01/22/2010 12:00AM

Driven by Success stands out at this level


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Driven by Success has teased his connections with some strong efforts in Grade 1 races. In reality, though, Driven by Success is a notch below the top sprinters in the country.

Matched up against the five rivals he meets in Saturday's $65,000 Paumonok Stakes at Aqueduct, however, Driven by Success looks like a standout. As the main speed in a field of six older sprinters, Driven by Success is the one to catch and beat in the six-furlong Paumonok, a race being run for the 102nd time.

Due to the short field, the Paumonok has been carded as race 3 rather than race 8 on Saturday's nine-race card. The New York Racing Association wanted to keep the Paumonok out of the late pick four, which has a guaranteed pool of $250,000. The late pick four is conducted on races 6 through 9.

Driven by Success, a New York-bred gelded son of Precise End, won two races last year, both against statebreds. However, his third-place finishes in the Carter and Metropolitan handicaps - both Grade 1 races - prompted his connections to keep him in graded company throughout the summer.

"He gives you a couple of races where it looks like he's going to win and he gets beat a length, length and a half," trainer Bruce Levine said. "But he seems like he's just a notch below."

Driven by Success has not run since finishing last in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile on Nov. 28, a race in which he was pressured early by Vineyard Haven, the race favorite, who ended up third.

"I thought they were going to leave me alone up front, but they were right on me," Levine said.

Following the Cigar Mile, Driven by Success got a brief freshening. He has worked four times in the month leading up to the Paumonok.

"He's been training good," Levine said. "He runs good fresh."

The horse with the best chance to upset is Wall Street Wonder, who comes off a solid two-length first-level allowance victory here on Dec. 12. The horse he beat that day, Rereadthefootnotes, came back to win a first-level allowance by six on Wednesday.

"The way he's training, he's going forward, definitely," trainer John Terranova said. "He's got a real shot to develop into one of the better sprinters."