01/12/2012 5:03PM

Aqueduct: Donk can’t help thinking of grass


The mild temperatures in New York this winter has made it feel more like spring, a season that can’t come soon enough for trainer David Donk.

Donk says he has turned out 10 turf horses for the winter and is anxiously awaiting the return of grass racing. One of his top turf females is Hessonite, who is expected to rejoin Donk’s New York string this weekend. Hessonite spent the last couple of months at a farm in Delaware.

Hessonite, a 4-year-old New York-bred filly, won two stakes last year, including the Ticonderoga on Oct. 22.

“I hope there’s a grass race early at Aqueduct,’’ said Donk, who is hoping to make the Beaugay, usually run in early May at Belmont.

Speaking of grass, the New York Racing Association has covered the inside four paths of the turf course with a tarp that is designed to keep the ground warm and help stimulate growth when the time comes. Turf racing usually begins the opening week of April.