01/23/2010 12:00AM

Hour Glass tries to fill role in stable


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The retirements of stakes winners Awesome Ashley and Distorted Passion and a minor injury suffered by stakes winner Life at Ten have left a void in trainer Todd Pletcher's New York filly and mare division. Perhaps Hour Glass can help fill it.

After winning two of her first four starts, all in the Mid-Atlantic region, Hour Glass makes her New York debut in a second-level allowance sprint on Aqueduct's nine-race program Sunday. Following Sunday's program, Aqueduct takes a four-day break with racing scheduled to resume Friday.

Hour Glass began her career in the barn of Tony Dutrow, who trained the filly for Richard Frisina's Park Avenue Racing Stable and Michael Dubb. She was purchased privately by James Brady Jr.'s Mill House Stable in December and turned over to Pletcher. In her first workout in New York, Hour Glass drilled a half-mile in 48 seconds on Christmas Eve, which was the fastest of 204 moves at the distance over Belmont Park's training track.

"She has shown a lot of class and ability in the morning, we're happy to have her," said Jonathan Thomas, who is Pletcher's New York-based assistant. "We'll learn a little bit more about her."

Hour Glass has shown the ability to come from off the pace, which should serve her well in a field seemingly loaded with speed.

La Concerto has won four of her last five starts and is 3 for 4 over the inner track, including a front-running first-level allowance win in the slop on Dec. 13. She has speed, the rail, and C.C. Lopez named.

Meese Rocks seeks her fourth consecutive victory. She stepped out of New York-bred company for the first time on Jan. 7, winning a first-level allowance race. Trainer Ed Barker is happy with his mare's outside draw.

"It gives us good position, and we'll find out what's going on up front," Barker said.

Lights Off Annie, who won the Broadway Handicap for New York-breds over the inner track last March, makes her first start in 10 months, or since finishing last in an open-company stakes here. Trainer Bruce Levine said the filly had some hind-end issues following that race and was forced to turn her out for about 2 1/2 months. While Levine is confident Lights Off Annie can run well fresh, he is concerned about the prospect of other early-speed types in the field.

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch