08/01/2013 2:51PM

Finger Lakes: Fox Rules to flash speed in Genesee Valley

Tom Cooley Photography
Fox Rules, who won last year's New York Derby, drew the far-outside No. 11 post for Saturday's Genesee Valley Handicap.

Fox Rules, primarily a turf horse until he upset last year’s New York Derby, and Dan’s Gold, who has raced exclusively in sprints throughout his 22-race career, are intriguing candidates in a field of 11 New York-breds entered for Saturday’s $50,000, 1 1/16-mile Genesee Valley Handicap at Finger Lakes.

Fox Rules was 0 for 4 on dirt and coming out of a series of four consecutive starts on grass when he led wire to wire to score a 6 1/2-length victory at 12-1 odds in the 2012 New York Derby. In his only subsequent start at Finger Lakes, which came in late June, Fox Rules again led from start to finish while facing open company in an optional claimer at a mile and 40 yards.

Most recently, Fox Rules finished third as the 5-2 favorite in a one-mile turf race at Suffolk Downs. To win the Genesee Valley, he will have to overcome the No. 11 post.

Dan’s Gold is 4 for 5 at Finger Lakes, the only blemish a close third in the George Barker Handicap in May. In his lone start beyond six furlongs June 30, Dan’s Gold was beaten nearly 17 lengths at Belmont Park. This will be his first attempt going two turns and longer than seven furlongs.

Talk Therapy, from the barn of leading trainer Chris Englehart, prepped for this spot by holding on to win by a neck July 22 while making his first start in 2 1/2 months. The 7-year-old Talk Therapy has not been worse than second in five starts locally. Englehart won back-to-back runnings of the Genesee Valley in 1995-96 with Turk’s Hero.

Piano Star reversed his form after losing by a collective 41 1/4 lengths in his first two starts of the season to score a 28-1 upset July 16. That win came against open company and was his ninth in 21 starts at Finger Lakes.

Based on his form against statebreds this spring at Belmont Park, where he had a win and a second, and his third-place finish in a subsequent start at Finger Lakes, Copper Forest merits respect for high-percentage trainer Charlton Baker. The price on Copper Forest may be helped by bettors being timid about backing a horse who stumbled and lost his jockey last time out.