02/23/2009 1:00AM

King David J back from long layoff


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - A year ago this week, King David J rolled to victory in a New York-bred first-level allowance race over Aqueduct's inner track that not only showed the horse could handle two turns, but that he could rate as well.

But an injury suffered in the colt's next start curtailed any grandiose plans his connections may have had for King David J. Wednesday, 367 days after that victory - and 10 months after his last race - King David J tries to jump-start his career in a second-level optional $25,000 claiming sprint for New York-breds that serves as Aqueduct's feature on a nine-race card.

Trainer Linda Rice said King David J injured himself when he finished last as the 4-5 favorite in a division of the New York Stallion Stakes at Aqueduct last April 13. King David J was out of training for several months, but has worked 10 times since mid-November, including a couple of bullet works over the Belmont training track.

"He's trained pretty well," said Rice, who said she would like to think he can return to his previous form. "It's been a tough winter to train through. Trying to get a horse ready when it's 12 degrees out hasn't been easy, but we finally got him there.''

Wednesday's race is at six furlongs. Last January, following a fourth-place finish in a key-race debut, King David J won a six-furlong maiden race by seven lengths.

King David J will break from post 5 under Chuck Lopez, who rode the horse in all four of his starts last year.

Four of the nine starters in this field come out of the same allowance race on Jan. 24. Little Wise Guy finished a fast-closing second to Dr. W that day, tipping three wide after getting a ground-saving trip. There is plenty of speed to set things up for Little Wise Guy in this spot.

Strummer won this same allowance condition on Jan. 3, beating Dr. W. He is eligible for this race because he is now being offered for the optional claiming tag of $25,000. He was beaten a neck by Executive Search when in for $14,000 on Feb. 13.

Baxter was second to Strummer in this condition at 27-1 on Jan. 3, and did not have the smoothest of trips when seventh in the Jan. 24 race. Midnight Slammer is 2 for 3 over the inner track for trainer Dominic Galluscio.

Scary Bob, Please Impress, Show of Colors, and Platinum Couple round out the field.