01/31/2013 5:01PM

Aqueduct: Toboggan has look of a New York-bred showcase


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Though Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Toboggan Stakes at Aqueduct isn’t a restricted race, there’s a pretty good chance it will be won by a New York-bred.

Three of the six-horses entered in the six-furlong Toboggan are New York-breds, including logical contenders Mine Over Matter, Head Heart Hoof, and Johannesburg Smile.

Mine Over Matter has won stakes up to 1 1/16 miles, but his strength appears to be at six furlongs, where he is 4 for 12 in his career. That includes a one-length victory over Saginaw – a 10-race winner in 2012 – in the Hudson Stakes at Belmont last Oct. 22.

Since then, Mine Over Matter has finished third in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight – a race in which he stumbled badly at the break – and second to loose-on-the-lead Brigand in the one-mile Turnofthecentury Stakes on Jan. 20.

“I’ve given him plenty of time off before,” Hushion said. “He’s acting very fresh in the morning, so we’ll take our shot.”

Hushion also will send out P J’s Magical Wink, a Florida-bred gelding who is coming off a fifth-place finish in an allowance race at Parx Racing after sharp wins at Belmont and Aqueduct.

“He got used up on the inside and he acted like he didn’t care for the track,” Hushion said of the race at Parx. “If he runs either of those other two races back, he’d be live in this race.”

Rudy Rodriguez also is running two horses in the Toboggan, the uncoupled entry of Head Heart Hoof and Sinai.

Head Heart Hoof is coming off an overnight stakes victory in which he ran the fastest six furlongs of the meet (1:09.10), while Sinai is coming off an allowance victory in which he pressed a slow pace.

Head Heart Hoof will break from post 6 under Cornelio Velasquez, while Sinai, who made his first 13 starts for Bob Baffert, leaves from post 2 under David Cohen.

“I would like to see Head Heart Hoof go and take it from there,” Rodriguez said. “Sinai is as solid as they come. When Bob sent him to us, it was because he could not get the races to go [in California] for him. But he’s very, very sound and healthy and training very, very good.”

Johannesburg Smile is a two-time route stakes winner who makes his first start for trainer Todd Pletcher after his owner, Mike Repole, claimed him for $100,000 out of a win going a mile and 70 yards Jan. 4.

“Sometimes you get a good reaction backing up from a long race to a short race,” Pletcher said. “I was hoping there was a little more pace in here. It looks like there are possibly two horses that could show a lot of speed. Hopefully, they get involved early and lay down some fast fractions for what I envision will be a come-from-behind sprinter.”

Javier Castellano rides Johannesburg Smile.

Isn’t He Perfect, second in the Evening Attire going 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 19, completes the field.