12/08/2008 1:00AM

Brown's runners get boost in the wet


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - It's supposed to reach the mid-50s here Wednesday, but the mild temperatures are expected to be accompanied by rain, which could make for sloppy conditions during Aqueduct's nine-race card.

Trainer Bruce Brown wouldn't mind an off track for at least two of the three runners he has entered in a trio of optional claiming races that are spread throughout the card.

The opener is a New York-bred second-level allowance that carries an optional claiming price of $25,000. The 9-year-old Rogue Agent, who makes his first start for Brown, is in for the tag. Rogue Agent is 5 for 13 in his career on wet surfaces, including a six-length win against cheaper at Belmont on Sept. 28 when in the care of Peter Walder.

Rogue Agent was beaten only three-quarters of a length in the slop on the main track in this same condition last out. In the nine months that Brown has been training on his own, he has won at a 24 percent clip with horses he has started for the first time.

"I've had him about 10 days, two weeks," Brown said. "For being 9 years old, he's training great. Definitely, an off track is his specialty; that's kind of what we're praying for. I think he's going to run a good race."

Jessica Is Back, Brown's entrant in the third, an optional $50,000 claiming race, is coming off a win in the slop at the Meadowlands. Her lone win from five starts over the inner track came in the slop in March 2007. She also has a good amount of speed but will have to avoid dueling with City Bird, who drops in company after three stakes tries.

"I really like the way she came out of that race," Brown said. "It's a tough spot, but she's training good. It seems the like mud really moved her up, but the mud at Aqueduct is probably different than the mud at the Meadowlands."

Discovery Launch - Brown's starter in the optional $75,000 claimer that goes as the eighth - is winless in four wet-track starts, but she has finished second twice. Brown attempts to stretch her out off a sprint and is relying on apprentice Sheldon Russell to nurse her speed along.

"She's going to have to relax, and it just doesn't look like that there's anything to really pressure her, but you never know," Brown said. "She's going to have to be able to rate and slow it down to get [the distance], but it's definitely doable."