02/02/2012 3:03PM

Aqueduct: Winning Image out for reversal

Alyssa Spakowski/Equi-Photo
Winning Image, with Jose Caraballo up, wins the Cornucopia at Parx.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Five weeks ago, Winning Image came within a neck of upsetting 2-5 favorite Nicole H in the $75,000 Interborough Stakes at Aqueduct.

Michael Aro, the trainer of Winning Image, is expecting a different result Saturday when the two fillies meet again in the $100,000 Correction Stakes at Aqueduct.

“I’ll beat her this time,” Aro said Thursday by phone from Parx Racing. “I know that’s not the best thing to say, but if the track favors speed I don’t think I should have a problem. The biggest edge I have is I’ve got the 7 hole and she has the 1 hole.”

Indeed, Winning Image will break from the outside in the seven-horse field while Nicole H will have to work out a trip from the rail in the Correction, run at six furlongs over the inner track. The Correction goes as race 6 on Aqueduct’s 10-race card and will not be part of either the early or late pick four.

What has Aro so confident is that he believes his 5-year-old mare – who won the Cornucopia Stakes on Nov. 25 at Parx by running six furlongs in 1:08.08 – has never trained better for a race. On Jan. 26, she worked four furlongs in 46.20 seconds at Parx.

“This is the best she’s coming into a race right now,” Aro said. “I’m not going to get her any better.”

Nicole H has won four of her last five starts dating back to 2010 and is 3 for 3 over the inner track. Her only loss in the last 15 months came by a nose to It’s Me Mom in the Robert O’Malley Stakes at Suffolk – Winning Image finished fifth in that same race – last October. That loss doesn’t look so bad after It’s Me Mom came back to win three more races, including last weekend’s Florida Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Gulfstream.

Mike Hushion, the trainer of Nicole H, said he was a little surprised his mare didn’t “keep busting by” Winning Image in the Correction, but said “it was still a good race.”

Noting that the Interborough was Nicole H’s first start in 10 weeks, Hushion said, “She’s fitter this time.”

While not thrilled with the rail post, Hushion noted that Nicole H has the speed to get position or to control the race. He will rely on Ramon Dominguez to use his discretion.

“This is one of those circumstances you like to have Ramon,” Hushion said.

Trainer Shug McGaughey has shipped Streaker up from south Florida. Streaker is winless in three stakes tries and has not run since finishing last as the even-money favorite in an overnight stakes at Belmont last Sept. 30.

Love That Dance, Cinco de Mayo Mio, Honchis’n Ponchis and Golden Mystery complete the field.