12/17/2010 3:18PM

More Than a Reason comes right back for Forty Niner

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
More Than a Reason returns Sunday on one week's rest.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Just after More Than a Reason got up to win last Saturday’s Grade 3 Queens County in his 60th career start, trainer Randi Persaud said perhaps it was time to give him a little break.

Break time’s over for the durable 5-year-old, who is back to make his 19th start of the year in Sunday’s $60,000 Forty Niner overnight stakes at one mile.

With his last-to-first upset at 19-1 in the Queens County still fresh in everyone’s mind, More Than a Reason will be a considerably shorter price as he breaks from the rail in a field of seven older males.

More Than a Reason’s one-run style could be set up nicely, given the presence of several early-speed horses, most notably Understatement, an inner-track specialist who has won all four of his starts on the winterized strip including the Evening Attire and the Stymie last winter for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Understatement was making his second start back from a layoff when he wired the Evening Attire with a 115 Beyer Speed Figure and will be in the same stage of his current form cycle on Sunday following a nose loss on the main track in his return.

In order to take his preferred position at the head of the field after breaking from post 6, Understatement will need to out-sprint rival speed horses Hermosillo and Eagle Strike in the short run to the clubhouse turn.

Understatement is the 9-5 morning-line favorite, and Pletcher also sends out 5-2 second choice Alma d’Oro, who has been freshened for seven weeks since a fourth-place finish in the Brandywine Stakes at Delaware Park.

Adding depth to the field is Ben’s Cat, a 4-year-old invader from Laurel Park who did not begin his career until May but has won all eight of his starts for legendary trainer King Leatherbury, who bred and owns the gelding.

Early Star, who was second to Ben’s Cat in August and has won two of three starts since then at Charles Town for Rodney Jenkins, also ships in from Maryland.

Homeboykris, the 2009 Champagne winner, makes his first start since the Kentucky Derby in race 5, a six-furlong, $49,000 optional claimer. He breaks from the outside in a field of seven for Rick Dutrow.

Following Sunday’s card, the next live racing day at Aqueduct will be Dec. 29.