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Aqueduct: Driven by Solar a master of this domain
By Dave Litfin
Two allowance races share the spotlight Thursday at Aqueduct, when juvenile fillies go a mile and 70 yards in race 3, and horse for course Driven by Solar looks for his sixth sprint win on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track in race 8.
Fittingly, two of the five fillies in the first-level allowance route – Kimono and Princess of Sylmar – are trained by Todd Pletcher, whose stable has dominated 2-year-old racing in New York this season.
In her most recent outing in late September, Kimono ran third as the odds-on choice in the Blue Hen Stakes, which was her first start following a maiden win at Saratoga and her first try around two turns.
Kimono, a Bernardini filly purchased in March for $550,000, was also entered in a six-furlong race Wednesday.
“She’ll run Thursday in the long race,” said Pletcher. “Her pedigree suggests she may want to run farther, so we’ll give her one more opportunity.”
Princess of Sylmar, a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Majestic Warrior, has run twice, both times at Penn National. She rallied belatedly in her sprint debut, and then won by a pole when stretched out to a mile.
“This is a different level of competition, but any time a horse wins by 19 lengths it gets your attention,” said Pletcher. “She clearly wants two turns and is better at route distances.”
Firenze Feeling, who recently overcame repeated trouble to win first out at Laurel Park, ships in for Tony Dutrow, whose 7-for-16 record at the fall meet made him the top percentage trainer at 43.7 percent.
Revealing Moment and Star Black also were entered.
Driven by Solar, who has notched all five of his dirt wins on the inner track, goes first time off a reclaim by fall-meet titlist David Jacobson in the eighth race, and takes on six rivals, including the grizzled veterans Take Down Two and Starforaday, who have respectively made 81 and 56 starts.
Take Down Two has been claimed five times as a 7-year-old – twice by Bruce Levine, who reclaimed the gelding two starts ago.
Starforaday, who will turn 10 shortly, is back eight days after being claimed by Greg Sacco.
The 3-year-olds Beggarthyneighbor and Maan, who ran in stakes on the inner track late last winter, are the only entrants not in for the optional $35,000 claiming price.
Isn’tlovejustgrand and Pleaseandthankyou complete the field.
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