02/10/2010 12:00AM

McVictory ready to try again


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - It's McVictory versus McLaughlin, Round 3, in Thursday's second-level allowance feature at Aqueduct.

In two previous attempts to clear the second-level allowance hurdle, McVictory has finished second to Kiaran McLaughlin-trained fillies - first Starship Angel on Jan. 8 and then Pamona Ball on Jan. 21. Thursday, McVictory will take on another McLaughlin-trained filly, Extra Sharp.

"He keeps coming up with a new one every time," said Robert Barbara, trainer of McVictory.

On Jan. 8, McVictory had a traffic-filled trip when she was beaten one length by Starship Angel, who overcame a rough start herself to gain the victory. Barbara decided to wheel McVictory back in 13 days when she ran into a razor-sharp Pamona Ball, who cruised to a 9 3/4-length victory, a performance that earned her a start in Saturday's Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel Park.

Barbara said he had an inkling McVictory would not run as well on Jan. 21 as she had on Jan. 8.

"I ran her back quick - she reacted. There wasn't much left in the tank at the three-eighths pole," said Barbara, who added that since the Jan. 21 race McVictory is "in a better frame of mind right now."

David Cohen will ride McVictory from post 2.

Though Extra Sharp is extremely well-bred - she is by Cherokee Run out of the seven-time Grade 1 winner Sharp Cat - it remains to be seen if she is as talented as Starship Angel or Pamona Ball. Extra Sharp has won at Monmouth and Philadelphia Park, and finished third in her one start in New York.

Art Magnuson, the assistant to McLaughlin, said Extra Sharp shipped to Philadelphia Park - where she won a first-level allowance sprint on Jan. 3 - because that same race in New York failed to fill for several days.

This will be Extra Sharp's first start around two turns.

"We think she can go a mile - her mother could," Magnuson said. "It could open up all kinds of doors. If she can't do it, then we have a one-turn horse."

Extra Sharp should be forwardly placed from post 7 under Channing Hill.

All Bets Off has won four straight for Bruce Levine, including an open first-level allowance race at Philadelphia Park on Jan. 17.

Burning Calories, who finished fourth in the Jan. 8 race in which McVictory was second, is a live longshot. She will be making her second start off an extended layoff for trainer Scott Volk, who strikes at 27 percent in such circumstances.