11/06/2013 2:52PM

Aqueduct: Majestic Hussar gets class relief for sprint feature

Tom Keyser
The 3-year-old Majestic Hussar drops out of a pair of graded stakes to challenge older horses in Friday's seven-furlong feature at Aqueduct.

Majestic Hussar, a winner three times in four starts against non-graded stakes company, drops in class and makes his first start for Wesley Ward in Friday’s featured eighth race at Aqueduct.

All 10 runners in the third-level optional $100,000 claimer at seven furlongs have stakes experience, many of them in graded stakes. Majestic Hussar, who set the pace in the Fountain of Youth for former trainer Eddie Kenneally, is the lone 3-year-old in the field, and looks to rebound after off-the-board finishes in the King’s Bishop at Saratoga and the Gallant Bob at Parx Racing.

Majestic Hussar, who posted a wire-to-wire victory over Palace Malice at Friday’s seven-furlong distance in his first start of 2013, has posted a pair of five-furlong workouts over the main track.

“He’s had a couple nice workouts at Aqueduct,” Ward said. “We’ll take it one race at a time, and make a plan for him depending on what happens.”

Majestic Hussar is a lukewarm favorite over Reload, who comes off a tough trip in the Phoenix Stakes for Shug McGaughey; and the David Jacobson-trained entry of Ravalo and Praetereo.

The 9-year-old Ravalo was claimed at Saratoga for $62,500, and won back a large chunk of that winning his only start at Belmont’s fall meet. Oddly enough, the 55-start veteran has never run on Aqueduct’s main track, nor has he won at seven furlongs.

Also running for a $100,000 tag is Night Maneuver, whose 105 Beyer winning first off a claim by Gary Contessa at Saratoga is the group’s fastest figure of the year. After spotting several lengths and racing wide against a speed bias in the Hudson Handicap, Night Maneuver blew out a swift three furlongs last Saturday.

The multiple stakes winner Royal Currier, also entered for $100,000, is based at Monmouth with Joe Mazza. Royal Currier makes his first start in New York since a pair of runner-up finishes in the Gravesend and True and Blue last winter. He notched this group’s only win on Aqueduct’s main track in 2012, when he successfully shouldered 130 pounds in a starter handicap.

◗ Post positions were drawn Wednesday for Saturday’s Grade 3 Long Island Handicap, and the circuit’s last graded turf stakes for the division attracted an evenly matched group of eight fillies and mares. From the rail (with weights), the field is: Inimitable Romanee (114 pounds), Anjaz (118), Aigue Marine (116), Tabreed (115), Left a Message (116), Strathnaver (118), White Rose (114), and Sheppard’s Pie (114).