12/11/2008 12:00AM

Hone's pair tops KLAQ Handicap


Trainer Bart Hone's starters in the $50,000 KLAQ Handicap at Sunland Park have contrasting styles, but both keep getting the same results. Ducky Drake, who is defending his title in the 5 1/2-furlong race, has won his last three starts. Going Wild, meanwhile, has won 3 of his last 4 starts dating back to June.

The horses will start as top choices in the KLAQ, which is the first stakes of the meet. The field of seven includes Wind Water and Yonegwa, a pair of stakes-winning front-runners who could set the table for the late-running Ducky Drake. He has won two allowances and the $55,000 Lea County in his last three starts, all at Zia Park.

"He's a closing sprinter and has a pretty good kick if they go fast," said Hone, who trains Ducky Drake for Aury and Ralph Todd.

Going Wild will be closer to the action. He used stalking tactics to win three consecutive stakes this past summer, including the $150,000 Premier Breeders' Cup at Zia. In his most recent start, he was second by a length in the $50,000 Budweiser Special at Albuquerque.

"He got hit from both sides leaving the gates and was back a little further than we wanted him to be," said Hone, who trains Going Wild for R.D. Hubbard. "He can be pretty close to the pace depending on what the pace is. If the pace is slow enough, he can be on the lead."

Antonio Castanon will ride Going Wild. Mark Villa has the mount on Ducky Drake.