02/17/2012 4:28PM

Aqueduct: Gotham shaping up strong

Coady Photography
My Adonis, with Elvis Trujillo riding, wins the Jean Lafitte at Delta Downs.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – At first glance, it does not appear that Hansen is scaring off the competition for the Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 3.

Though nominations weren’t scheduled to close until Saturday, the New York Racing Association’s stakes coordinator, Andrew Byrnes, has a list of nine horses that could take on the defending 2-year-old champion in the Gotham including Consortium, Chief Energy, Dan and Sheila, Done Talking, King and Crusader, My Adonis, Pretension, Raconteur, and Stealcase.

My Adonis, trained by Kelly Breen, shipped to New York from south Florida earlier this week and was scheduled to work at Belmont Park on Saturday.

As a 2-year-old, My Adonis won the $200,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs, but four weeks later he finished ninth of 10 in the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot. In his 3-year-old debut, My Adonis finished third, 5 1/2 lengths behind Algorithms, in the Grade 3 Holy Bull run over a sloppy track.

Breen, who won last year’s Belmont with Ruler On Ice, explained My Adonis got used up in a speed duel in the Delta Jackpot with the Bob Baffert-trained Drill, who faded to seventh.

“The track was a little bit biased that day for speed,” Breen said. “I told Elvis [Trujillo] be up close, and they went a little too fast too early.”

In the Holy Bull, My Adonis was 20 lengths back early on before rallying to finish third.

“He got bumped coming out of there, and he didn’t have his mind on running for the first eighth of a mile,” Breen said. “Elvis did a good job to change his motivation and pick up his feet and come running late.”

Breen said he still had to talk to owners George and Lori Hall before committing to a rider for the Gotham, but added that Trujillo, who has been aboard for all seven starts, has done nothing wrong on the horse.

◗ Modern Child, last as the 1-2 favorite in a New York-bred first-level allowance race on Jan. 15, will try to make amends when he runs in the same condition on Sunday in Aqueduct’s nominal feature race. Trainer Joe Imperio adds blinkers to Modern Child, who breaks from the rail under Junior Alvarado.