11/04/2009 12:00AM

New jockeys smell an opportunity


With most of the local big-name jockeys at Santa Anita for Breeders' Cup mounts, opportunities abound for newly arrived riders on Aqueduct's Friday program.

David Cohen, fresh off a riding title at Delaware Park, has mounts in all eight races for seven trainers, including the Leo O'Brien-trained Pretty Boy Freud in a second-level $46,000 turf allowance for New York-breds. The race, carded as the fifth, serves as the nominal feature.

Pretty Boy Freud will be making his turf debut. His chief rivals are Minnie Punt, a New York Stallion winner, and Extra Zip, who was third in the West Point three starts back and who has won both of his starts over the local course.

Cohen, 25, got off to a fine start at the meet, with 4 wins from his first 12 rides. He has impressed on more than one occasion by straightening out leg-weary runners attempting to lug in or out through the stretch.

Among his other live mounts Friday are Ruff and Ready and The Mayor, logical contenders for David Jacobson in races 1 and 7; Five Aces, a first-time starter for Gary Contessa in race 2; and Gold Medallion, who may be the one to beat in race 3 after an improved effort first time in blinkers at the Meadowlands.

Cohen ranked fourth in the nation with 261 victories heading into this week's racing.

"It's been a lot of hard work," he said. "I've been riding in a lot of places all year to accomplish it. I'm just trying not to slow down. I have two more months, and I'm really trying to stay to the grind to maintain the spot that we've worked so hard to stay at.

"Cody Autrey is going to set up shop here," he said, referring to the Delaware training title winner. "Tony Dutrow, Steve Klesaris - [New York] is really the place to be, and now's the time to do it if it's going to get done."

Also looking to gain a foothold in New York is Gabriel Saez, who switched his tack because of the pending retirement of Larry Jones, for whom he rode several stakes winners, including Proud Spell, last year's champion 3-year-old filly.

Saez, 21, rides in five races for five trainers Friday, including Winning Punch for Rick Violette Jr. in race 8, a $44,000 starter allowance scheduled for a mile on turf.