Updated on 09/16/2011 8:56AM

Mud would help Shawlkit Mint


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Pat Reynolds will try to ring in the New Year the same way he rang out the old: by winning a stakes race.

Sunday, New York's final day of racing in 2002, Reynolds won the Alex M. Robb with Tom's Thunder. Wednesday, when the 2003 season begins, Reynolds will try to win Aqueduct's $75,000 Interborough Handicap with Shawklit Mint.

With rain forecast for Wednesday, the prospect of an off track should only enhance Shawklit Mint's chances in a contentious nine-horse field going six furlongs. Shawklit Mint is 3 for 3 over an off track and is 3-1-0 in four inner track starts.

Shawklit Mint, owned by Flatbird Stable, is coming off her most powerful performance, coming from just off the pace to win a third-level allowance race by nine lengths, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 108. Some may believe Shawklit Mint is the ideal bounce candidate.

But not Reynolds. "I thought off her last race there appeared to be something in the tank,' he said. "She's doing too good not to run. A wet track is part of the bonus plan.'

In the Dec. 12 allowance race, Shawklit Mint defeated the Anthony Dutrow-trained Nice Boots Baby. Wednesday, Dutrow has the horse to beat in Wilzada. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Meadowlake, Wilzada has won 7 of 10 career starts, and is 2 for 2 over the inner track.

Wilzada won a money allowance race over Aqueduct's main track in November, but skipped the Dec. 14 Garland of Roses because of fellow Maryland shipper Xtra Heat. Wilzada is the 119-pound Interborough highweight under Mario Pino.

"I was really worried about that last race of hers. She was all out to hold off [Preferred Option],' Dutrow said. "I couldn't help but worry such a big effort taking something out of her so it was fine with me to give her a few extra weeks. She's training wonderfully, acting wonderfully.'

Two stars back, Wilzada won the Half Moon Stakes by 7 1/4 lengths over a sloppy Meadowlands track.

Blinded By Love, who defeated Shawklit Mint in a Nov. 23 allowance race, is another threat. She will most likely try to wire the field from the rail under Javier Castellano, who leads the inner track standings with 24 winners.

Look of the Lynx, who was third in last year's Interborough, is coming off a sharp allowance win 12 days ago. Literary Light is 2 for 2 since being claimed by Richard Schosberg. Bonefide Reason, Belle Artiste, Saskya, and Quarter to Nine complete the field.

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