11/29/2007 12:00AM

Weight the worry for Oprah Winney

EmailOZONE PARK, N.Y. - After failing to take the grand prize that was the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, Oprah Winney will attempt to capture a consolation prize of sorts in Saturday's $75,000 Garland of Roses at Aqueduct.

Oprah Winney heads a field of eight fillies and mares entered in the Garland of Roses, contested at six furlongs over the inner track.

Oprah Winney, a New York-bred daughter of Royal Academy, has had a solid 2007 campaign, with victories in the Interborough, Barbara Fritchie, Regret, and Schenectady handicaps from seven starts. She caught a sloppy track in the Breeders' Cup and was getting a good trip under Garrett Gomez, moving into second at the quarter pole. But she flattened out in the final furlong and was basically wrapped up on in the final sixteenth while losing by 9 3/4 lengths to Maryfield.

"I thought she was going to like that track, but I'm led to believe she didn't," trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said. "We were disappointed with her race that day and I just hope it was the track. I can't see it being anything else."

Oprah Winney has trained forwardly since the Breeders' Cup, including a half-mile work Thursday in 47.76 seconds over the inner track. As the 124-pound highweight under Alan Garcia, Oprah Winney will be conceding significant weight to serious challengers such as Coli Bear (117), Control System (116), and More Angels (116).

"I am concerned [about the weight], but at the same time if she runs her race she seems like she's better than those other horses in there," Dutrow said.

Trainer Michael Trombetta entered Control System in the Garland of Roses after an allowance race scheduled for Saturday at Philadelphia Park did not fill. Control System won the first three races of her career impressively, including the Grade 3 Cicada Stakes over the inner track in March.

Control System was diagnosed with a throat problem that forced her to miss most of the summer. She returned to the races with a third-place finish in an overnight stakes at Belmont on Sept. 16 and followed that with another third in the Miss Woodford Stakes, run in the slop on Breeders' Cup Day.

"Her effort on Breeders' Cup Day was a good race," Trombetta said. "I thought she chased a very hot pace; they ran faster than the boys did. I'm excited about the three-race cycle. I think she's going to run a big race for us."

More Angels has won 3 of 4 races for trainer Bruce Levine. Coli Bear has won two straight and was a two-time winner over the inner track last year.