04/17/2013 2:16PM

Aqueduct: Shrewd One looks to fire fresh in Friday allowance feature

Email
Tom Keyser
Shrewd One, who has been off since October, is among several stakes-caliber horses in Friday's allowance feature at Aqueduct.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Five days after successfully bringing Street Game back off a six-month layoff, trainer Phil Serpe will try to do the same with Shrewd One, who competes in a stakes-caliber allowance race that serves as Friday’s feature at Aqueduct.

Like Street Game – who won Sunday’s Dave Stakes – Shrewd One hasn’t run since Oct. 20, finishing third in the Hudson Stakes at Belmont Park.

Shrewd One wintered in south Florida, but didn’t get ready in time to run in a race at Gulfstream Park.

“We were a little backed up on timing at Palm Meadows this winter,” Serpe said Wednesday at Belmont. “We seemed to move at a little bit of a slower pace, but I think he’s ready to go.”

Shrewd One has run well fresh, but noting that he finished in the top three in 17 of his 19 lifetime starts, Serpe said simply “he has run well. A lot of things have happened to this horse in his life, and he always shows up. You can always depend on him to run a big race.”

Shrewd One, who will break from post 5 under Joe Bravo, has breezed five times since February. He could work out as the main speed or stalk This Ones for Phil, who is drawn to his inside.

This Ones for Phil, winless since taking a $100,000 claimer here in February 2012, makes his second start off a brief layoff and second for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. The former Grade 2 winner is in for the optional claiming tag of $75,000.

“This race came up a little tougher than we were expecting,” Rodriguez said by phone Wednesday from Fair Hill, Md., where he is training Vyjack. “He’s coming into the race very good. He’s ready to run.”

Rajiv Maragh, aboard This Ones for Phil last out when second while being offered for a $62,500 claiming tag, is back aboard Friday.

The last time Hardened Wildcat raced at Aqueduct, he finished second to Trinniberg in the Grade 2 Bay Shore last spring. He has competed in stakes tougher than this, but finished fifth to Brigand in the City of Laurel Stakes at Laurel last December.

“The race at Laurel he got in a little more trouble than it suggests in the running lines,” trainer Chad Brown said Wednesday by phone from Kentucky. “He was stymied and was behind most of the race and after that he threw in the towel. He’s trained sharply. It’s a very solid allowance race, but I do think the horse is back on track now.”

Be Bullish, also in for the $75,000 claiming price, is making the 67th start of his career. His 12th, and most recent victory, came in an optional $50,000 claimer over the main track Dec. 7.

Leave of Absence, second and third in his last two starts at Parx Racing, completes the field.