02/06/2010 1:00AM

Eightyfiveinafifty will try to ration his speed


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - No horseman is going to fret about having a fast horse in the barn. But when you're trying to get a 3-year-old onto the Kentucky Derby trail, is it possible to have a horse that's too fast?

That's a question trainer Gary Contessa may get answered Saturday when the speedy Eightyfiveinafifty attempts two turns for the first time in the at Aqueduct. Eightyfiveinafifty has shown brilliant speed in his first two starts, including last month when he won a six-furlong maiden race by 17 1/4 lengths over the inner track.

But if Eightyfiveinafifty is to be taken seriously as a Kentucky Derby prospect, he's going to need to ration his speed around two turns and, in the case of the Whirlaway, 1 1/16 miles. He will be on the lead, but it's a matter of how fast he will have to go under Jorge Chavez.

"Yes, he might be too fast for his own good," said Contessa. "There are times when he grabs that bit and he goes - that's my fear. Like I said last time, at least we know we got a hell of a sprinter if nothing else. He may get two turns. We're just trying to make him relax."

Eightyfiveinafifty is not the only horse attempting two turns for the first time. Three Day Rush, a son of Harlan's Holiday, tries 1 1/16 miles off a first-level allowance win going six furlongs at Gulfstream.

Contessa is concerned about Three Day Rush applying early pressure to Eightyfiveinafifty on the front end.

"I will be on the lead. I will be trying to slow him down as much as I can. If he chooses to challenge me we're both going to hell," Contessa said.

If the pace and/or the distance prove too much for either Eightyfiveinafifty or Three Day Rush, then expect Peppi Knows to pick up the pieces. When Peppi Knows stretched out from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles in the Grade 2 Remsen in November, he ran a respectable second behind Buddy's Saint.

"For his first time around two turns and to run in that kind of company, I thought he ran a respectable race,'' trainer Tim Kreiser said. "He had some getting-in issues on the turn, but we probably weren't going to beat that horse on that day.''

Kreiser has changed bits on Peppi Knows, in hopes of giving jockey Richard Migliore better control

There is a chance that a winter storm could dump three to six inches of snow in the area Friday night into Saturday. Should Saturday's card be canceled, the Whirlaway will be rescheduled for Feb. 13.