04/18/2013 3:33PM

Aqueduct: Chad Brown has strong pair in turf route

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Tom Keyser
Shakeira is 2 for 3 and should handle the turf if expected rain makes the footing soft.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – In lieu of a stakes, a pair of second-level allowance races – one on turf, one on dirt – serve as the co-features on the final Saturday program at Aqueduct.

The stakes scheduled for Saturday, the $75,000 Road Princess, was instead carded for Sunday featuring the graded stakes-winning 3-year-old filly Kauai Katie.

Saturday’s eighth, a $69,000 second-level allowance scheduled for 1 1/16 miles for the turf, is a competitive event headed by the uncoupled Chad Brown-trained entry of Shakeira and Deanaallen’skitten.

Shakeira, a New York-bred daughter of Freud, and Deanaallen’skitten, a 6-year-old daughter of Kitten’s Joy, are about as consistent as they come. Combined, the two fillies have finished in the top three in 29 of 31 starts.

Shakeira is returning from a six-month layoff, having not been out since winning an open-company, first-level allowance race by a head over Inaugurate. Inaugurate, also trained by Chad Brown, came back to win an allowance race and most recently finished second in a $75,000 stakes race at Tampa Bay Downs.

Shakeira is 2 for 3 at Aqueduct and has in the past handled a wet turf course, something she could face Saturday as rain was forecast Friday night.

Deanaallen’skitten returned from a 16-month layoff to win two of three starts this winter at Gulfstream, albeit in starter allowance races. In her last 11 starts, dating back to Aug. 15, 2010, Deanaallen’skitten has never finished worse than second, and her five losses in that span have come by a combined two lengths.

Trainer David Donk brings Zultanite back to the races off a six-month layoff. She has run well at 1 1/16 miles, winning an allowance race last October at Belmont and finishing third, beaten just a neck, in the Grade 2 Sands Point.

“She had a decent year last year, looking forward to getting her back,” Donk said. “I don’t know how good she is, but I got to start somewhere. I would be concerned if the course is a bog that I might not see her best.”

In a race without much speed, Zultanite could be a forward factor as was the case in the Sands Point.

“You got to leave her alone and let her place herself,” Donk said. “If the pace is soft she can be there – don’t take her back on a slow pace.”

Junior Alvarado will ride Zultanite from post 6.

N.F.’s Destiny goes for new streak

The last time there was a Saturday card without a stakes, Feb. 23, N.F.’s Destiny won an allowance race for his third straight victory.

After having that win streak snapped on March 9, N.F.’s Destiny will seek to start a new streak in race 9, a second-level allowance race at seven furlongs.

N.F’s Destiny has yet to run past six furlongs, but his trainer, Linda Rice, believes he can get the distance provided he does not have to run too fast early on.

Rice said her biggest concern is the presence of Big Business, who returns off a three-month layoff for trainer David Jacobson.

Big Business has five wins and three seconds from his last five starts. He won a seven-furlong allowance race over the main track by six lengths last Dec. 1.

◗ David Cohen has appealed a seven-day suspension handed him by the New York stewards for his ride aboard Late Starter in the ninth race on April 13. That was the race in which Incognito clipped Late Starter’s heels, but rebounded to get the victory.

◗ Sunday is closing day at Aqueduct. Following four dark days, Belmont Park opens on Friday. Entries for the opening-day card will be taken on Tuesday.

The first stakes race of the Belmont meet is the Grade 3 Westchester on April 27. The expected field includes Big Screen, Cross Traffic, Hymn Book, Pants On Fire, Rattlesnake Bridge, and Winslow Homer.