11/28/2008 12:00AM

Jones eyes path to Derby


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Having finished second in each of the last two runnings of the Kentucky Derby, trainer Larry Jones and owner Rick Porter's desire to get back to that race is greater than most. Perhaps Old Fashioned can get them back to Churchill Downs for the Run for the Roses next May.

Coming off a dominant allowance win at Delaware Park on Nov. 3, Old Fashioned looks like the horse to beat in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Remsen at Aqueduct. The winner of three of the last four Remsens made it to the Derby the following spring. The only horse not to get to the Derby was 2004 Remsen winner Rockport Harbor, owned by Porter.

At $800,000, Old Fashioned was the most expensive yearling Porter purchased in 2007. Thus far, Old Fashioned, a son of Unbridled's Song, has been worth every penny. On Oct. 6, Old Fashioned ran down Sunday Blitz to win his debut by a nose. Four weeks later, Old Fashioned rolled to a front-running 15 1/2-length score going a two-turn mile at Delaware.

"He showed a lot of determination running down [Sunday Blitz], I was very proud of him," Jones said Thursday from Fair Grounds. "When we did stretch him out - which we felt he definitely wanted to do - he did that the right way. When we asked him to run, he just ran away from them the way Eight Belles used to when she was coming up."

Eight Belles, of course, is the filly who finished second in this year's Derby and suffered a fatal injury galloping out after the race. Jones and Porter also were the connections of 2007 Derby runner-up Hard Spun.

WinStar Farm has won two of the last three Remsens, with Bluegrass Cat (2005) and Court Vision (2007). Saturday, it will be represented by Hold Me Back, a son of Giant's Causeway who has won his two starts, both at 1 1/16 miles around two turns. Both races, however, were on synthetic surfaces. The way he finished his last race indicates the longer the better for this Bill Mott-trained colt.

Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out the uncoupled entry of American Dance and Idol Maker, both coming off a maiden win. In an unorthodox move, Pletcher will put blinkers on American Dance - a half-brother to 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam - because of the way he leaned in on another horse in his last race.

Atomic Rain, Rip Rap, Awesome Mich, and Jazzandthemagician round out the field.