02/01/2013 3:55PM

Aqueduct: Schettino bringing Ghostly Vision along slowly

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Had they not already had Escapefromreality pointed to Saturday’s $200,000 Withers Stakes, perhaps they would have taken a shot in that Grade 3 race with Ghostly Vision.

Both New York-breds had two career starts, and in the case of Ghostly Vision, he has already proven himself around two turns.

But owners Anthony and Mary Ellen Bonomo and trainer Dominick Schettino opted for a more conservative route and instead Ghostly Vision will run in a first-level allowance race for New York-breds, the nominal feature on Sunday’s nine-race program at Aqueduct.

“That horse came around a little later than the other ones, he was behind mentally a little bit,” said Schettino, comparing Ghostly Vision to 3-year-olds Escapefromreality and Always in a Tiz, recently third in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park. “We figured let’s get a nice allowance race into him, get an education, and maybe look for bigger and better things down the line.”

Ghostly Vision is a New York-bred son of Ghostzapper out of a Summer Squall mare Bergamot. Schettino didn’t want to run him two turns first time out, so Ghostly Vision debuted going six furlongs and finished third.

On Jan. 12, Ghostly Vision stretched out to a mile and 70 yards in the mud and won by 2  1/2 lengths after an interesting trip. After breaking sharply and sitting second entering the first turn, Ghostly Vision dropped back early on the backside. Ghostly Vision split horses around the turn, tipped four wide for the stretch, and seized control just outside the sixteenth pole.

“He got stuck down on the fence and didn’t mind the mud hitting him in the face,” Schettino said. “He swung out wide and finished pretty well. He got a good experience out of the race and handled everything very well.”

Jose Ortiz will ride Ghostly Vision from the outside post in the six-horse field.

Readthesmokesignal stretches out from six furlongs to a mile and 70 yards in his first start for owner Mike Repole and trainer Bruce Levine, who claimed the son on Read the Footnotes off a winning effort Jan. 10.

Levine, who entered Friday’s card tied with Rudy Rodriguez atop the trainer standings, said now is a good time to try and stretch Readthesmokesignal out in distance. Readthesmokesignal is in for the optional claiming price of $75,000.

“If he’s going to stretch out, this is the kind of track to try it on,” Levine said. “If he doesn’t go long, I can drop him in distance and drop him in price.”

Irad Ortiz Jr., rides Readthesmokesignal from post 4.

Sinistra, second at 52-1 in a similar spot as this Jan. 17, Goodtolook, The Brothers Rap, and Alcolite complete the field.