12/30/2011 2:40PM

Aqueduct: Guerrero will test waters in New York with Bahama Bound in Ladies


OZONE PARK, N.Y.– Even before his home track Parx slapped him with a 10-year ban for an indecent assault charge, trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero was planning to try his luck in New York this winter. Guerrero shipped seven horses to Aqueduct earlier this month and on Sunday will send out his first starter, Bahama Bound, in the $75,000 Ladies Handicap at Aqueduct.

The Ladies, first run in 1868, is being run for the 140th time on Sunday and shares billing with the $75,000 Interborough Stakes for filly and mare sprinters on Aqueduct’s nine-race New Year’s Day card. The Ladies, at 1 1/8 miles, will be run as race 3 while the Interborough goes as the sixth. The New York Racing Association’s popular calendar promotion is Sunday. Each calendar costs $2 while supplies last.

Guerrero, who has transferred his Parx-based horses to his brother Guadalupe, is permitted to run in New York until such a time as the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission suspends or revokes his license. Guerrero, who ranked 13th in North America in wins in 2011, is scheduled to appear before the PHRC on Jan. 17.

“We’re trying to get a stay,’’ said Guerrero, who is charged with inappropriately touching a female Parx employee. “It should not have gotten to criminal charges. They took something small and made it huge. I’m fighting it. I don’t want to let them get away with it.’’

Meanwhile, Guerrero said he wants to see how his horses compete in New York before deciding whether to send more horses here. Bahama Bound, a daughter of Empire Maker out of the 2004 Delaware Handicap winner Summer Wind Dancer, should be competitive in the Ladies.

Guerrero claimed Bahama Bound for $50,000 in his own name in August and after she finished second in her first start, Farnsworth Stables bought the mare. She finished fourth, beaten 18 lengths on Nov. 14, before winning a second-level allowance at Parx on Dec. 4.

“I think she’s a filly that likes to be close to the lead,’’ Guerrero said. “You cannot take her momentum away. You can’t get her stopped.’’

Guerrero said he likes the outside draw for Bahama Bound and has also been impressed with the way the mare has trained over Aqueduct’s inner track. She worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.60 on Dec. 21.

“She looks like she’s training better than she was training at [Parx],’’ Guerrero said.

Though C C’s Pal won the six-furlong Garland of Roses over the inner track on Dec. 3, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. opted to stretch the mare out to 1 1/8 miles in the Ladies. Basically, he thought the Ladies would be an easier spot than the Interborough, run at six furlongs.

“On the inner track going a mile and an eighth she should have a good chance of going that far,’’ Dutrow said. “She drew a good post where she could save ground on both turns.’’

Dutrow said he believes C C’s Pal is versatile enough to be on the lead or come from off the pace under Junior Alvarado.

Katy Now, Karmageddon, One Last Dance ,and Fools In Love complete the field.


Ladies Handicap, Post Time: 1:17 ET Sunday

Purse: $75,000; 1 1/8 miles





ML Odds


C C's Pal

R. Dutrow, Jr.

J. Alvarado




D. Nunn

V. Diaz



One Last Dance

D. Romans

A. Garcia



Fools In Love

K. Breen

R. Curatolo



Katy Now

T. Pletcher

R. Dominguez



Bahama Bound

J. Guerrero

C. Velasquez