04/06/2009 11:00PM

Good tune-up for Bold Union


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The conditions for Thursday's $65,000 Lucky Lavender Gal at Aqueduct allow two pounds off for nonwinners of a stakes since July 1. Those are two small reasons the 6 1/2-furlong stakes for 3-year-old fillies is a good starting-off point for Bold Union, who began her career with two blowout victories, including the Astoria Stakes last June 29.

"I don't know how far she'll go, so we're looking to start her back sprinting and get her a win or two," said trainer Kelly Breen.

Two races Breen is considering for Bold Union are the seven-furlong Grade 3 Nassau County at Belmont Park on May 2 and the six-furlong Grade 3 Miss Preakness at Pimlico on May 15.

"I'd love to get her a graded stakes win, so this will be a good prep for one of those," Breen said.

Bold Union won the Astoria impressively enough to go favored in the Adirondack, but faded to fourth after chasing Mani Bhavan, who came back to win the Spinaway.

In her fourth and final start of the year, Bold Union stretched out to a mile on Polytrack at Turfway Park, and dueled through a rapid pace of 46.32 seconds and 1:11.32 in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies before tiring late. By way of comparison, West Side Bernie, the Wood runner-up Breen also trains, won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile later that day, a race with fractions of 47.95 and 1:12.60.

"I don't know whether she handled that track," said Breen. "But she's gotten her time [off] and I anticipate her running well; she's 85 to 90 percent fit."

Bold Union drew the outside post in a field of six. The others are Love That Dance, Golden Artemis, Miss Ocean City, and the Butch Reid-trained duo of One Smokin' Lady and Red Rhapsody, shippers from Philadelphia Park who are uncoupled in the wagering.

One Smokin' Lady broke on top to win her first-level condition handily, then broke first again as the 3-1 second choice in the Cicada, though she was soon displaced for the lead by eventual winner Heart Ashley.

Red Rhapsody has been favored in all three starts at her home track since claimed from her debut. Though her rivals have all run Beyers in the 80s and her best is a 64, she's the only one to have won at Thursday's distance.

"I like the turnback [from a mile]," said Reid. "I think this is her best distance right now, so we decided to take a chance."