09/29/2003 11:00PM

Wolfson pleased, but wants more for Aeneas

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MIAMI - Trainer Marty Wolfson is getting used to havng mixed emotions when it comes to his handicap star Aeneas.

Aeneas turned in yet another strong performance against two of the top members of the handicap division, Perfect Drift and Tenpins, in Sunday's Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup in Stickney, Ill., only to come up empty once again. Aeneas's third-place finish in the Gold Cup is the fourth time in his last five starts that the Calder-based Aeneas has been stakes-placed in graded company, yet he remains winless this year.

Aeneas ranged up alongside Perfect Drift and Tenpins through the stretch run of the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup, but he did not sustain the bid against those two favorites.

"Coming to the sixteenth pole he looked like a winner," said Wolfson, who trains Aeneas for owner-breeders Ed and Patricia Pavlish. "I'm both ecstatic with his effort and frustrated at the same time since he keeps getting so close and can't get a graded win. He's already earned over $350,000 this year and still hasn't even won a race."

Aeneas returned home from Chicago on Monday and was doing well, according to Wolfson, who now will take a wait-and-see attitude before deciding on the colt's future itinerary.

"Right now I'm leaning towards just getting him ready for a winter campaign at Gulfstream," said Wolfson. "His family seems to get better as they get older. Saudi Poetry peaked at the age of 5, and I'm hopeful that will happen with him. He ran great at Gulfstream last winter and he's twice the horse now he was then. There is a handicap at Calder in December [the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper on Dec. 27] that would set him up perfectly for Gulfstream."

Wolfson hasn't completely ruled out a trip to California for the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Oct. 25.

"We have enough points to get in, and if the field for the Classic were to fall apart, by that I mean if both Mineshaft and Perfect Drift don't go, then there's a good chance we'll send him out west for the Classic."

Hot jockeys

Gary Boulanger, Aeneas's regular rider, returned from Chicago in time to win two races at Calder in the slop on Monday. He won aboard the promising 2-year-old maiden Florida Express and the improving Friendly Theresa in the afternoon's feature race.

Boulanger shared riding honors on Monday with leading jockey Manoel Cruz and apprentice Eddie Castro, both of whom also won two races.

Castro's double capped a red-hot three days for him. The meet's second leading rider, he also won five races on Saturday and four on Sunday.

Racecaller on busman's holiday here

Mark Johnson, one of Great Britain's top announcers and racing commentators will be at Calder to call a couple of races on Sunday. Johnson, 37, has already called five Epsom Derbies, and this year was behind the microphone for his ninth St. Leger classic at Doncaster.

Calder will be the second stop of Johnson's U.S. visit. He will call the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita on Saturday.

All True works toward In Reality

All True, who finished second behind the undefeated Sir Oscar in the seven-furlong Affirmed Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes, went an easy mile in 1:49.60 with stablemate Regal Bear on Monday, preparing for the $400,000 In Reality Stakes on the Oct. 11 Festival of the Sun card.

Trainer Ralph Ziadie said All True will have one last serious work this weekend for the In Reality, the final leg of the Stallion series.

Regal Bear will also be in action on Oct. 11, in the $200,000, Grade 3 Calder Derby.