01/07/2003 12:00AM

Zonk in career form


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - In the next five weeks, Philadelphia Park-based trainer John Servis figures to have a major impact in stakes action at Aqueduct.

Servis plans to get started on Saturday when he ships in Zonk, who will likely be favored to defend her Grade 3 Affectionately Handicap title from a year ago. Servis has depth in the filly and mare handicap division with the likes of Martha's Music and Pupil, who were also nominated to the Affectionately but who may be aimed at the Rare Treat Handicap here on Feb. 17 instead.

Servis also trains a nice 3-year-old filly in Ladyecho, who will be pointed to the Dearly Precious Stakes Feb. 15 following her victory in last Saturday's Marshua Stakes at Laurel Park.

Zonk, away from the races for seven months due to a quarter crack, appears to be coming up to Saturday's $100,000 Affectionately in great shape. In two starts following her layoff, Zonk finished second, beaten a head, in a six-furlong optional claiming race at Laurel on Nov. 2, and then finished second to Sightseek in the Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap over Aqueduct's main track on Nov. 29.

In the Top Flight, Zonk set strong early fractions before giving way late to Sightseek, who is undefeated in four dirt starts.

"To me, that might have been the best race of her career,'' Servis said of Zonk's effort in the Top Flight. "That was a very nice horse she got beat by.''

Zonk, a 5-year-old daughter of Farma Way, is 2 for 3 over the inner track. In addition to the Affectionately, she won a classified allowance race. Zonk finished second in the Rare Treat, but was disqualified for interference in the stretch and placed fourth.

Zonk was assigned 117 pounds for the 1 1/16-mile Affectionately, one less than expected starter With Ability. Others expected to run include Shop Till You Drop (114), Kiss a Miss (113), Pocus Hocus (112), Wishful Splendor (110), and Persky (109).

Following the Affectionately, Servis plans to shorten Zonk up in distance. That's possible because of the emergence of Martha's Music. Martha's Music, a 4-year-old daughter of Sultry Song, has won three consecutive starts, including Laurel's Grade 3 Anne Arundel Handicap at nine furlongs. Servis said Martha's Music and Pupil, second in an allowance race here on Jan. 3, will be pointed to the Nellie Morse Stakes at Laurel on Jan. 25 and then one or both could come back in the 1 1/16-mile Rare Treat.

Redheat Riot seeks Florida date

Redhead Riot, fourth in the Garland of Roses on Dec. 14, could make her next start in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25.

At least that's where trainer Laurie LaFavers wants to run the filly. The Sunshine Millions pits six California-bred fillies against six Florida-bred fillies in races at Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park. According to LaFavers there are 25 fillies and mares nominated to the Sprint, with roughly an equal amount of representatives from each state.

Preference is given to graded stakes winners and then stakes winners. Redhead Riot has not yet won a stakes. She did finish second to Shine Again in the Grade 2 First Flight Handicap at Aqueduct on Oct. 26. Prior to that she had won four of five starts.

In the Garland of Roses, LaFavers felt that jockey Richard Migliore's unfamiliarity with the filly compromised her chances. LaFavers hopes to reunite Redhead Riot with John Velazquez in the Sunshine Millions.

On Tuesday, Redhead Riot breezed four furlongs in 49.24 seconds over a fast Belmont training track.

LaFavers said if Redhead Riot were excluded from the Sunshine Millions, she would be pointed to the Correction Handicap here on Feb. 1.

Torre and Zim aims for Whirlaway

Torre and Zim, a sharp entry-level allowance winner here on Dec. 19, worked five furlongs in 1:00.84 Tuesday over Aqueduct's fast inner track. It was the fastest of 11 moves at the distance.

Torre and Zim will make his next start in the $75,000 Whirlaway Stakes here on Feb. 8. Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said he skipped last Saturday's Count Fleet Stakes because the colt would have been returning on short notice following his Dec. 19 win.

"It looks like he might be okay, and I want to manage him the right way,'' Dutrow said. "He might have won that race, but I didn't see the point rushing him back in two weeks. I'd like to give him time between races. My goal is to win the Whirlaway. If everything goes right, he'll tell us where to go from there.''

Torre and Zim, a son of Elusive Quality, is 2 for 3 lifetime, his lone loss coming to Silver Squire in October at Belmont. Silver Squire rallied late to finish third in last week's Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Cyber Secret stretches out

Cyber Secret, who scratched out of Sunday's six-furlong Ruthless Stakes, will try to stretch out around two turns when she heads a five-horse field entered in a $50,000 allowance race at one mile and 70 yards on Thursday. The race serves as a prep for the $75,000 Busanda Stakes, run at the same distance on Jan. 26.

Dutrow scratched Cyber Secret from the Ruthless due to a wet track. She last raced on Nov. 9, winning a six-furlong entry-level allowance by three lengths. Dutrow is hopeful that Cyber Secret can carry her speed around two turns.

Virgin Voyage, an allowance winner at this distance on Dec. 29, and Philadelphia shipper Friel's for Real are most likely to threaten Cyber Secret.