02/11/2010 12:00AM

Embrace Change meets open company in Busher


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - An affinity for Aqueduct's inner track and proficiency around turns would seem to give Embrace Change a big edge over her seven fellow 3-year-old fillies in Saturday's $65,000 Busher Stakes.

Competitive with many of the better New York-bred fillies in sprint races, Embrace Change didn't find the winner's circle until she stretched out around two turns. First, she won an off-the-turf statebred maiden race by 8 1/2 lengths on Dec. 2. She came back with a three-length victory in a first-level allowance race Jan. 6. This will be Embrace Change's first race against open company.

"With that filly, the main thing is the distance, she just seems the further the better," said Bruce Brown, who trains Embrace Change for Mike Repole. "She ran good going short, but she's always been one of those, even in the morning the longer she goes, the better she likes it. I like the mile and a sixteenth, and she's proven she likes the inner track."

In her allowance win, Embrace Change was in behind horses turning for home and had to wait for room. Once Ramon Dominguez got her outside, Embrance Change finished strongly with only mild urging.

"It was one of those classic Ramon on the rail waiting for the Red Sea to part [rides]; he kind of had to tap on the brakes as they straightened away," Brown said. "But once she got clear, she opened up."

With Dominguez riding at Gulfstream on Saturday, Mike Luzzi has picked up the mount on Embrace Change.

Speightful Affair steps into stakes company after winning her dirt and inner-track debut in a maiden race on Jan. 29. C.C. Lopez rides for Steve Asmussen. She could be a pace presence along with Anchorage, who won a two-turn maiden race at Delaware in October. Sent off the 6-5 favorite in the Busanda Stakes here last month, Anchorage stumbled at the break, ruining her chances.

E Z Passer showed grit winning a maiden race Dec. 27, beating next-out winner Does It Every Time, but regressed when brought back on two weeks' rest in the Ruthless, finishing fifth.

Trainer Mike Miceli believes E Z Passer has the pedigree and demeanor to be successful stretching out.

"You never know until you try, but she gives me a good feeling," Miceli said.

The Busher will go as race 4 on Aqueduct's 10-race card and will not be part of the late pick four (races 7-10) that has a guaranteed pool of $250,000.