Updated on 09/17/2011 9:35PM

Naughty New Yorker looking good


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Naughty New Yorker made a successful jump from maiden winner to stakes winner last month, rallying from far back to take the Damon Runyon Stakes by 8 1/2 lengths.

Saturday, glory last year.

No one in this field has run fast enough to be considered another Smarty Jones. But Naughty New Yorker's rally from 11th place on the inner track was noteworthy for the manner in which it was accomplished. Racing wide, Naughty New Yorker, a son of Quiet American, passed nine horses from the five-furlong marker to the top of the stretch under Jean-Luc Samyn, who only slapped him on the shoulder through the lane.

"He's just a horse that needed some racing to learn, which he learned very well," Samyn said, adding that the blinkers trainer Pat Kelly added four starts back have helped Naughty New Yorker. "He pays a lot more attention, he doesn't look around much like he did before."

Though Kelly said Naughty New Yorker's rally in the Damon Runyon "was pretty amazing," he's not making any plans for Kentucky. "I'm sure we'll take it one step at a time," he said. "Let's see how he handles open company."

, trained by Todd Pletcher, won minor stakes at Delaware Park and The Meadowlands, and finished a distant third behind Rockport Harbor and Galloping Grocer in the Remsen. He figures to stalk the pace under Richard Migliore and high weight of 122 pounds.

finally lived up to his $900,000 price tag when he won a maiden race by 5 3/4 lengths in the mud on Dec. 11. His connections said that Daddy Joe underwent throat surgery before that race. Though he won in gate-to-wire fashion last out, owner Ernie Paragallo said, "I don't think he has to be on the lead."

is the likely pacesetter. He finished a game second behind Tani Maru in an entry-level allowance race here on Dec. 15. Tani Maru and the third-place finisher from that race, Father Weist, are back in the Count Fleet.

Lakeville Rush, a 12 1/4-length maiden winner at Woodbine on Dec. 12, ships down and shows a bullet five-furlong work over the Belmont training track.