11/03/2006 12:00AM

Crosstown Traffic's turn to win


Trainer John Kimmel won last month's Maid of the Mist Stakes for New York-breds with Grand Merger, but he felt that Crosstown Traffic would have been equally as good a fit for that race.

But since Crosstown Traffic is by a New York-based stallion and Grand Merger is not, Kimmel opted to hold Crosstown Traffic out until Sunday's $100,000 Fifth Avenue Stakes at Aqueduct. The Fifth Avenue, for juvenile fillies, and the Great White Way, for juvenile colts and geldings, are both run at six furlongs on Sunday and restricted to offspring of New York-based stallions.

Crosstown Traffic, a daughter of Good and Tough, is the only two-time winner in the eight-horse field. She has been her own worst enemy, breaking slowly in three of her four starts. She was able to overcome a slow break to win a first-level allowance race last time out at Belmont.

"We stand her [in the gate] often, and she does stand well," Kimmel said. "I don t know why it is. Sooner or later she's going to get it right, but it does compromise her. But she's fast. She's got really good speed."

Crosstown Traffic is well drawn on the outside.

Twistaway could not overcome post 12 when she ran fourth in her debut at Saratoga. She came back on Oct. 9 and galloped to a 5 3/4-length maiden victory, running six furlongs .09 seconds faster than Crosstown Traffic did on the same card. Twistaway breaks from the rail.

Laurentide Ice, who finished second in the Joseph A. Gimma and third in the Maid of the Mist, will break from post 2.

Maiden winners Nordberg, All Fired Up, and Precious Too - along with maidens Sweet Victory and Fiona Freud - complete the field.

In the Great White Way, trainer John Hertler holds a strong hand with the uncoupled entry of Landofopportunity and Baxter. Landofopportunity, a son of American Chance, won a maiden race two back and was compromised when he broke through the gate prior to the start of his next race, in which he finished third.

Baxter overcame a slow start to win a maiden race at Saratoga at odds of 43-1. Eight weeks later he finished fourth in the Bertram Bongard and had to be vanned off due to exhaustion.

Smash 'em Sammy and Good Card look to be the major threats to Hertler's pair. Linda Rice sends out the uncoupled entry of Huge City and The Zipster. Son of Sabato completes the field.