10/04/2004 11:00PM

Wherever elite race, you'll find Biancone

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Trainer Patrick Biancone (right) watched Sense of Style and Edgar Prado win the Matron at Belmont. Next stops: Keeneland and Lone Star.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Patrick Biancone has customized what he calls "the good horse circuit." Little wonder, then, that when Keeneland opens its fall meet this weekend with a flurry of spectacular stakes action, Biancone will be an integral part of the mix, looking to make his mark before moving on to the next town.

That next town - for Biancone and many of the other top trainers in American racing - happens to be Grand Prairie, Texas, where the 21st Breeders' Cup championships will be held Oct. 30.

"I go from Santa Anita in the winter to Keeneland in the spring, New York in the summer, Keeneland in the fall, and back home to California," said Biancone, who makes his home in Arcadia, Calif. "The racing at those tracks, it does not get any better."

Biancone, born into a famous French racing family, operates a relatively small stable of just under 25 horses, but in the four years since he moved to the United States, he has moved into the racing elite. This year, his best so far in the U.S., he has 26 wins from 102 starts and stable earnings of nearly $3.1 million, an average of more than $100,000 per win and $30,000 per start.

Biancone, 52, has as many as three hopefuls for the Breeders' Cup, two of whom will be in action this weekend at Keeneland. Sense of Style, unbeaten in three starts, could become the favorite for the BC Juvenile Fillies with a good performance Friday in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes, while Scipion, one of the flashiest maiden winners at the Saratoga meet, will try to earn his way into the

BC Juvenile when racing Saturday in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity. Biancone already has Magistretti, second in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic last weekend at Belmont Park, as a probable starter in the BC Turf.

Biancone said that he hopes Sense of Style wins again Friday, but that the Thunder Gulch filly will not necessarily be at her peak. Along with Sweet Catomine, winner of the Oak Leaf at Santa Anita last weekend, Sense of Style is one of two standouts in the 2-year-old filly division.

Sense of Style "will be okay," said Biancone. "I do not think she will be super sharp. She'll be super sharp in three weeks," in the Breeders' Cup. "You cannot expect to win every race. Of course I want to win Friday, but this is part of her training for her biggest race of the year."

Likewise, Biancone is looking toward the BC Juvenile and beyond for Scipion, an A.P. Indy colt who ran third in his second and latest start, the Cradle Stakes.

"He is a big baby," said Biancone. "A horse with a lot of talent, but at this stage maybe only 60 percent of his potential. This is all looking for the next year with him."

While Scipion is owned by one of Biancone's newer clients, Virginia Kraft Payson. Sense of Style and most of Biancone's top horses are owned by Michael Tabor, either alone or in partnership. Tabor is sole owner of Magistretti, and part-owner of Sense of Style with Derrick Smith.

"I work for the right people here," said Biancone.

Tabor, with his well-bred and expensive young horses, has been Biancone's primary benefactor since the trainer came to the United States following an eventful tenure in Hong Kong. Biancone twice won the Hong Kong Derby, but departed in 1999 after being given a 10-month suspension when three of his horses tested positive for the American racing equivalent of Class 3 drugs. The suspension ultimately was waived in the U.S.

Biancone, who was just 31 and still based in France when he trained All Along to become the North American Horse of the Year in 1983, has a rich racing background and a stable with considerable momentum. He feels he has earned the right to be picky with the stock that allows him to remain on the "good horse circuit."

"I always say every horse is a good horse," he said, "as long as they're in the right place."

This weekend, Keeneland is the right place - especially for a trainer with the caliber of horses that Biancone has brought.