03/18/2010 11:00PM

Hour Glass lands in an ideal spot


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - A class drop and a hot pace make Hour Glass the one to beat in Sunday's The Wheel Turns, a $60,000 overnight stakes at Aqueduct.

None of the nine older fillies and mares entered in the six-furlong sprint has won a graded stakes, but Hour Glass came close in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie last out, when fourth by a half-length in a blanket finish as the 2-1 choice.

Hour Glass was purchased by Mill House and transferred to Todd Pletcher after three starts on the Mid-Atlantic circuit last fall. She was a stalking-trip winner in her New York and seasonal debut on the inner track before earning a fifth consecutive Beyer Figure of 90 or better in the Fritchie.

"She came out of the race in good shape - we were pleased with her performance," said assistant trainer Jonathan Thomas. "We're happy to see there's a lot of pace."

Hour Glass breezed a half-mile Tuesday in a bullet 48.66 seconds in tandem La Vida Vino, who runs in the Sunday race as her uncoupled stablemate. La Vida Vino has run exclusively in claiming races so far, and has never been headed, winning three in a row on the winterized strip.

"She's a filly that has improved and has an affinity for the inner track," said Thomas. "We'll see if we can get her a stakes placing."

At the very least, La Vida Vino could make things difficult for Hold That Prospect and Lights Off Annie, a pair of run-and-gun mares coming off stakes wins and toting the maximum 123 pounds.

After winning the Correction in a romp to start the year, Hold That Prospect dashed through the snow for a hard-fought decision in the Mommy Dear - her sixth victory since being claimed last March by Gary Gullo.

Lights Off Annie made her first start for Mike Hushion in the Broadway three weeks ago, and wired the New York-bred dash for the second straight year.

Missunitednations, ninth in the Fritchie after a slow start from the rail, shipped in to win here last winter for Philadelphia Park-based Butch Reid. She drew post 7.

"She was stuck down in there and never got a shot to run," Reid said of her race in the Fritchie. "I like the outside post; she should get a nice stalking spot."

What a Pear, Heaven's Voice, Magic Roberta, and By the Light complete the field.