01/27/2011 4:36PM

Meese Rocks won't have to face nemesis at Aqueduct

Barbara D. Livingston
Meese Rocks was beaten by Nicole H in the Garland of Roses and the Interborough.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Ed Barker, the trainer of Meese Rocks, breathed a sigh of relief when he didn’t see the name Nicole H among the eight fillies and mares entered in Saturday’s $65,000 Correction Stakes at Aqueduct.

In a four-week span, Meese Rocks had run two of her best races only to finish second by 2 1/2 lengths to Nicole H in both the Garland of Roses and Interborough Stakes. Saturday, if Meese Rocks can run either of those two races back, she will be the horse to beat in the Correction, run at six furlongs over the inner track.

“She ran two of her highest Beyer numbers and ran second,” Barker said. “Obviously, we got beat by a much better horse. But she’s doing good – she should run good.”

Rarely has Meese Rocks not run well. A 6-year-old New York-bred daughter of Rock and Roll, she has finished in the top three in 15 of 19 lifetime starts and has not finished worse than second in seven starts since returning from a four-month layoff in June. In the Garland of Roses, she was compromised by a stumble at the break, yet still came running to be second, a head in front of Tar Heel Mom, who came back to win the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes at Gulfstream two weeks ago.

Though she has good early speed, Meese Rocks can also be effective from slightly off the pace, and with the outside post, jockey Junior Alvarado can survey what’s going on inside of him before deciding where to place his mare early.

Barker said that after the Correction, he will give Meese Rocks a little freshening to the Grade 2 Distaff run over Aqueduct’s main track on April 16.

Though eight were entered for the Correction, not all are expected to run. Five Grand Girl, one of two horses entered by trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., was also in a starter allowance on Friday’s card. Trainer John Servis is likely to run one of the two fillies between Come Sunday and Brilliant Sunshine.

Kid Kate, trained by Chad Brown, has not been out since Dec. 3, when she finished second to Simply Spiteful in the Foil Stakes run over the main track. That was her first start at six furlongs, a distance at which Brown is somewhat leery when it comes to his 4-year-old filly.

“She’s definitely a one-turn horse, but 6 1/2 to a mile is probably more in her wheelhouse,” Brown said. “Six might be a touch short. Hopefully, we get some pace in front of her.”

Heaven’s Voice, the runner-up in last year’s Correction, returns for Maryland-based trainer Christopher Grove. She will break from the rail under David Cohen.

Seniors Pride could steal Bald Eagle

Earlier on the card, Seniors Pride looms the primary speed in the $60,000 Bald Eagle Stakes at a mile over the inner track.

In November, Seniors Pride dueled with Understatement virtually all the way around the main track before prevailing by a nose over that rival in the Mad Hatter Stakes. Three weeks later, Seniors Pride set the pace in the Grade 3 Queens County, but faded to fourth behind More Than a Reason who is back in this spot.

Modern Cowboy looks to be the stronger half of trainer Todd Pletcher’s uncoupled entry which includes No Shenanigans. Goombada Guska, winner of the Cosmic Bob Stakes over the inner track two back, completes the field.