06/25/2009 11:00PM

Kodiak Kowboy: Toss his last

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Kodiak Kowboy (left) wins the Grade 1 Carter in April before his seventh-place finish at Churchill Downs.

Philadelphia Park is a long way from Churchill Downs, and that suits Larry Jones just fine.

The trainer will send out Kodiak Kowboy on Saturday at Philly Park in the $200,000 Donald Levine Memorial Handicap at seven furlongs. The 4-year-old was one of a trio of beaten favorites Jones saddled on Kentucky Derby Day. Friesan Fire ran 18th in the Derby, Just Jenda was second in the Eight Belles, and Kodiak Kowboy finished seventh in the Churchill Downs Stakes.

"Derby Day has never been a great day for me," Jones said. "All my life, from 17 on, Derby Day has been a bad day for me. It is just not meant to be. We just lick our wounds and move on."

Expectations were high for Kodiak Kowboy heading to Louisville following a stirring victory by a nose in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct.

Then the rain came, turning the track to slop.

"The middle of the track looked to be a bad place to be that day," Jones said. "He drew the outside hole and he had a wide trip the whole way. He was just in a bad spot, more than anything else. He didn't handle it well, and he normally handles sloppy tracks."

For Jones, it was a race best quickly forgotten.

"We just drew a line through it," Jones said. "He's been training well and all is good."

This looks like an ideal spot to regroup, and the seven furlongs should be a nice fit for Kodiak Kowboy.

"We're trying to not confuse him," Jones said. "We want to let him realize seven furlongs is going to be his game. It's an awfully good distance for him."

Gabriel Saez has the return call to ride.

On his best days, Acting Zippy is capable of the triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure efforts that produced wins this spring in the Vincent Moscarelli Memorial at Delaware Park and the Decathlon Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Whistle Pig, a mainstay in the Pennsylvania-bred sprint stakes, was fourth behind Acting Zippy in the Moscarelli. The 5-year-old has won 11 races, including a victory last time out in the Presidentialaffair Handicap for statebreds at Presque Isle Downs.

Trainer Mark Shuman sends up the entry of Encaustic and Crimson Comic from the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland.

Cherokee Country, Vigors Storm, and Cassoulet complete the field.