02/05/2013 12:56PM

Aqueduct: Carryover chase also sees Contessa, Galluscio going for milestones

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Gary Contessa enters Thursday’s program with 1,999 career victories.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Trainers Gary Contessa and Dominic Galluscio will be chasing milestones while pick six players will be chasing a carryover of $36,873 when racing resumes Thursday at Aqueduct.

Contessa, 55, enters Thursday’s program with 1,999 career victories. He has seven horses entered in five races as he seeks to become the 89th trainer to win 2,000 races.

Galluscio, 54, enters the day with 998 career victories. He has four horses entered in three races as he attempts to win his 1,000th race.

Contessa’s chase begins in the first race, a $14,000 claiming sprint, with the uncoupled entry of Shiksa Goddess (8-1) and Should Make It (15-1).

Shiksa Goddess meets winners for the first time after getting loose on a slow pace winning a maiden $14,000 claimer by 9 1/2 lengths on Jan. 26. Should Make It stumbled badly at the start of a $15,000 claimer and ran last.

“Shiksa Goddess won a very slow race. I don’t know that lightning is going to strike twice,” Contessa said.

Contessa comes back in the second, a maiden $16,000 claimer going a mile and 70 yards, with Wrath of Cong (20-1), who has yet to show anything in four starts. But aside from Proud Day Indeed, the even-money morning-line favorite, none of the others in this field have shown much either.

“It’s not a great race, he’s not a great horse. He ran two races back to back, one long, and I helped fill a race going short,” Contessa said. “Believe it or not, he’s got a shot.”

Galluscio’s first runner of the day is Raffie’s Factor (10-1) in the sixth, a $12,500 claimer for horses who have never won two races. Raffie’s Factor ran fifth at this level over a sloppy track in his first start in three months.

“Last time the track was very sloppy. He didn’t get the best break,” Galluscio said. “I think he’ll do better.”

On paper, Contessa’s best chance is in the seventh, a maiden $35,000 claimer at a mile, when he sends out the uncoupled entry of Al’s Rosie (3-1) and Stick to Your Guns (12-1). Al’s Rosie makes her first start for a claiming price after running fifth in maiden special weight races on turf and dirt. On Dec. 31, she finished fifth behind Squeal. Two horses have come out of that race to win.

“Al’s Rosie has been disappointing,” Contessa said. “Hopefully, with the drop in class she’ll find herself at the right level.”

Contessa said Stick to Your Guns has been disappointing given what she shows in the morning. He plans to have jockey David Cohen bring her from off the pace.

In the eighth and ninth, Contessa and Galluscio square off against each other.

In the eighth, the featured New York-bred second-level optional claimer at six furlongs, Contessa sends Precious Metal (8-1) against Galluscio’s Maggie’s Hadder (6-1).

Precious Metal is coming out of a fifth-place finish in a starter allowance, first off the $25,000 claim.

“It’s a slight raise in class, but he’s as good as anybody in there,” Contessa said.

Maggie’s Hadder makes his first start at this level after winning a first-level allowance in the mud here on Jan. 12.

“The nonwinners of one to nonwinners of two is a big jump, but he’s sharp right now, he could make the jump,” Galluscio said.

In the ninth, a $12,500 claiming sprint, Galluscio sends out Night Brigade (5-1) and Stellars Theory (8-1) while Contessa has longshot Hook It Up (20-1).

Stellars Theory is turning back from a mile and figures to be a pace factor, while Night Brigade should be closing. Galluscio felt that Night Brigade was compromised by a speed-favoring surface when she ran on Nov. 15, her last start.

Hook It Up was seventh at this level on Jan. 21, her first start off a six-month layoff.