02/18/2012 11:40AM

Aqueduct: Dr Disco trying to erase memory of last race


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The toughest competition he had faced to date combined with a less-than-stellar trip added up to the worst performance of Dr Disco’s career in the Grade 3 Toboggan on Feb. 4.

In hopes of erasing that memory sooner than later, trainer Bruce Brown and owner Joseph Dirico have elected to wheel the speedy colt back in 16 days in Monday’s $75,000 Hollie Hughes Stakes for New York-breds at Aqueduct.

“He didn’t do a lot of running last time,” said Brown, who will also send out defending Hughes winner Be Bullish in the six-furlong race. “We were a little leery of it, but he really bounced out of the race in good order; everything was fine. I don’t think that should be a problem.”

Though his best weapon is his speed, Dr Disco came from slightly off the pace to win an open-company allowance race over the inner track on Jan. 2. When he drew the rail for the Toboggan, Dr Disco found himself behind horses, getting dirt kicked in his face, which he appeared to resent.

Monday, Brown expects Dr Disco to return to his front-running ways, but likes the fact he’s drawn in post 6, meaning he should be in the clear regardless of where he is positioned early.

“He’s best being out there and doing his thing, even if he’s not in front having a clear path in front of him where he can kind of do what he wants,” Brown said.

Though Ramon Dominguez was named to ride Dr Disco, he will be in Maryland to ride This Ones for Phil in the General George. Brown said Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride Dr Disco in the Hollie Hughes.

There is other speed in the race that could hinder Dr Disco. But a speed duel could benefit Brown’s other entrant, Be Bullish, who rallied from fourth in a five-horse field to win the 2011 Hollie Hughes.

Brown and owner Thomas La Marca claimed Be Bullish out of a winning race on Jan. 25, his 11th win from 55 career starts.

“Hopefully, if Disco doesn’t go on then hopefully Be Bullish can pick can pick up the pieces,” Brown said.

Freudian Dilemma, Bug Juice, Head Heart Hoof, and Ground Force all have shown a propensity to be on or close to the pace.

A strong early pace could set things up for Law Enforcement, who has not won a race since Aug. 6, 2009 at Saratoga.

In his most recent start, Law Enforcement finished a late-running second behind Dr Disco in the Vodka Stakes over the inner track on Dec. 4.

With Aqueduct open Monday, the track will be dark for live racing Tuesday and Wednesday.