11/05/2012 5:35PM

Aqueduct: Former stakes runners meet in feature race


Four of the seven runners in Wednesday’s $71,000 feature race boast experience in graded stakes. As fate would have it, however, all four – Arch Traveler, Convocation, Pleasant Prince, and Schoolyard Dreams – are in for the optional claiming price of $50,000 in race 5.

The Centennial Farms’ entry of Convocation and Arch Traveler break side by side from the inside posts for trainer Jimmy Jerkens. Convocation has won four of his last five starts against non-stakes rivals, but has not run since finishing off the board in the 2011 Woodward. Arch Traveler was favored in the Amsterdam and Woody Stephens as a 3-year-old, but will be looking for his first victory since the Ziggy’s Boy overnight stakes 18 months ago.

Pleasant Prince, who ran in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (2010) and Marathon (2011), was claimed from his seasonal bow at Saratoga for $75,000. In his second start for Bruce Brown, he closed smartly on a wet-fast strip at Parx Racing to be beaten less than a length by Playing a Joke, who has since come back to post a third straight victory.

In his only appearance at Aqueduct, Schoolyard Dreams ran fourth to Eskendereya in the 2010 Wood Memorial. All four of his starts for current trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. have been in-the-money finishes, capped by a close second on turf at Laurel last out.

Crushing, Forward March, and Itsagoodtendollars are eligible for the second-level allowance conditions.

After numerous chances, Crushing finally got through the first-level allowance ranks for Chad Brown on the Pennsylvania Derby undercard.

The Shug McGaughey-trained Forward March was purchased as a yearling for more than $2 million, and he is the only 3-year-old in the field. Although sidelined since mid-June, a rainy forecast could work in his favor as his last race was a front-running win in the slop.

Itsagoodtendollars, a New York-bred gelding, has been freshened by Bruce Levine since a series of starter handicaps at Belmont and Saratoga, the latest a pacesetting try against multiple stakes winner Saginaw.

Violence likely to pass Remsen

Violence, who improved to 2 for 2 after surviving an inquiry in Sunday’s Grade 2 Nashua Stakes, is unlikely to come back in the Remsen Stakes on Nov. 24, according to trainer Todd Pletcher.

“I would be a little concerned about the 20-day turnaround, so we’ll see how he comes out of it,” he said. “Our plan coming into [the Nashua] was that this would be his last run of the year and then we’ll go to Florida.”

Similarly, My Happy Face seems doubtful for the Demoiselle [also Nov. 24] in the wake of a bitterly fought stretch duel to prevail over Cue the Moon in Sunday’s Tempted, which was reminiscent of her confrontation with Dreaming of Julia in the Frizette.

“She’s very aggressive, very game, and she takes care of herself,” said trainer Rudy Rodriguez, who grabbed an early lead by saddling three winners opening weekend. “We’re just going to enjoy this one, and hopefully she’ll keep improving. We’ll talk to [owner] Michael Dubb and see what he wants to do, but she’s a game filly.”