04/14/2011 8:56AM

New York's first 2-year-old race of 2011 set for Friday

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New York will hold its first 2-year-old race of the year on Friday at Aqueduct, and handicappers will likely have to choose between a couple of Wesley Ward-trained runners in the 4 1/2-furlong dash.

Ward actually entered three in the race but Forever Noble, the lone filly in the field, will scratch to run in Maryland, Ward said. Ward will go with Lord Chelsie and Steve’s Adventures.

Lord Chelsie is a half-sister to Coax Liberty, a 3-year-old filly who won the Dearly Precious Stakes earlier this meet. Lord Chelsie shows a three-furlong workout from the gate in 36 seconds at Calder on April 5. Steve’s Adventures shows a three-furlong workout from the gate in 34.80 seconds on April 10.

Ward said Cornelio Velasquez worked several of his 2-year-olds at Calder and Velasquez chose to ride Lord Chelsie.

“He’s a little bigger colt,’’ Ward said. “He may not be better on the day, but he may be better down the road.’’

John Salzman has the uncoupled entry of Distinctly Donovan and Suntorious entered. Linda Rice has the only local entrant, that being Champ’s Metal.