12/06/2009 1:00AM

Ibboyee rested for rebound try


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Ibboyee suffered his first loss when finishing fourth as the favorite in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes at Belmont Park in October. Trainer Todd Pletcher hopes the loss could be blamed on either the sloppy track or the fact that the New York-bred 2-year-old was making his third start in seven weeks.

Pletcher believes Ibboyee is poised to rebound Sunday when he takes on seven New York-bred juveniles in the $65,000 Damon Runyon Stakes over Aqueduct's inner track. The Damon Runyon shares billing on the nine-race card with the $65,000 East View for statebred juvenile fillies. Both races are run at a mile and 70 yards.

Ibboyee, a son of Medallist, won his first three starts, including the Aspirant and New York Breeders Futurity - both at six furlongs - at Finger Lakes. Sent off at 7-5 in the 10-horse Sleepy Hollow, Ibboyee never seriously threatened, finishing 7 3/4 lengths behind Fenway Faithful.

"Cornelio [Velasquez] didn't seem to think he liked the going, even though he won on a little bit of a wet track at Finger Lakes," Pletcher said. "He said he was kind of spinning his wheels. I felt like maybe we crammed a few too many races close together."

Ibboyee will have 43 days between races leading up to the Damon Runyon, which will be the colt's first start around two turns. As the only stakes winner in the field, Ibboyee will carry 122 pounds, conceding six to his opponents.

"I don't think the two turns will be an issue," Pletcher said. "He's giving weight to the entire field, but I guess if you've made $300,000 you're supposed to give away weight. I like the way the horse has been training, he should be back to one of his better races."

City Trooper came out of a runner-up finish in the Sleepy Hollow to win a first-level New York-bred allowance race by 6 1/2 lengths on Nov. 18. He has yet to finish worse than third in six starts.

The wildcard in the field is Don't Blame the Cat, who was visually impressive winning his debut by 7 3/4 lengths going six furlongs in 1:10.18 on Nov. 7. Don't Blame the Cat dueled in hand early on and then drew clear while being geared down late by Eddie Castro.

Fortunate Run wheels back just 11 days after winning an off-the-turf maiden race by five lengths for Gary Contessa. Vital Argument, Reading Group, Shrimp Dancer, and Golly Day complete the field.