01/22/2010 12:00AM

Barker doing a lot with little


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - For the last five months, trainer Eddie Barker has proven that a little can indeed go a long way.

Though Barker has eight horses bedded down in Aqueduct's Barn 4, only four of those have raced since Aug. 24. From 22 starts, the quartet of Meese Rocks, Quiet Mover, Raging Meese, and Hazaam's Back have combined for 5 wins, 4 seconds, and 5 thirds during that span. At the inner-track meet, Barker has a record of 3-3-1 from 8 starters.

Meese Rocks, a 5-year-old New York-bred daughter of Rock and Roll who has yet to finish worse than third in seven starts for Barker, seeks her fourth consecutive victory in Sunday's featured second-level open-company allowance race.

Meese Rocks is the older sister of Raging Meese, who is still a maiden but finished second in his most recent start.

Meese Rocks had made her first six starts on turf, winning a maiden race at Saratoga and finishing second or third in three of her turf tries. Barker had always felt Meese Rocks trained well on dirt, so he raced her on that surface in a statebred allowance race on Oct. 29, which she won by 5 1/4 lengths. She followed that with a second-level statebred allowance win and a first-level allowance score against open company.

"I didn't see any reason in the world why she couldn't run on dirt, she just trains so good on it," Barker said. "If she didn't run good on dirt, we would have put her away for the winter."

Barker claimed Quiet Mover for $25,000 on Aug. 6, 2008, at Saratoga. She has gone 5 for 20 since and earned more than $100,000. Barker said Quiet Mover is a difficult horse to ride, needing patient handling before allowing her to make one late run.

Hazaam's Back recently won a low-level claiming race, which followed throat surgery and some work on her back.

"She's going to be a handy horse," Barker said. "Now she's eligible for all those cheap starter-allowance races."

Raging Meese, Meese Rocks, and Hazaam's Back are all owned by Henry Terranova and his family. Barker said Terranova recently purchased the 3-year-old filly Spiritual Tune out of Florida, and he hopes to run her in New York in the next couple of weeks.

Opus A sidelined with fracture

Opus A, a New York-bred filly who won the East View Stakes here Dec. 6, suffered a fractured cannon bone in her right foreleg earlier this month and will be out several months, trainer Rick Violette said.

Opus A had two screws inserted to stabilize her cannon bone, and according to Violette, the prognosis is "very, very good" for a return to racing.

"I think she was improving enough to maybe step out of New York-bred class and attack open fillies," Violette said. "The further they write them, the better she'd be. Surely, the spring and summer races are out. Hopefully, we'll have her ready for the fall."

Opus A, a daughter of Read the Footnotes, won two races against New York-breds, but finished sixth in the Grade 1 Spinaway against open company. She had been training at the Palm Meadows training center in south Florida.

Pedersen returns to winner's circle

Back when she was the private trainer for Paraneck Stable, visits to the Aqueduct winner's circle were plentiful for Jennifer Pedersen. But after parting with Paraneck in 2006 and subsequent struggles with her health, Pedersen's career as a public trainer has failed to take flight.

On Friday, however, Pedersen returned to the winner's circle when Living Out a Dream, a 23-1 longshot, won a $15,000 claiming race by a head over even-money favorite Crazy Charlie. The win was the first for Pedersen since July 7, 2006, though Pedersen had only 16 starters in between.

Pedersen, who struggled with severe back pain that required surgery, split from Paraneck in March 2006. She went 1 for 17 the remainder of 2006. She did not start a horse in 2007 and started only five horses in 2008-09.

"It's probably the best race I ever won," said Pedersen, who has three horses in her care.

Living Out a Dream was formerly owned by Paraneck Stable, which was forced to disband after stable manager Ernie Paragallo was charged with several counts of animal cruelty for mistreatment of horses stabled on his farm in upstate New York.

Pedersen said she bought Living Out a Dream and Cellar Dweller from Joe Sgro's Quality Racing, who took over a handful of Paraneck's horses.

Aqueduct takes a mini-break

Following Sunday's card, Aqueduct will be dark until Friday. While Monday and Tuesday are normally dark, Aqueduct officials decided to add Wednesday and Thursday as dark days, too.

Meanwhile, the NYRA has added Wednesday, June 2 - the Wednesday of Belmont Stakes week - as a live racing day. That is the same day that the field for the Belmont Stakes will be drawn.