01/14/2012 12:48PM

Aqueduct: Deliburnsky ready to roll in Winkfield

Bill Denver/Equiphoto
Deliburnsky goes for his third straight stakes score on Monday in the Jimmy Winkfield.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – After Deliburnsky won a pair of stakes in New Jersey and Maryland, trainer Tony Wilson was planning to give his gelding a little vacation. Deliburnsky apparently had other ideas.

“He came out of the race fine,” Wilson said, referring to Deliburnsky’s victory in the Dave’s Friend at Laurel Nov. 26. I” talked to the owner and said I’d like to try one more time.”

That time comes Monday when Deliburnsky seeks his third consecutive stakes score in the $75,000 Jimmy Winkfield, the featured event on Aqueduct’s nine-race Martin Luther King Jr. Day card.

Wilson actually had thought about prepping Deliburnsky for this in a race at Parx in late December, but ultimately changed his mind because he felt it was too close to this race. Wilson, who is based at Overbrook Farm in Colts Neck, N.J., shipped Deliburnsky to Aqueduct in time to get a workout over the inner track. On Wednesday, Deliburnsky drilled five furlongs in 1:00.20, the fastest by more than two seconds of five works that morning.

“I’d rather have horses train on the track they’re running at and get a feel for the racetrack,” Wilson said. “He worked very good, really handled it well. The best part was he didn’t take a drink of water afterward.”

Deliburnsky’s one Achilles’ heel is at the gate, where he has gotten away slowly or awkwardly in his last four starts. He has enough speed, however, to quickly recover and put himself in an attending position. Wilson anticipates Deliburnsky being in the game early on Monday, but he will find others, such as Yo Koffy and Done Done Done, likely up front as well.

“I’m not going to get in a big speed duel,” said Wilson, who has regular rider Pedro Cotto Jr. in to ride. “If someone goes, he’ll get himself together and then go after them.”

A solid pace up front could benefit He Can Run, McKinley Square, and Reserved Quality.

He Can Run won his first two starts before finishing second, beaten one length by Done Done Done, in a first-level allowance race here where the pace was relatively soft. Trainer Alan Goldberg said He Can Run seemed to resent the dirt being kicked in his face while down on the inside.

“He didn’t want to run into the dirt,” Goldberg said. “The race he won up there [Nov. 18], it opened up on the inside; he didn’t have to eat too much dirt.”

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. entered King and Crusader and Reserved Quality in the Winkfield right after they finished first and fourth in a starter allowance on Friday. King and Crusader is only 50-50 to run, while Dutrow wants to run Reserved Quality but has been frustrated by his troubles at the gate.

McKinley Square, from the red-hot Darley Stable-Kiaran McLaughlin connections, steps up off a maiden win with Lasix added last time.