03/09/2011 5:17PM

Kings Point has Yawanna Twist to spice up Aqueduct card


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The true migration of horses to New York from south Florida is still several weeks away, but one Sunshine State shipper has made Saturday’s $65,000 Kings Point Stakes for New York-breds a bit more interesting.

Yawanna Twist, who was beaten less than two lengths when fourth to Lookin At Lucky in the 2010 Preakness Stakes, heads a field of six entered for the Kings Point, run at 1 1/8 miles over Aqueduct’s inner track. The Kings Point is one of six races restricted to New York-breds run on Saturday’s 10-race card.

It will be Yawanna Twist’s first start against restricted company since last winter, when he began his career with two sprint victories versus statebreds over the inner track. Since then, Yawanna Twist finished second in the Gotham and Illinois Derby – both Grade 3 events – before getting beaten by 1 3/4 lengths in the Preakness.

Yawanna Twist lost a shoe in the Preakness, which led to a foot problem. His connections, owner Jim Riccio Sr. and trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., decided to give the colt plenty of time to get over the issue. In February, Yawanna Twist returned in a second-level allowance at Gulfstream going seven furlongs, a race which he won by 1 1/2 lengths.

Initially thinking of running in this Saturday’s Gulfstream Park Handicap, Dutrow told Riccio he thought that race was coming up too tough and that the Kings Point would be a better spot.

“`We brought him to Florida with the hope of leaving him there,” Riccio said. “They had a stakes Saturday, but Rick was thinking it was really coming up tough and wanted to try and get an easier race into him, then maybe if he runs well we’ll take a shot somewhere a little more aggressive.”

A race like the Grade 3, $100,000 Excelsior over the main track or the $1 million Charles Town Classic at Charles Town on April 16 could be the next spot.

Yawanna Twist has yet to win around two turns, but his races in the Gotham, Illinois Derby and Preakness were all solid efforts.

Referring to the Preakness, Riccio said he got a little excited when Yawanna Twist turned for home.

“I thought he was hitting the board and for a second I thought he was going to win,” Riccio said. “It was a mile and three-sixteenths against Lookin At Alucky, First Dude and Jackson Bend, they were pretty nice horses, more than pretty nice. I was very happy with the race. I thought going in we were really live.”

Yawanna Twist, a son of Yonaguska, will break from post 4 under Mike Luzzi in the Kings Point. He will face the in-form Inherit the Gold, who has won three consecutive races over the inner track. Inherit the Gold drew the outside post in the six-horse field. Others in the Kings Point include Mine Over Matter, Thunder Chief, Stud Muffin and Spa City Fever.

Icabad Crane targets Charles Town Classic

Icabad Crane, who has won two New York-bred stakes over the inner track this winter, was not entered in the Kings Point. Instead, he will be pointed to the Charles Town Classic, trainer Graham Motion said.

Motion said he plans to take Icabad Crane to Charles Town next week to get a work over the track.

“We’ve had that race on our mind for a while,” said Motion, who trains Icabad Crane for owner Earle Mack.

Icabad Crane worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 over the all-weather track at the Fair Hill training center on Wednesday.

Motion also mentioned that Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Shared Account and the Grade 1 winner Check the Label have worked twice in company at Fair Hill. Both are candidates for either the Jenny Wiley on April 16 at Keeneland or the Beaugay at Belmont on May 7.

“They’re doing everything together, they’re basically on the same schedule,” Motion said.

Sensational Slam may stretch out

After initially planning to leave Capossela Stakes winner Sensational Slam in New York and keep him sprinting, trainer Todd Pletcher elected to return Sensational Slam to south Florida and may attempt to stretch him out in distance for his next start.

Sensational Slam joined Gotham Stakes winner Stay Thirsty on a van that left New York on Tuesday and brought both horses back to the Palm Meadows training center.

Pletcher, in an e-mail, said of Sensational Slam that “all the big races are now an option, depending on how much time he needs.”

Sensational Slam, owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, is a son of Grand Slam. In his only start beyond six furlongs, Sensational Slam finished ninth in the With Anticipation Stakes on the turf at Saratoga.

In winning the Capossela, Sensational Slam earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 94.

Stymie winner now with Asmussen

Goombada Guska, winner of the Stymie Stakes on Feb. 26, has been purchased privately by Harvey Weinstein’s Turtlebird Stable and turned over to Steve Asmussen. He was previously owned by Rick Gallo’s Navesink Breeders and trained by Scott Volk.

Goombada Guska is a 4-year-old New Jersey-bred son of Yonaguska who has won 5 of 19 career starts.

“He’s an interesting project,’’ said Toby Sheets, Asmussen’s New York-based assistant. “He’s got different options.”

One of those options is the Grade 3, $100,000 Excelsior here on April 2.

Meanwhile, Haynesfield, the Jockey Club Gold Cup winner owned by Turtle Bird, worked four furlongs in 51.66 seconds on Tuesday, his first official timed breeze of the year.

“He breezed nice, came back good, hopefully onward and upward,” Sheets said.

Sheets also reported that Rule by Night, who earned a 108 Beyer Speed Figure winning an overnight sprint stakes at Aqueduct in November, worked four furlongs in 49.67 seconds last Saturday.

◗ Beginning with the Belmont Park meet, jockey agents will be permitted to represent two journeyman riders on the New York Racing Association circuit. Currently, agents can represent only one journeyman and one apprentice.