04/18/2011 3:48PM

Belmont: Peter Pan, Met Mile on Hushion’s agenda


When Nicole H won Saturday’s Grade 2 Distaff Handicap, it was trainer Mike Hushion’s third stakes win in one week at Aqueduct. It was also his eighth stakes win of the year, one shy of his personal best nine set last year.

Though down to 27 horses, Hushion certainly has improved the quality of his stable.

“A few years ago I stopped claiming horses,’’ Hushion said. “I told most of my people I’ve had enough of that.’’

Hushion said Nicole H came out of the Distaff "really good’’ but that no definitive decision has been made on her next start. Among the options are the $250,000 My Juliet Stakes at Parx Racing on May 28 and the Grade 2, $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont on June 4.

Hushion confirmed that Bold Deed, his New York-bred 3-year-old who won an overnight stakes at Aqueduct on April 10, would be pointed to the Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan at Belmont on May 14.

“I think he deserves a shot off his last race,’’ Hushion said.

Rodman, who won an overnight stakes here last Thursday, is confirmed for the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont on May 30.

“I believe he has another step forward in him,’’ Hushion said. “I know he’ll be a longshot, but it’ll be interesting.’’

Harissa, who won the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel in February, is on course for a start in the Grade 2, $150,000 Shuvee on May 21. Harissa and Nicole H are both owned by John Waken’s GEM Racing.

Cornhusker possible for Duke of Mischief

Though trainer David Fawkes is in the midst of sending 30 horses to Belmont from south Florida for the summer, Duke of Mischief, winner of Saturday night’s $1 million Charles Town Classic, won’t be among them.

Fawkes personally drove Duke of Mischief from West Virginia back to Calder, where he will train for the time being. Preliminarily, Fawkes is planning on pointing Duke of Mischief to the Grade 3, $200,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders’ Cup Handicap on June 25. The race falls between the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Churchill on June 18 and the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont on July 2.

“With him I really research who’s running where and try to find the softest spot,’’ Fawkes said. “I don’t know if that was the case this time, but he held it together pretty good.’’

Duke of Mischief rallied from next-to-last under Joe Bravo to win the Charles Town Classic by 2 1/4 lengths in the slop. He ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.13 and earned a 103 Beyer Speed Figure.

“I thought he’d really like the bullring and I knew he liked the mud,’’ Fawkes said.

Fawkes said that Hot Summer, winner of the Grade 3 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct on April 9, would be pointed to the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico on May 20.

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