01/19/2011 1:53PM

Driven by Success experiments with two turns in Mr. International Stakes at Aqueduct

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Driven by Success will to try to stretch his speed two turns in Friday’s Mr. International Stakes at Aqueduct.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Winter time on this circuit is the ideal time to experiment, and the connections of Driven by Success are doing just that when they send the stakes-winning sprinter a mile and 70 yards around two turns in Friday’s $60,000 Mr. International Stakes over Aqueduct’s inner track.

Driven by Success, a 6-year-old gelding, has won eight races – including three stakes – sprinting. Three years ago, in the second and third starts of his now 26-race career, Driven by Success twice finished second going two turns over the inner track. He was trained by Mike Miceli then. Todd Pletcher, who on Monday won his fifth Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer, trains him now. Mike Repole has owned the horse all along.

“Todd believed all along that the horse showed signs he could get a trip,” assistant trainer Jonathan Thomas said. “He wanted an opportunity to experiment, and we feel like this is a good chance. It could open some opportunities for him, if he could do it.”

Mother Nature could deter this experiment as a snowstorm is possible Thursday into Friday.

Driven by Success also is entered in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Toboggan Stakes going six furlongs. But Repole and Pletcher will be well represented in that race with probable favorite Calibrachoa.

Driven by Success has had a bad habit lately of breaking poorly. While that certainly hurt him in some sprint races, one would have to think he could overcome a poor start going long.

“The main thing with him is putting your hands down and putting him in a nice spot and don’t rush him off his feet,” Thomas said. “One thing about him is he can have a very stout work and then he gallops out very well. Riders generally have a hard time pulling him up.”

Ramon Dominguez, who on Monday won his first Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey, has the call from post 6.

Saginaw and Spa City Fever look like ones Driven by Success will have to beat. Saginaw, trained by Chad Brown, has won his last two and overall has been first or second in seven of his last eight dirt starts. Cornelio Velasquez rides from post 4.

Spa City Fever has beaten Saginaw on both turf and dirt and comes into this race off a next-to-last finish in the Alex M. Robb Stakes on Dec. 31. Jorge Chavez rides from post 2.

Joe Corrigan, Mighty Morris, and J L Bernstein complete the field.