12/27/2012 3:52PM

Aqueduct: Rigby, Be Bullish, and Wee Freudian renew their rivalry


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – In somewhat of a rarity, there is no stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday, but the field assembled for the second-level allowance-optional claiming feature is as solid as any black-type event run here this winter.

Be Bullish, Rigby, and Wee Freudian are scheduled to renew acquaintances for the third time in six weeks in this $66,000 sprint. Six of the nine horses – including Be Bullish – are in for the $50,000 claiming price.

Rigby and Be Bullish have been popular at the claim box throughout their careers, their consistency being the primary reason.

Rigby, a 5-year-old son of Speightstown who is 10 for 23 in his career, has been claimed five times for a total of $162,500. Taken by Steve Asmussen for $17,500 in February, Rigby won four of seven starts before being haltered by Eddie Kenneally on Dec. 7, a day Rigby was beaten one length by Be Bullish. On Nov. 18, Rigby defeated Be Bullish by 1 1/4 lengths in this same condition, going gate to wire under Ramon Dominguez, who will be aboard again on Saturday.

Kenneally said Rigby’s consistency as well as his 3-for-6 record over the inner track was instrumental in him claiming the horse.

“Absolutely, that’s a factor,” Kenneally said. “The inner track is unique; some horses move up on it, some horses love it, some horses don’t take to it at all.”

Rigby will break from the rail and will likely have to deal with pace pressure early from Pleaseandthankyou, who makes his third start in 24 days.

Be Bullish, a 7-year-old gelding by Pure Prize, has a record of 12-19-11 from 63 starts and earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure when he rallied from off the pace to beat Rigby last out. That was his second start for David Jacobson, who claimed him for $50,000 on Sept. 1. All totaled, Be Bullish has been claimed six times in his career for a total of $300,000.

“His last race was a real good race, but he’s got his issues,” Jacobson said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Jacobson also entered St Liams Halo, who he claimed for $62,500 on behalf of Roddy Valente, Tom Lemme, and Charles Casale out of a turf race at Santa Anita on Oct. 25. St Liams Halo was a multiple stakes winner at Sam Houston in the past, but is winless in his last nine starts.

Wee Freudian will appreciate the return to the inner track where he has won 3 of 5 starts. He is winless in his last seven starts since winning a first-level allowance race over the inner track on March 12, beating among others Star Harbour, who has won his last two starts with triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures.

Jason Servis has entered the uncoupled entry of Christiesborntorun, who has made his six last starts on turf, and Blind Hope, who has won 4 of 6 starts since being claimed for $15,000 here in April.