01/18/2013 4:07PM

Aqueduct: Brigand sticking with New York-breds at a mile

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Barbara D. Livingston
Brigand has won 3 of his last 4 starts, including the City of Laurel Stakes.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – There were as many as four options the connections of the New York-bred Brigand were considering for his next start, but ultimately they settled on Sunday’s $75,000 Turnofthecentury Stakes going one mile at Aqueduct.

Entered in Saturday’s $75,000 Evening Attire Stakes here against open company at 1 1/16 miles, Brigand was to scratch and run in this one-mile race restricted to New York-breds. Brigand also was under consideration for Monday’s Native Dancer at Laurel and next Thursday’s Billy Redcoat Stakes, a six-furlong New York-bred race at Aqueduct.

The Turnofthecentury will give Brigand the chance to prove he can be effective around two turns. He finished fifth in his only previous two-turn race at Del Mar last summer. He did win a one-turn mile race against New York-breds at Belmont in October.

Brigand has won 3 of his last 4 starts, including the City of Laurel Stakes going seven furlongs at Laurel on Dec. 8.

“We were really happy with his last race, and he seems to be going forward,” said Tonja Terranova, who is overseeing Brigand’s training for Bob Baffert. “He’s run two turns before, and the mile is a good distance for him.”

Brigand’s weapon is his early speed, and he won the City of Laurel on the front end, despite having blinkers removed from his equipment.

“Even though he was on the lead, he was doing it very comfortably, in hand, willing to do it at a nice clip,” Terranova said.

Brigand breaks from post 2 with Ramon Dominguez and just outside of the speedy Tug of War.

Trainer Mike Hushion said Friday, however, that Tug of War was not definite to run. Tug of War did work a half-mile in 53.27 seconds Friday morning.

While Hushion may not run Tug of War, he does plan to start Mine Over Matter, who won the Hudson Stakes going six furlongs against New York-breds in October before finishing third in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight on Nov. 22.

Mine Over Matter has not won at a mile, but Hushion believes the distance is within his scope.

“I think that’s fine for him,” Hushion said. “Strictly on form, he’s finally coming around.”

Groomedforvictory and Uncle T Seven represent the first two horses formerly trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., who will be sent out by Wesley Ward. Dutrow began serving a 10-year suspension Thursday.

Groomedforvictory is coming off a front-running victory in an open-company optional claiming race over inner track Dec. 12. Uncle T Seven has not started since Aug. 1, when he was fourth in the John Morrissey Stakes. Uncle T Seven has lost 18 straight races since winning the Ashley T Cole on turf at Belmont.

Socialsaul, second to Saratoga Snacks in the Alex M. Robb, completes the field.