01/03/2011 5:15PM

Monzon likely headed to Sam Davis at Tampa Bay


Monzon, one-length winner of the Count Fleet Stakes here at Aqueduct on Saturday, will most likely make his next start in the Grade 3, $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 12, trainer Ignacio Correas IV said Monday.

Corras said the Sam Davis is a better alternative than the $100,000 Whirlaway Stakes here on Feb. 5 because it is a graded race and earnings in graded stakes races are needed to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.

Monzon, a gelded son of 1995 Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch, won the Count Fleet by one length, coming from last to first under Edgar Prado. Monzon covered the mile and 70 yards in 1:42.42 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

“The horse came out really, really good,’’ Correas said.

Monzon is based at owner Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Farm in Maryland. The farm utilizes a Tapeta training track and that’s where Monzon will do the bulk of his training leading up to the Sam Davis.

Preachintothedevil Whirlaway bound

While Monzon is not likely to run in the Whirlaway, Preachintothedevil, the 3 1/4-length winner of $60,000 Champagneforashley Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds, will be heading to that 1 1/16-mile race, trainer Gary Contessa said. Under Junior Alvarado, Preachintothedevil, a son of Pulpit, ran a mile and 70 yards in 1:43.48 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 79.

Though his high knee action would suggest Preachintothedevil may prefer the turf, he is now 2 for 3 on dirt, with a third in last month’s Damon Runyon Stakes.

“`We got to find out what we have,’’ trainer Gary Contessa said about running in the Whirlaway. “He sure acts like a horse that will go all day.’’

Englehart seeks eighth straight

When Who’s the Cowboy won last Thursday’s first race, it started a streak of seven consecutive winners sent out at Aqueduct by trainer Chris Englehart.

Wednesday, Who’s the Cowboy, a 9-year-old New Jersey-bred gelding, will attempt to give Englehart a New York Racing Association modern-day record-tying eighth consecutive winner when he runs in the fifth, a $35,000 claiming race run at six furlongs.

According to the NYRA communications department, since 1973 four trainers have saddled eight consecutive winners on this circuit, including John Parisella (1973), Angel Penna Sr. (1982), Oscar Barrera (1983) and Edward I. Kelly (1983). At the 2008 Saratoga meet, John Kimmel saddled seven consecutive winners.

On Monday, at Parx Racing, the Englehart-trained Cranberry Queen finished fifth in the first race. Factor in a win from two starts at Mountaineer Racetrack last week, and Englehart has won with 8 of 10 starters since last Thursday.

Englehart, 55, said he remembers a run in 1989 in which he won nine consecutive races at Finger Lakes, a track at which he has been the leading trainer the last eight years.

“I’ve always been a little streaky like that,’’ Englehart said Monday.

Last week, Who’s the Cowboy won for a $20,000 claiming price and faced only five rivals. Wednesday, he is in for $35,000 and faces nine opponents, including Mitigation, who is dropping down to the level at which he was claimed by trainer Gary Gullo last August at Saratoga.

Entries for Wednesday’s card were taken last Friday so Englehart entered Who’s the Cowboy with the idea of evaluating his morning training before deciding whether to stay in the race or scratch.

“I knew it was a pretty full field. I entered figuring if something wasn’t right maybe I’d try to get out of the race,’’ Englehart said Monday. “Seems like he’s doing all right. It doesn’t seem overly tough for $35,000.’’

Englehart, who has brought 35 horses to New York this winter, improved his record at the inner track meet to 9 for 11 after Isn’t She Grand and Fuhrlang won the fifth and sixth races, respectively, on Sunday.

Dominguez, Pletcher, Dubb top NYRA standings

For the second straight year, Ramon Dominguez led all jockeys in wins on the New York Racing Association circuit with 353 victories. In 2009, Dominguez led the NYRA standings with 376 wins.

David Cohen, riding his first full year in New York, finished second to Dominguez in 2010 with 180 winners. Javier Castellano (161), John Velazquez (147), and Cornelio Velasquez (110) round out the top five.

Todd Pletcher finished 2010 as the leading trainer on this circuit with 120 wins, ending Gary Contessa’s four-year run as this circuit’s top trainer. Contessa finished second with 86 wins. Pletcher won the most races on this circuit in 2003 and 2004.

Rudy Rodriguez, who only started training in February, finished third with 71 winners. Richard Dutrow Jr. and Steve Asmussen tied with 68 wins.

Michael Dubb won the owner’s title with 50 wins, one more than Mike Repole. Carl Lizza’s Flying Zee Stables (35), Douglas Jacobson’s Western Resources Racing (29), and Steve Sigler’s Winning Move Stable (25) completed the top five.