01/30/2009 12:00AM

Two-turn test Mr. Fantasy's best option


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The connections of Mr. Fantasy have resorted to Plan C for the promising 3-year-old's second start.

Mr. Fantasy will make his next start in a first-level allowance race for New York-breds going 1 1/16 miles Sunday at Aqueduct. It will be the seventh race on the card.

Mr. Fantasy, a New York-bred son of E Dubai and a half-brother to Tin Cup Chalice, wowed observers with an effortless 10 1/2-length debut victory on Dec. 28, running six furlongs in 1:10.51 and earning a gaudy 97 Beyer Speed Figure. The plan was to keep the colt sprinting for his second start, and a first-level allowance race for New York-breds carded for last Wednesday seemed the ideal spot. But that card was canceled due to inclement weather.

As a back-up, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin entered Mr. Fantasy in Saturday's six-furlong Dancing Count Stakes at Laurel Park. But, McLaughlin really didn't want to ship the horse or run him in a stakes in his second start.

The hope was that Wednesday's canceled race would be brought back. It was, only the distance was changed to 1 1/16 miles, the same distance as the $250,000 Gotham Stakes on March 7, a race McLaughlin hopes Mr. Fantasy proves worthy of entering.

"The thought process is if we're going to look at the Gotham why not go a mile and a sixteenth now against New York-breds instead of six [furlongs] and win by eight, and then you still don't know'' about distance, McLaughlin said Friday from south Florida. "If we go long Sunday, he gets the experience of running long once against a lesser group.''

The draw was unkind to Mr. Fantasy as he will break from post 10. But McLaughlin hopes the colt's speed will enable him to clear the field and gain a favorable position entering the first turn. Richard Migliore will ride Mr. Fantasy.

"He's a very talented horse and I think Richie does a good job with these kind,'' McLaughlin said. "If he does take the lead, he'll settle him down, slow him down, and hopefully coast along.''

NYRA to MTA: Let's work something out

The New York Racing Association sent a seven-paragraph statement to the Metropolitan Transit Authority stating its opposition to the proposed elimination of train service to Belmont Park via the Long Island Rail Road. The MTA has proposed such a cut as part of a way to shave off $54 million in expenses. Under the proposal, the LIRR would provide train service to Belmont only on Belmont Stakes Day.

The MTA has proposed many cuts, but NYRA's statement says that "no other proposed service cut so directly affects one business, one employer, one industry as does the proposal to eliminate LIRR service to Belmont Park.''

NYRA said that the proposed cut would inhibit it from attempting to increase attendance as is mandated by the state in the 25-year franchise extension agreed upon last year.

"NYRA is committed to more effectively marketing Belmont Park, to build attendance at the track, but more than that, it is mandated by the state to build attendance as part of the franchise agreement,'' the statement read. "This requirement will be impossible to meet without a continuation of NYRA's long-term partnership with the LIRR and MTA. NYRA would be interested in expanding that partnership by working with the MTA to better market the 'Belmont Special' and to build special days and special deals around the LIRR service.''

Frost Giant retired; will stand at Empire Stud

Frost Giant, winner of the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap in 2008, has been retired and will stand at Empire Stud in Hudson, N.Y., for $10,000 live foal, it was announced Friday.

A son of Giant's Causeway, Frost Giant sold for $600,000 at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale. He began his career in Europe for trainer Aidan O'Brien before being sold by Michael Tabor and Susan Magnier to a partnership headed by the IEAH Stable.

Frost Giant had a record of 4-2-2 from 15 career starts and earnings of $454,630. His biggest win came in the Suburban, which he won under Rudy Rodriguez at odds of 40-1.

* The NYRA has appointed five individuals to the 15-member Saratoga Race Course Local Advisory Board, a committee established under the terms of NYRA's renewed racing franchise. Its appointees included NYRA management types Patrick Kehoe, Joanne Adams, and Charles Wheeler as well as Saratoga businessmen Tom Roohan and Joseph Torani.