06/24/2011 2:41PM

Belmont's Bouwerie should see Ava K. in her element


ELMONT, N.Y. − At one time, trainer Mike Hushion thought Ava K. could be the type of filly who could stretch out in distance. But after two third-place finishes at one mile, Hushion has decided to keep Ava K. sprinting.

Since Ava K. is 3 for 3 in sprints, it seems like a pretty good idea. Ava K. will try to keep her sprint record unblemished when she runs in Sunday’s $100,000 Bouwerie Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park. The Bouwerie, run at seven furlongs, will go as race 6 on a 10-race program that also includes the $100,000 Mike Lee for New York-bred 3-year-old males.

After winning her first three starts − including a win over statebreds going two turns over Aqueduct’s inner track − Ava K. finished third in the Grade 3 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct and the Wanda, an overnight stakes at Belmont, both run at a one-turn mile.

“I trained her mother, and her mother was three-quarters only and extremely fast and very good,” said Hushion, referring to Bedside Manner, who won beyond a mile but excelled in sprints. “This is a different looking filly, a different style filly. We thought at the beginning she’d go on a little bit more, but I don’t think so anymore.”

In her most recent start, the Wandering Cloud Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs, Ava K. raced three wide while just off the pace before opening a clear advantage in the stretch and holding off a late run from Miss Valentine to win by a half-length.

“She always seems to fire the same race,” Hushion said. “The same race will make her tough in there.”

Miss Valentine didn’t change leads until extremely late in the Wandering Cloud and may benefit from the added distance.

Hot Danger was third in the Wandering Cloud after contesting the hot early pace. Trainer Gary Contessa said he was surprised to see his filly on the lead that day.

“I think our filly is a quality filly,” Contessa said. “I need somebody to go after Ava K. Last time out we were way out of our element the way the race set up. Our filly can’t make the lead going two turns at Aqueduct in the dead of winter, and she’s on a 45-half here, I found it very hard to imagine. [Javier] Castellano is going to ride her, and I think she may be further off the pace, and that’s her most powerful race.”

Superior Sarah, Life’s Measure, and There Goes Molly complete the field.

Tizway considered for Suburban

Though the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 6 remains the primary objective for Metropolitan Handicap winner Tizway, trainer James Bond said Friday that he has not shut the door on running him back in Saturday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Suburban Handicap.

“If the race comes up a little bit light, we’ll see,” Bond said by phone Friday from Saratoga. “He’s really come out of the race unbelievable, thank God. He really has an affinity for the track. Basically, he’s just doing so good that you kind of hate not to lead them over when they’re doing that good.”

Tizway won the Met Mile by 2 3/4 lengths May 30, running a mile in 1:32.90. It was the second-fastest Met Mile run at the distance, and he earned a 113 Beyer Speed Figure. He is 3-0-2 from five starts at Belmont.

Though he has yet to win at the Suburban distance of 1 1/8 miles, Tizway would most likely be the favorite in the race. The field is expected to include Colizeo, Convocation, Hymn Book, Icabad Crane, Rodman, and Stormy’s Majesty.

Hockley is possible.

One horse not expected to run in the Suburban is Friend or Foe, who returned from a 190-day layoff to win an overnight stakes by a head over Grade 1 winner Rail Trip on June 5. Friend or Foe developed an abscess under his jaw that never broke, according to trainer John Kimmel.

“It doesn’t look like it’s going to break,” Kimmel said. “It look like it’s going to resolve itself on its own.”

Kimmel has yet to breeze Friend or Foe back since that race, though on Thursday he sent him through a two-minute lick, or strenuous gallop, in which his last half-mile went in 54.44 seconds.

“I just let him go out there and stretch his legs,” Kimmel said. “His action sure looked good.”

Gantry likely to stretch out

Gantry, who returned from a seven-month layoff to set a course record for six furlongs in his turf debut here on Thursday, will likely stretch out in distance for his next start, trainer Mike Hushion said Friday. One possible race is Grade 2, $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap at 1 1/16 miles at Saratoga on July 31.

Gantry, a son of Pulpit out of the New York-bred stakes winning mare Rhum, rallied from off the pace under John Velazquez to win an optional claiming race by 3 1/2 lengths. His time of 1:06.87 established an inner turf course record for the distance, eclipsing the mark of 1:07.04 set by Weigelia in 2006. Coincidentally, Velazquez was also aboard that horse.

“I don’t think you’re ever ready for a race like that,” Hushion said. “We’ll be looking to go at least a mile next time. Johnny was equally impressed with his gallop out as he was with the race. Maybe the Fourstardave. The timing wouldn’t be too bad.”

Hushion said the only reason he ran Gantry six furlongs was because “it was time to get him going.”

Redding Colliery rejoins McLaughlin

Redding Colliery, winner of the Lone Star Park Handicap and Hawthorne Gold Cup last year, rejoined trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s Belmont Park stable Thursday and will be pointed to a summer/fall campaign.

Redding Colliery has not run since finishing third − placed second by the stewards − in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs last November. He was in training at Palm Meadows in January before being sidelined.

Redding Colliery has been in training at Tony Costanza’s farm in Ocala, Fla., according to Art Magnuson, the assistant trainer to Kiaran McLaughlin.

“He looks really, really good,” Magnuson said. “He breezed a couple of times in Ocala, but he’s still a ways away from getting back.”

Also rejoining McLaughlin’s stable recently was the multiple stakes-winning gelding Yankee Fourtune, who hasn’t run since finishing third as the favorite in the Canadian Turf Handicap at Gulfstream in February. That loss ended a five-race winning streak, which included victories in the Hawthorne Derby and Commonwealth Turf.