10/28/2009 11:00PM

El Rocco turning back to sprint


Three trainers who have combined to win five of the last six runnings of the Finger Lakes Juvenile are back to try to win the six-furlong stakes again Saturday. But it's a New Jersey-based colt from a barn that rarely runs at Finger Lakes who looks most formidable.

El Rocco, stakes-placed at the Grade 3 level, ships up from Monmouth Park for the $50,000 Juvenile, the last stakes of the season at Finger Lakes.

His trainer, Bruce Levine, has not run a horse locally this season but is 13 for 26 with the runners he has shipped in over the past five years, according to DRF's Formulator.

El Rocco, second in the Tyro at Monmouth and third in the Grade 3 Sapling, returns to a sprint after running in 1 1/16-mile Dover at Delaware Park three weeks ago. He was up close through the first six furlongs of the Dover and finished fourth.

Trainer M. Anthony Ferraro, who won three consecutive runnings of the Finger Lakes Juvenile from 2003 to 2005, has a sharp contender in Zipatron. In his first start since winning his maiden sprinting over the synthetic Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs in May, Zipatron cruised to a seven-length win in the slop at Penn National two weeks ago.

Michael Lecesse, who won the Finger Lakes Juvenile two years ago with Tin Cup Chalice, takes a shot with Vital Argument, who moves way up in class after crushing maiden claimers by more than 13 lengths.

John Tebbutt will attempt to win the Finger Lakes Juvenile for the second straight year, this time with Small Town, a colt who has yet to finish first in three career starts. He most recently failed to make an impact from far back in the New York Breeders' Futurity.

The best last-race Beyer Speed Figure belongs to Peppi Knows, who earned a 74 for finishing third in the $100,000 Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial over Presque Isle's synthetic track. He is 2 for 2 on dirt, with both starts coming at Penn National.