12/14/2011 4:34PM

Aqueduct: Red’s Round Table will battle out front in Tate

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Red's Round Table figures to face a battle for the lead in the $60,000 Tate Stakes.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Five 3-year-old fillies, including several fresh faces with considerable early speed, clash in Friday’s featured $60,000 Tate overnight stakes at six furlongs.

Red’s Round Table, who has won 6 of 8 starts for Maryland-based trainer Tim Keefe, breaks from the rail with Ramon Dominguez and may be a slight favorite over the David Jacobson-trained Flying Train in her second start back from a layoff.

Red’s Round Table, named for legendary Hall of Fame basketball coach Red Auerbach, shipped in to win the Only Queens overnight stakes here a year ago to the day, withstanding a long drive to prevail by a nose. It was the second of four consecutive stakes wins for the diminutive daughter of Cuvee.

“There’s not a whole lot to her, except her heart,” said Keefe. “She wants to win.”

Returned from a layoff on Dec. 1, Red’s Round Table set a fast pace in an optional claimer and held second behind Aquitania, a sharp rival who was notching her fourth consecutive victory.

Mysterious Chimes, Nicole’s Miss El, and Joyous Music are likely to have a say in the early pace as well.

In her only previous local appearance, Mysterious Chimes stumbled badly at the start of the Grade 3 Comely Stakes and finished fifth after recovering to press the pace. She makes her first start since winning a five-furlong allowance dash at Evangeline Downs in July and breezed a bullet half-mile last week at Belmont for new trainer Matthew Peebles.

Nicole’s Miss El has won 6 of 7 starts at Finger Lakes for Dan Conway Jr. Although she is winless from four starts on this circuit, one of her best efforts was a runner-up finish at Saratoga to Lovely Lil, who recently won the Grade 2 Go for Wand.

Joyous Music has posted front-running wins at Calder, Woodbine, Delaware Park, and Charles Town this year. She has never won past 5 1/2 furlongs, but comes off the two fastest races of her career for Steve Brown, the older brother of Bruce Brown, who is the trainer of record Friday.

Rule by Night tops field for Gravesend

Headed by top-weighted Rule by Night, who set the pace to the stretch of the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Stakes last time out, a group of six older sprinters entered Saturday’s $65,000 Gravesend Handicap.

With riders and weights, the field is: Escrow Kid (Oliver Castillo, 116); Pretty Boy Freud (David Cohen, 113); Deerslayer (Mike Luzzi, 115); Rule by Night (Junior Alvarado, 119); This Ones for Phil (Jose Valdivia Jr., 118); and Frazil (Cornelio Velasquez, 115).

The six-furlong Gravesend will be the eighth of nine races, and the third leg of a $250,000-guaranteed late pick four.