01/10/2003 1:00AM

Wow! It's Affirmed Success


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The old guy still has it.

Grade 1 winner Affirmed Success, a 9-year-old racing for the first time since July, won Friday's allowance feature by one length over Late Carson.

Under Richard Migliore, Affirmed Success battled for the lead with Storm Commander for a half-mile while racing on the rail. Affirmed Success held a narrow advantage as the five-horse field turned for home and was able to hold off a challenge from Late Carson during the stretch run.

Affirmed Success ($3.80) covered the distance over a fast track in 1:09.06, the fastest six furlongs run at the inner track meet, which began on Dec. 4.

Richard Schosberg, who trains Affirmed Success for Albert Fried Jr., said the gelding is amazing.

"I'm not taking any more credit for him," Schosberg said. "It's all him."

Affirmed Success, who pushed his earnings to $2,203,415 with Friday's win, was given a freshening after finishing second behind Left Bank in the Grade 2 Tom Fool on July 4.

Schosberg said he would point Affirmed Success to the $200,000 General George at Laurel Park on Feb. 17. Affirmed Success won the General George in 2000.

"The [General George], Toboggan, Carter, and Tom Fool are the only seven-furlong races anywhere," Schosberg said. "If everything goes according to plan, that would be what we would try to do."

Cliff Notes faces six on Sunday

The in-form Cliff Notes tackles allowance company in Sunday's feature, a $45,000 second-level race for older males at six furlongs.

The next two Sundays at Aqueduct won't feature a stakes.

Cliff Notes, a 5-year-old, faces six others in the eighth race. Trained by Bruce Levine, who is enjoying a strong inner track meet, Cliff Notes has finished in the top three in his last six starts.

Cliff Notes, claimed for $25,000 by WinStar Farm early September, won a pair of claiming races at Belmont in the fall and recorded triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in each. In his last start at Aqueduct on Nov. 17 at this level, Cliff Notes finished third, beaten less than a length for the win.

The race was run over a muddy track.

"He never seemed comfortable; he was sputtering in the wet," said Levine, who scratched Cliff Notes out of a couple races since then because of wet surfaces. "He's training super and worked as a good as anyone [Tuesday]."

Cliff Notes worked a half-mile in 48.47 seconds, the third-fastest of 74 works at the distance.

Luzzi, who has ridden eight of Levine's nine winners at the meet, will be aboard Cliff Notes, who drew the rail.

Sovereign Sweep, scratched out of a tougher spot on Wednesday, flopped badly in the mud here on Dec. 14. If he can run back to his win on Nov. 23, Sovereign Sweep should be a factor.

Capossela next for Philadelphia Jim

Philadelphia Jim, the 3 1/2-length winner of the Dancing Count Stakes at Laurel Park on Jan. 1, will run back in the $75,000 Fred "Cappy" Capossela here on Jan. 20.

Purchased last year at a 2-year-old in training sale for $300,000 by Michael Gill, Philadelphia Jim is a winner of 2 of 3 starts.

Philadelphia Jim was impressive in his debut when he won a five-furlong race at Delaware Park in June by eight lengths. After his first start, a small chip in one of his ankles was detected and then surgically removed, according to his trainer, John Robb.

When he returned to the races on Dec. 15 at Aqueduct, Philadelphia Jim finished a game second to the promising Unforgettable Max, who is nominated to the Capossela but will skip the race.

"We knew he wasn't dead-fit off the layoff," Robb said. "I always loved this colt. We have a couple of nice 3-year-olds, including Crafty Guy, who was second at Gulfstream [in the Spectacular Bid], and Philadelphia Jim is better than him."

Robb said Philadelphia Jim, who is based at Laurel Park, will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez in the six-furlong Capossela.

My Man Ryan gears up for Big A Cap

My Man Ryan, preparing for the $100,000 Aqueduct Handicap on Jan. 18, worked five furlongs in 59.98 seconds at Belmont Park on Friday.

In his last start, My Man Ryan finished second to Ground Storm, another expected Aqueduct starter, in an allowance race here on Dec. 18.

Attention, Saratoga seat-seekers

Applications for reserved seats at the 2003 Saratoga meet are now available and must be postmarked by Feb. 15 to be eligible for the seating lottery.

Applications can be downloaded from the New York Racing Association's website at www.NYRA.com. People on NYRA's mailing list will receive the seating applications in the mail.

The Saratoga meet opens July 23 and runs through Sept. 1.