12/14/2012 3:19PM

Aqueduct: Rodriguez looks for some cash before the holiday


Local horseplayers and horsemen get their last chance to make some holiday cash Sunday, after which there will be no live racing at Aqueduct for nine days.

Rudy Rodriguez, among the top five trainers at four of the last five New York Racing Association meets, is off to a 2-for-4 start on the inner track. The jockey-turned-trainer appears loaded for bear in the pick-six sequence, with contenders in five legs, including He’s So Chic, a hard knocker who has won 13 times and earned more than $500,000.

He’s So Chic, who will turn 9 in just more than two weeks, was claimed from a third-place finish in the slop Oct. 19 and runs Sunday in a six-furlong optional claimer with a purse of $64,000.

“He likes to run – that’s what we’re looking for,” Rodriguez said. “We freshened him up, and this looks like the right spot for him.”

Among He’s So Chic’s eight opponents in the $25,000 optional claimer is Flat Bold, who before being claimed away won three races earlier this year for Rodriguez, including an overnight stakes on the inner track.

After an easy score against softer foes on the main track, Flat Bold makes his first start for Linda Rice, who also sends out the mudlark Shankopotamus.

Here’s the scorecard for Rodriguez’s four other runners, all of whom will be among the top three betting choices, and his comments.

◗ 4th race – Schillerette (5-2) exits a win in an off-the-turf claimer and has the rail in this allowance route against nine other New York-bred fillies and mares.

R-Rod: “She looks like she can compete, but there are a couple horses in there that show up every time they run.”

◗ 5th race – Absolute Beauty (2-1) set the pace at a mile on turf first out and shortens up to six furlongs against seven other New York-bred maiden fillies.

R-Rod: “She ran good on grass, we’re hoping she likes dirt. She’s training very good, and I think she’ll be okay.”

◗ 7th race – Vee’s Accolade (5-1) is just 1 for 24, but intra-race exotic players note he has completed exactas and trifectas 15 times, and he comes off a career Beyer Speed Figure top (90) second time off the claim when second best to P J’s Magical Wink – the horse he must try to catch again Sunday.

R-Rod: “We can have some fun with him this winter.”

◗ 9th race – Flashy in Pink (2-1) wired maidens by nearly eight lengths first off a claim Dec. 1 and will try the same tactics against a soft field of $15,000 “beaten” claimers.

R-Rod: “We got lucky she didn’t win the day we claimed her.”

The holiday entry schedule is as follows:

◗ Entries for the next live racing card, Wednesday, Dec. 26, will be taken Thursday, Dec. 20

◗ Double entries for Dec. 27 and 28 will be taken Friday, Dec. 21.

◗ The normal entry schedule resumes Dec. 26, when entries for Saturday, Dec. 22 will be taken.

◗ During the winter break, Aqueduct and the Belmont Cafe will be open for simulcasting, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.