02/16/2010 12:00AM

Liston stays up north for McLaughlin


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Horses as well bred and as seemingly talented as Liston don't usually winter in New York. But circumstances dictated this son of Storm Cat not make the trip to south Florida with the bulk of Kiaran McLaughlin's talented runners. Thus, Liston will make his 3-year-old debut in a six-furlong, first-level optional $75,000 claiming race that serves as Wednesday's feature at Aqueduct.

Liston, a half-brother to the multiple Grade 1 winner Country Star, won his debut at Saratoga on Aug. 15, before finishing eighth of 12 in the Grade 1 Hopeful on Sept. 7. McLaughlin shipped Liston to Keeneland, where he finished first in a seven-furlong allowance race on Oct. 9, but was later disqualified when he tested positive for a banned bronchial dilator.

McLaughlin said Liston was suffering from pneumonia toward the end of November and early December - the time he usually ships his horses to the Palm Meadows training center in Florida - and the decision was made to leave him in New York.

"I didn't want to ship him,'' McLaughlin said Monday from south Florida. "He stayed there and trained well and we decided to run there."

McLaughlin added that Liston could be pointed to the March 5 Gotham if he wins Wednesday.

Ramon Dominguez rides Liston from post 4.

Citizen's Arrest, who finished fourth as the 3-5 favorite in the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes here on Jan. 18, heads Liston's competition. Citizen's Arrest was part of a contested early pace and dropped back when beaten 16 3/4 lengths by the undefeated Deputy Daney in the Winkfield.

"He rushed up for the lead, got it, took back, and was asked to go a couple of different times,'' said Jonathan Thomas, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. "But it was a disappointing effort.''

David Cohen rides Citizen's Arrest from post 5.

Mia's Angel finished third in the Jimmy Winkfield, his first start off a six-month layoff. He shows a bullet five-furlong work leading up to this.

Magic Tiger, a two-time winner in New York-bred company, tries open company for the first time. He is one of two horses being offered for the optional claiming price of $75,000. Magnification, who won a first-level allowance race at Penn National, is also in for the claiming price.

Always Mine, a winner of three straight, and Morning Run, a winner of his last two - both over the inner track - complete the lineup.