03/01/2011 4:25PM

Darley maidens look to run to their pedigrees at Aqueduct


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The two richest races on Thursday’s card are a pair of $43,000 maiden special weight routes, and Darley Stable-owned 3-year-olds figure prominently in both.

In race 3 at a mile and 70 yards, Tom Albertrani will send out a pair of uncoupled fillies by A.P. Indy – Darley Stable’s Bernardette and Mark Spitzer’s Bella Regina – who together account for 40 percent of the field.

Bernardette is a full sister to Bernardini, who won the Withers, Preakness, Jim Dandy, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup through a championship season under Albertrani’s tutelage in 2006.

Bernardette will be making her third career start and her first since a runner-up finish opening week of the winter meet behind Status Pending, who came back to run second in the Ruthless Stakes.

Speed-figure devotees, however, may prefer Royal Sighting, a Fox Ridge Farm homebred filly by Rahy. In her second start over the inner track for trainer Pat Kelly, Royal Sighting raced wide on both turns and yet still finished second, beaten just a neck by the 1-2 favorite, R Holiday Mood.

Royal Sighting’s Beyer Speed Figure of 81 for that race is easily fastest in the field, but everyone in the field has had just two or three dirt starts, so significant improvement would be par for the course, especially with a pedigree such as Bernardette’s.

Race 4 begins the pick six, and the 1 1/16-mile maiden route is one of four races in the sequence brought back from last Friday’s program that was canceled due to high winds.

The field is book-ended by a Darley Stable entry trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, with Storm ’n Indian drawn on the rail and Iscar on the outside in a field of six.

Storm ’n Indian, a Storm Cat colt purchased as a yearling for more than $2 million, is the first runner produced by Fleet Indian, a seven-time stakes winner and Eclipse champion mare who earned more than $1.7 million. He starts for the third time, following an improved effort to finish second in early January.

Iscar, by Bernardini and out of Beverly D. winner Crimson Palace, has improved little by little in three starts and turned in an improved workout Feb. 19.

Savannah Bay, a 5-year-old Mineshaft gelding purchased as a yearling for $1.2 million, looms the one to beat after running the two fastest races of his eight-race career in January for Nick Zito.

Samyn loses fingers in accident

Jean-Luc Samyn, who lost two fingers on his right hand in a snow blower accident last week, is undergoing therapy and hopes to return to the saddle in about a month.

“It’s not as bad as it could have been,” said the 54-year-old Samyn, whose last win came aboard Cautionary Tale here Feb. 20. “I cut the index finger and the middle finger. . . . The doctors said they are the least important fingers on the hand.”

Samyn, who rode his first winner in his native France back in 1975, has won more than 2,600 races since moving to New York in 1977.