02/09/2011 3:37PM

More Than a Reason gets a little class relief at Aqueduct

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Barbara D. Livingston
More Than a Reason heads a field of seven in a third-level optional claimer Friday at Aqueduct.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Since upsetting the Grade 3 Queens County Stakes at 19-1 on Dec. 11, More Than a Reason has run into one stakes horse from the Todd Pletcher barn after another. On Friday, when More Than a Reason runs in the $49,000 allowance feature at Aqueduct, he won’t have to face any runners from the Pletcher barn.

That, and the prospect of a strong early pace, gives More Than a Reason a solid chance to return to the winner’s circle in the two-turn, one-mile race for third-level allowance runners or $75,000 claimers. More Than a Reason is coupled with The Roundhouse, who just last Saturday won a race for $7,500 claimers. Randi Persaud, who trains both horses, said he would only run The Roundhouse if the field scratched down to a five-horse field.

A field of seven was entered, and one will have to scratch as owner/trainer Peter Kazamias named Pablo Fragoso on both Endymion and Thunder Charm. Kazamias said Wednesday he plans to run only Endymion because Thunder Charm missed training time.

Endymion is coming off a poor performance in a third-level allowance race at Parx Racing on Jan. 25. Kazamias said he believes the tactic of taking the horse off the pace that day was the horse’s undoing. He expects Endymion to be close to the pace Friday.

Seniors Pride, who has the rail, and Masala, a front-running winner of a second-level allowance race last out, also figure to be forwardly placed.

A contested pace would benefit More Than a Reason, who does his best running late. More Than a Reason finished third to Modern Cowboy in the Bald Eagle overnight stakes last out, but Persaud said his horse didn’t like being on the inside early. He breaks from the outside post Friday.

“He doesn’t like the inside, he’s never liked the inside,” Persaud said. “He made a nice move then he got checked at the eighth pole. He’s going to be real good Friday.”

Though Masala went gate to wire in his last race, he ran two decent races from off the pace. Ramon Dominguez rides Masala for trainer Diane Balsamo, who is filling in for a suspended David Jacobson.

Full Moon Blues, 10-race cards back on Saturday

Full Moon Blues, who won the Grade 3 Tempted over the main track last fall, will make her 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s $65,000 Dearly Precious Stakes here at six furlongs. The Dearly Precious will go as race 9 on a 10-race card as NYRA will begin running 10 races each Saturday moving forward. The late pick four, which has a guaranteed pool of $250,000 every Saturday, now begins with race 7.

Full Moon Blues, who went gate to wire to upset the Tempted at 11-1 odds, has not run since finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Demoiselle at 1 1/8 miles. Trainer Tim Tullock said other variables, not the distance, were the reasons for Full Moon Blues’s poor performance in the Demoiselle.

“We came back a little too quick,” Tullock said. “It was too tempting to run for $200,000 in a five-horse field. Plus, we drew an outside post. There was an agenda, and they followed it – they kept her outside. She had a rough trip to the first turn, and we were pretty much done after that.’

Full Moon Blues will break from post 5 under Malcolm Franklin.

Breathoffreshheir, who won the Ruthless Stakes on Jan. 2, drew the rail for trainer Ben Perkins Jr., who said his filly is only 50-50 to run. Overseas Market, whose only win came via the stewards at Saratoga last summer, was supplemented to the field. She has not run since finishing third in the NATC Stakes on Sept. 26.

Kela’s Pride, Coax Liberty, and Wild About Sonny complete the field.

◗ NYRA can now video-stream races from out-of-state tracks on its website.