04/01/2010 12:00AM

Chance for Eightyfiveinafifty to erase bad memory


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The most anticipated race of Aqueduct's winter meet was the Feb. 6 Whirlaway Stakes when Eightyfiveinafifty attempted two turns for the first time. The Whirlaway also became the most memorable race of the winter for all the wrong reasons.

Eightyfiveinafifty, who had a won a six-furlong maiden race over the inner track by 17 1/4 lengths in January, bore out badly going into the first turn of the Whirlaway, dumped jockey Jorge Chavez and leapt two fences before running around loose on the backstretch. Remarkably, Eightyfiveinafifty suffered only a laceration to a hind leg.

Eightyfiveinafifty returns to the races for the first time since that debacle in Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct. Trainer Gary Contessa has made several changes for this race in hopes of erasing the bad Whirlaway memory from Eightyfiveinafifty's psyche.

First, Contessa has equipped with Eightyfiveinafifty with one blinker that will be outside his right eye. Second, Eightyfiveinafifty will have a new bit, a Houghton bit, that is intended to give a rider better steering power. Lastly, Contessa is changing riders from Chavez to leading jockey Ramon Dominguez.

Contessa said Eightyfiveinafifty has trained in the one-cup blinker since he returned to the track several weeks after the Whirlaway.

"I don't want his mind to be outside, it's a mind-changer," Contessa said. "He's trained well with it, there's a very big hole so he can see. I've had luck with this kind of blinker."

Provided he breaks alertly and stays straight, Eightyfiveinafifty looks like the lone speed in the Bay Shore. Contessa is expected to scratch Castaneda from the race.

If there is an upset to be had, the horse with the best chance would appear to be Raynick's Jet, a New York-bred gelded son of A.P Jet who is 2 for 2 sprinting. After finishing third in a two-turn allowance race on Jan. 21, Raynick's Jet was purchased privately by Harvey Weinstein's Turtle Bird Stable and turned over to Steve Asmussen.

In his first start for the Asmussen barn, Raynick's Jet overcame a slow start to win a first-level New York-bred allowance by 3 1/4 lengths under David Cohen.

"He did everything right," said Toby Sheets, Asmussen's New York-based assistant. "He broke a little bit slow, but he impressed me. He ran well."

Noah's Dream, Hurricane Ike, El Rocco, and Remand complete the field.