02/06/2002 12:00AM

When streaks collide

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JAMAICA, N.Y. - Arromanches, a winner of his last 10 starts, and trainer Arthur Wendel, mired in a 0-for-94 slump, make for an unlikely couple, but the two are now a team.

Wendel claimed *, a 9-year-old who is taking a run at Cigar, Citation, and Hallowed Dreams's mark of 16 consecutive wins, for $50,000 at Aqueduct last Saturday. Arromanches won that six-furlong race as the heavy favorite, extending a streak that began on May 27, 2001.

Wendel is hoping Arromanches, a nearly white son of Relaunch, infuses some life into his small stable. Unlike Arromanches, Wendel, 82, the oldest active trainer in New York, is riding a very long losing streak. Through Wednesday, Wendel had saddled 94 losers, all in New York, since winning here in May 2000.

"When your stable is minimized, your winning opportunities get less," said Wendel, who said his stall allotment was cut last fall. Wendel currently maintains a five-horse stable, including Arromanches.

Wendel is the sixth person to train Arromanches since August 2000. The others are Rene Araya, Bruce Levine, Danny Lopez, Gary Contessa, and Scott Lake, who lost him on Saturday to Wendel.

Wendel claimed Arromanches on behalf of Bruce Golden, a son of a longtime friend.

Wendel, who owned and trained Landing Plot, a stakes winner and earner of $666,484 who ran in New York during the 1980's, said Arromanches was the first claim he has made in 2 1/2 years.

"[Golden] had a very strong interest in Arromanches," Wendel said. "I've been watching his record, and obviously he's very consistent. The thinking was that we could get a couple of wins out of him. He looks good physically."

Wendel said he wishes to become familiar with Arromanches before deciding where the horse's next start will come. Under New York rules, if Wendel enters Arromanches in a claiming race within 30 days of Saturday's race, it must be for a claiming price at least 25 percent higher than he was claimed for. That means the minimum Arromanches can run for until he's out of "jail" is $62,500.

Each of Arromanches's wins in his streak has come at six furlongs and with Chuck Lopez in the saddle. Overall, Arromanches has a record of 28-13-8 from 69 starts and $726,695 in earnings.

Arromanches's incredible run nearly came to an end on Dec. 29 at Aqueduct when he finished second in a classified allowance race after being interfered with by winner Trounce at the eighth pole. Arromanches looked like he was throwing in the towel when Trounce, who won by 4 1/2 lengths, came over on him, but Arromanches became the winner when the stewards disqualified Trounce for interference and placed him second.

Arromanches started his streak last May in a $35,000 claiming race at Monmouth Park for Lopez, who had claimed the horse from Levine for $20,000 in September 2000. In his last race for Levine, Arromanches ran sixth, beaten 20 lengths. Lopez didn't run him back until May 6, 2001, and Arromanches was fifth in a Philadelphia Park allowance race, his last loss before becoming a familiar face in the winner's circle.

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