02/24/2005 1:00AM

What's next for Don Six?


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Scott Lake might take an ambitious swing with Don Six.

Lake said he is considering the Grade 1, $350,000 Carter Handicap on April 9 for Don Six, a 5-year-old who has made great strides in a short span of time.

"It's really up in the air," Lake said. "The Carter is in the back of our minds, but right now we're not sure."

Owner and breeder Patricia Generazio sent Don Six to Lake following an eighth-place finish in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct on Nov. 28. Don Six had previously been trained by Generazio's husband, Frank.

Don Six immediately responded to the barn change, reeling off consecutive inner-track stakes wins at Aqueduct over six furlongs, in the Grade 3 Gravesend Handicap and Paumonok Handicap.

Those wins encouraged Lake to try the Grade 2 General George Handicap at seven furlongs last Monday at Laurel. Don Six, the 9-5 favorite, set the pace and opened up a five-length lead before Saratoga County ranged into contention. Don Six repelled that initial challenge, but Saratoga County did not go away. The two battled through the lane, with Saratoga County getting up by a nose.

"It was a fantastic race," Lake said Thursday. "It was a shame one of those horses had to lose, and unfortunately it was us."

Don Six has primarily been a six-furlong specialist for most of his career, but Lake said he is confident the horse can handle an additional eighth.

"There is no doubt he can get seven-eighths," Lake said. "He was a little rank early in the last race. If you can get him to relax, seven-eighths won't be a problem."

Lake said Don Six came out of the race in good shape. Stabled at Philadelphia Park, Don Six will walk several days this week and should head back to the track on the weekend.

Galloping Grocer on the mend

Galloping Grocer is doing better now than his trainer, Dominick Schettino, who was battling a cold at chilly Belmont Park.

Galloping Grocer jogged Thursday morning at Belmont, said Schettino, who added, "He's doing good."

Galloping Grocer came to prominence as a Triple Crown contender after a narrow loss to the unbeaten Rockport Harbor in the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct.

There have been a few bumps along the way this season. Galloping Grocer finished fourth in his lone start this year, the Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct on Feb. 12, and suffered a leg gash in that race. He also bruised a hoof while training last week.

Those issues, however, seem behind him.

Schettino has scheduled the Grade 3, $150,000 Gotham Stakes on March 19 at Aqueduct as Galloping Grocer's next start.

Amazing Buy tops Busher

Amazing Buy, a winner of three straight, tops the expected field for Sunday's feature, the $75,000 Busher Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Trained by Jennifer Pedersen, Amazing Buy already owns a pair of wins over the Aqueduct inner track, including the Busansda Stakes on Jan. 16. She most recently captured the Wide Country Stakes at Laurel.

Winning Season could be the main competition. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Winning Season has not raced since winning the Raging Fever Stakes at Aqueduct on Dec. 17. She finished third in the Grade 2 Demoiselle in late November.

New York Racing Association stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes said Ms Litigator, Neverlacken, Pelham Bay, and Pretty Partisan are also expected for the 1 1/16-mile race.

New apprentice in town

Denis Rojas, a seven-pound apprentice rider, hopes to make his Aqueduct debut this weekend.

A 19-year-old from Panama, Rojas had been working for trainer Phil Gleaves. He arrived in New York from Florida on Wednesday, and Drew Mollica will book the mounts.

Rojas has one win from 35 mounts.

Snow puts track in a rush

With snow in the forecast later in the afternoon, Aqueduct accelerated post times for Thursday's nine-race card in an effort to beat the flurries.

The track aimed to send off the final field at 3:45, a half-hour earlier than usual. Accumulation predictions ranged from 4 to 6 inches.