02/23/2010 12:00AM

Contessa stocked for a big day


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - With five weeks remaining in Aqueduct's inner-track season, Gary Contessa trails Todd Pletcher by five wins, 28-23, in the trainers' standings. Contessa could make a huge dent in the deficit Wednesday when he starts horses in seven races, and many of them figure to be first or second choices. Here's a look:

First: Mighty Ego won a New York-bred maiden special weight by three lengths on Feb. 5, but drops in for open $25,000 in this spot.

"That's where he belongs," Contessa said.

As an example, Contessa recalled Fortunate Run, who won a New York-bred maiden special weight in November but who was twice beaten in statebred allowance races before winning for $25,000 by 3 1/4 lengths on Feb. 3.

Gimmeanotherwink looms the major threat.

Second: Couch Potato drops in for maiden $35,000 after getting beat 21 1/4 lengths in maiden special company over the inner track on Jan. 24.

"Necessary drop off a terrible race," Contessa said. "She's run much better than that. This is probably the right level."

Shawnee Moon, trained by Bruce Levine, is also making her first start for a claiming price.

Third: Mt. Glittermore is back for $75,000, a level he won at by three-quarters of a length on Dec. 30. Off that race, he finished a well-beaten second to Wall Street Wonder in the Paumonok Stakes.

"This is probably where he belongs," Contessa said. "I had him in the General George at Laurel, but that was a real hard race. This is more of a winnable spot for him."

The Levine-trained Toulouse Lautrec comes off a strong second-level allowance win here on Jan. 16 and is the horse to beat.

Fourth: With blinkers added, Queenameina won a maiden $15,000 claimer and now faces winners for the first time in a non-imposing $10,000 claimer for horses who have never won two races.

"Just looking for winnable spots," Contessa said. "This is what you used to do in the old days - break your maiden for $15,000 and you drop them; you don't go forward."

Sixth: Freudian Storm drops out of an eighth-place finish in a statebred first-level allowance into this race for $15,000 nonwinners of two lifetime, and is the 2-1 favorite. His effort on Jan. 16 wins this for fun.

"Always been a disappointment - a lot of issues, most of it is in his breathing," Contessa said. "This is where he belongs."

Fortyninegeorgest and Crazy Charlie look like major threats.

Seventh: Dana Bell won a race similar to this six-furlong starter handicap three starts back before a second and a fourth in a couple of two-turn races. Her biggest rival figures to be Tempest Storm, a horse Contessa won with at Gulfstream on Jan. 15 and promptly sold.

"Her speed," Contessa said of Tempest Storm, "ensures a lively pace, and Dana Bell should like that. The flow of this race should work out for her."

Eighth: Valuable Lady, likely the longest shot Contessa runs on this day, finished third in her 3-year-old debut in a spot similar to this first-level allowance race for New York-bred fillies and mares. She faces older females and would be a surprise.

No More Stress and Rosie's Promises look better.