01/03/2003 12:00AM

Two deft kids let loose in candy store


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - When Tom's Thunder won last Sunday's Alex M. Robb Handicap at Aqueduct, he was owner Michael Dubb's first stakes winner.

"I'm one for one in stakes; I have to quit now," Dubb joked.

What is no joke is how well Dubb, who became an owner of Thoroughbreds 18 months ago, has been doing with horses he and trainer Pat Reynolds have acquired through the claim box.

Dubb claimed Tom's Thunder for $75,000 off of trainer Scott Lake and owner Richard Englander on Dec. 1 and won the restricted Alex M. Robb with the gelding 28 days later.

Another successful claim on Dubb's behalf is My Man Ryan, who was claimed for $60,000 on Aug. 5 at Saratoga and races for a partnership of Dubb and Mark Doneson.

Since the claim, My Man Ryan, who is being pointed to the $100,000-added Aqueduct Handicap on Jan. 18, has won two allowance races. In his last start over the inner track, on Dec. 18, My Man Ryan finished a good second behind graded stakes winner Ground Storm.

Alysweep, claimed by Dubb for $75,000 on Dec. 15 out of a maiden race he won by 7 3/4 lengths, won his next start on New Year's Day by 8 3/4 lengths against allowance company and is now headed to the $75,000-added Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes on Jan. 20.

Reynolds, who began training for Dubb in the spring, said that it's a real kick to have an owner who is willing to play the claiming game on a high level.

"He's the kind of guy you can call up and say, 'I love a horse today,' " said Reynolds, who trains about a dozen horses for Dubb. "I'm like a kid in a candy store." Before Reynolds, Dubb had horses with Dennis Brida, who quit training in April to become the executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders. Dubb said that Reynolds became his top pick to replace Brida because of the work he had done a couple years ago with Peeping Tom, a $40,000 claim who became a Grade 1 winner under Reynolds's care.

Dubb said a recent example of Reynolds's deft touch with claimers is Tom's Thunder.

"[Scott] Lake is a hard guy to take a horse off of," Dubb said. "That's a credit to Pat. He's really somebody special with horses and he hasn't always had the greatest stock to work with." Dubb, 46, owned Standardbreds about 15 years ago and always was interested in owning Thoroughbreds. The co-founder of a large-scale residential development company in Long Island, Dubb met Hall of Fame rider Jerry Bailey socially several years ago. When Bailey mentioned that a group of New York horsemen were interested in opening a day care center at Belmont Park for the children of backstretch workers, Dubb offered to oversee the building of the center free of charge, and also donated 50 percent of the building materials.

The day care center, named the Anna House, is scheduled to open on Wednesday.

The construction of the 7,500 square foot Anna House was completed over the summer and Dubb said the building was put to immediate use as the site for holiday parties for backstretch workers and their children.

"I've already seen the joy of Anna House," Dubb said. "If winning my first stakes was a thrill, then watching those kids was 10 times nicer."

Resolve points to General George

After winning a classified allowance race by 2 1/4 lengths in the mud on Thursday, Resolve will be pointed to the $200,000 General George, a seven-furlong race, at Laurel Park on Feb. 17.

Resolve was making his first start for trainer Bruce Levine and owner Roddy Valente since he was claimed for $100,000 at Santa Anita in October. Thursday's race was a two-turn event at a mile and 70 yards.

"I wish the track wasn't wet because I still don't know he far he wants to go," Levine said. "He ran well, but he blew the first turn and I don't know that he was comfortable with the footing. It was hard to get a line on him because of that."

Fritchie or Shirley Jones for 'Carson'

Grade 1 winner Carson Hollow, in training in Florida at the Palm Meadows Training Center, likely will make her 2003 debut in either the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel on Feb. 15 or the $100,000 Shirley Jones the previous day at Gulfstream Park.

On Thursday, New York-bred Carson Hollow recorded her first work since finishing last in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. She worked a half-mile in a bullet 48 seconds.

"She worked unbelievably," her trainer, Richard Dutrow Jr., said. "She couldn't be doing any better."

* Jockey Victor Carrero was suspended seven days for careless riding in the third race on Thursday. His suspension began on Saturday.