned out, he's happy, he's running around," said Levine, who keeps many of his layoff horses at the same training center. "We get to see him every so often."

Coyote Lakes won the Gallant Fox twice in 2001 - the 2000 running was postponed to Jan. 1, 2001 - and in 2002. He finished second in the 1998 Gallant Fox and last in 1999. Coyote Lakes retired in October 2003 with 20 wins from 63 starts and earnings of $728,337.

K.D.'s Shady Lady back with maidens

Pick six players looking for a single on Wednesday will likely rely on K.D.'s Shady Lady in the sixth race. K.D.'s Shady Lady will be dropping back into maiden company after making her last two starts in graded stakes. Trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., K.D.'s Shady Lady finished second in the Grade 3 Tempted Stakes in early November before finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Demoiselle in her last start.

K.D.'s Shady Lady's stiffest competition may come from Forever Smart, a Tony Dutrow-trained horse who makes her first start since finishing second in a maiden turf race Oct. 18 at Delaware Park.