03/14/2011 4:16PM

Aqueduct feature has twin Rodriguez threats


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Inside or outside, from on the pace or off, wet track or dry, trainer Rudy Rodriguez looks to have it all covered in Wednesday’s featured second-level allowance race at Aqueduct.

Rodriguez, who has won 8 races from 17 starters over the inner track since March 2, sends out the uncoupled entry of Bwana Babe and Lady Durlyn in the mile-and-70-yard race, and both five-time winners are more than capable of winning.

Bwana Babe, who drew the rail, showed good speed in her last start on Jan. 23 – a six-furlong race – before finishing second to Lots of Stones, who was in the middle of a six-race win streak at that time. Bwana Babe could play out as the main speed again breaking from the rail under Mike Luzzi.

Rodriguez said he would have preferred to run Bwana Babe in a sprint race again, but it is noteworthy that she won four consecutive two-turn races last year.

“She showed a lot of speed going three-quarters – I expect her to take it from there,” Rodriguez said. “She’s got a great post.”

There is a chance of rain Wednesday, and Bwana Babe won a $25,000 claimer by 10 lengths going two turns at Monmouth last September.

Spa City Princess, who comes off a New York-bred stakes win over a good and sealed inner track, could provide some pace pressure for Bwana Babe, though she has won from off the pace in the past.

If a speed duel develops, Rodriguez’s other runner, Lady Durlyn, could pick up the pieces in the stretch. Two starts back, Lady Durlyn was a fast-closing second at this level to Electric Gold. In her last start, Lady Durlyn finished fourth to Super Espresso in the Sky Beauty Stakes.

“That race was tough, this race is a little easier,” Rodriguez said. “It looks like she handles two turns. She doesn’t have a big kick, she comes with one steady pace, but if they go a good pace up front she’ll be coming.”

Cornelio Velasquez will ride Lady Durlyn from the outside post.

Spa City Princess is 3 for 5 over the inner track and beat the next-out winner Eager Emma in the Belle Born Stakes for New York-breds on Feb. 5.

“She’s got long distance speed,” trainer Pat Kelly said. “She’s not fast, but she has enough speed to take advantage if there isn’t any.”

Mined Over Matter won’t mind not having to face Quiet Giant, to whom she has been beaten the last three times she’s run. Kittylicious and Dolce Pentimento complete the field.