12/02/2011 2:34PM

Aqueduct: Inner track specialist Dr. Disco part of tough field in Vodka

Maryland Jockey Club/Jim McCue
Bandbox, unraced since taking the Private Terms in mid-March at Laurel, returns for Sunday's Vodka.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – While the 33nd running of the Damon Runyon Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-olds is the traditional feature on Sunday’s nine-race program at Aqueduct, the $60,000 Vodka Stakes for statebred sprinters has the look and feel of a more significant race.

The speedy Dr Disco seeks his first stakes win against a field that includes the returning stakes winner Bandbox and the improving sprinters Pretty Boy Freud and Wee Freudian.

Dr. Disco, trained by Bruce Brown, returns to the inner track, where he won 3 races from 4 starts last winter. He lost three consecutive starts, one going long on dirt and two on turf, before returning to dirt sprints, where he won an open company allowance and finished second to General Maximus in the Hudson Stakes on New York Showcase Day.

[MORE: Full coverage of the Sunday card from Aqueduct]

In the Hudson, Dr. Disco was prompted by Driven by Success, and fought on gamely through the stretch, but could not hold off a sharp General Maximus. The final time was a sharp 1:09.58.

“He came out of the last race great, he’s been training great since,’’ Brown said by phone from Fair Grounds, where he was to run Compliance Officer in Saturday’s Claiming Crown Emerald. “We know he likes the track over there, he’s just real honest. … I like the inside post, with his speed let him get out of there and do his thing.’’

Mike Luzzi rides Dr Disco from post 2.

Dr Disco may have to deal with Dahlgren Chapel and perhaps Bandbox in the early stages of the Vodka.

Bandbox, who won the 2010 Sleepy Hollow, has not run since winning the Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park in March. He came out of the race with a suspensory injury and was given time to recover, according to trainer Rodney Jenkins.

Bandbox returned to training in mid-August and he has been firing nothing but bullet works at Laurel leading to his return. Jenkins scratched Bandbox from a stakes race at Penn National last week due to a sloppy track.

“He looks fine, he’s doing fine, is three-quarters his best distance? I don’t think so,’’ Jenkins said. “He’ll probably show more speed than he normally does because he’s been laid off for so long.’’

Travis Dunkelberger rides Bandbox from post 4.

Wee Freudian has done his best running late in his 3-year-old season with two statebred victories and a narrow loss against open company for trainer Richard Schosberg. He would benefit from a contested pace, as would Pretty Boy Freud and Law Enforcement.

Pretty Boy Freud bounced back from a last-place finish in the Hudson with a neck loss to Inherit the Gold in the New York Stallion Stakes, finishing a half-length in front of stablemate Uncle T Seven, who is also in this field.

Vodka Stakes, Post Time: 1:45 ET Sunday

Purse: $60,000; 6 furlongs





ML Odds


Law Enforcement

M. Hennig

A. Garcia



Dr. Disco

B. Brown

M. Luzzi



Uncle T Seven

J. Aquilino

C. Nakatani




T. Dunkelberger

R. Jenkins



Wee Freudian

R. Schosberg

J. Alvarado



Pretty Boy Freud

I. Ortiz Jr.

L. O'Brien



Dahlgren Chapel

D. Jacobson

D. Cohen