07/15/2010 12:40PM

Ibboyee has easier path in New York Derby

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Ibboyee will try to run his record at Finger Lakes to 3 for 3 when he runs Saturday in the $150,000 New York Derby. The absence of Friend Or Foe, winner of the Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont Park last month, will make his mission much easier.

At 1 1/16 miles, the New York Derby is the middle leg of the Big Apple Triple for New York-bred 3-year-olds.

Trainer John Kimmel is pointing Friend Or Foe toward the Jim Dandy at Saratoga, forfeiting a run at the $100,000 bonus for a sweep of all three.

Ibboyee was the 11-10 favorite in the Mike Lee but finished third to Friend Or Foe, beaten 4 1/4 lengths. He has hit the board in five straight races, including a third in the Grade 2 Hutcheson and a second to D’ Funnybone in the Grade 2 Swale. One race before the Mike Lee, Ibboyee won the Spend A Buck Stakes at Monmouth Park.

“Actually, we came out of the open race into a tougher race in the New York-bred stakes,” trainer Todd Pletcher said of the Mike Lee. “That wound up being a pretty highly-rated race. Unfortunately, we didn’t get away very well that day and tried to make up ground in a race nobody was coming back in. It probably was a better effort than it looks on paper. The horse is training well, and we had this race in mind all along.”

Ibboyee scored a pair of statebred stakes wins here last season, including the $314,000 New York Breeders Futurity.

If all goes well, Pletcher will point Ibboyee to the final stakes in the Big Apple Triple, the Albany at Saratoga on Aug. 25.

Shrewd One, 2-2-0 in four starts, will make his stakes debut. Trained by Pat Kelly, he most recently was second to Aikenite at Belmont in a first-level open allowance at one mile.

“That came up a real tough race,” Kelly said. “It should have been a $100,000 Grade 3.

◗ Gold for the Queen bids for a second straight New York-bred stakes win here in the $50,000 Arctic Queen Handicap at six furlongs. Gold for the Queen captured the Susan B. Anthony last month, earning a career-best 89 Beyer Speed Figure.