11/26/2010 3:15PM

Galluscio has a pair of aces set for sprint feature

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Handicappers of New York racing should pay close attention to Sunday’s feature at Aqueduct because – save for the extra half-furlong – it is likely to be replayed throughout the winter when the inner track opens on Wednesday.

If the subsequent editions of the second-level optional $50,000 claimer are as competitive as Sunday’s offering, horseplayers certainly won’t mind seeing this race run with regularity. A field of 13 was entered for the race, which will be run at the seldom-used distance of 6 1/2 furlongs – a distance that can’t be run over the inner track.

Trainer Dominic Galluscio sends out the coupled entry of Ricoriatoa and Soda Pop Kid, either one of whom is capable of winning with his top effort. Ricoriatoa is only 3 for 19 but shows two solid efforts from his last three last starts out of town.

On Aug, 28, Ricoriatoa went gate to wire to win a first-level allowance at Delaware Park by 6 3/4 lengths, earning a 102 Beyer Speed Figure. After running into Wildcat Frankie in a second-level allowance at Monmouth on Sept. 25, Ricoriatoa bounced back with a neck loss to loose-on-the-lead Cooper County at Delaware.

“He got pinched inside, and they went extremely fast,” said Galluscio, referring to the 44.72-second half-mile run by the winner. “Another jump he was going to win.”

Galluscio claimed Soda Pop Kid, a 10-time winner, for $40,000 two starts back and was surprised to see his horse race on the lead in a similar spot as this on Nov. 14 at Monmouth, where he finished third. Galluscio is hoping jockey Edgar Prado can get him to come from just off the pace on Sunday. Soda Pop Kid is offered for the $50,000 claiming tag.

Trainer Chad Brown, who entered Friday’s card 9 for 26 at the meet, sends out the uncoupled entry of Safe Trip and Speight of Hand. Safe Trip is making his first start for Brown, and first since he finished fourth behind the Grade 2 winner Mr. Fantasy in this condition at Saratoga. He also twice faced the Grade 1 winner Discreetly Mine during the summer.

“They’re both training really well,” Brown said. “Safe Trip might need a race, but he’s training good.”

Raynick’s Jet finished a decent third in the Hudson Stakes, his first start off a three-month layoff. Six Flings has a 2-2-0 record from 4 main track starts. Who’s the Cowboy makes first start off the Rudy Rodriguez claim.