02/16/2011 5:48PM

Nicole H getting a freshening

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Barbara D. Livingston
Nicole H could be pointed to the Distaff Handicap on April 16.

Trainer Mike Hushion said that Nicole H, winner of the Garland of Roses and Interborough Stakes, is getting a little freshening. She might be brought back for the Grade 2, $150,000 Distaff Handicap, a seven-furlong race run over Aqueduct's main track on April 16.

Hushion trains Nicole H for the Gem Inc. Stable headed by John Waken, who also owns Harissa, who was entered for Saturday’s Grade  2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel Park.

“I didn’t think it was a good idea to get in a hurry to go nowhere,’’ Hushion said. “They got a horse for the Barbara Fritchie and it’s a long year in front of her and I really think she’s a Grade 1 type of horse.’’

Busher not carded for Saturday

It will be a stakes-less start to the Presidents’ Day weekend as there were not enough entries for the $65,000 Busher Stakes to be carded. The race will be brought back as an extra race on the overnight for Sunday as the racing office hopes to coax another horse or two to enter the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies.

Five horses were entered, but Portside and Vixen’s Roar share common ownership which would mean they would be coupled, making for just four betting interests. Others entered include Busanda first- and third-place finishers Dance Quietly and Daring Reality as well as the undefeated It’s Tricky.

There will still be 10 races Saturday, with the feature being a second-level allowance at a mile and 70 yards.

Sunday’s feature, the $65,000 Rare Treat, could also be in jeopardy as only Dolce Pentimento and Quiet Giant are considered definite as of Wednesday.

Pedroza to return Saturday

Apprentice rider Brian Pedroza, one of four riders involved in a spill here on Sunday, is returning to the saddle quicker than anticipated as he is named to ride four horses on Saturday’s Aqueduct card. Initially, Pedroza was expected to take off this week.

Pedroza and fellow apprentice rider Charlie Amaro were both taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center on Sunday after being involved in a four-horse spill, in which one horse died, but no other injuries were reported.

Amaro took off his only mount on Wednesday, Unbridled Grit, who won the second race under C.C. Lopez, and was scheduled to return Thursday.

Three jockeys penalized

The stewards penalized three riders for various infractions last week.

Maylan Studart was suspended seven days for careless riding during the running of the fifth race here on Feb. 11. Studart let her mount, Idol Image, come over on Shotgun Bandit, forcing jockey Pablo Fragoso to check. Studart was to begin her suspension Thursday.

Meanwhile, Fragoso was fined $500 for “failure to ride in a professional manner’’ following that race as he guided his Shotgun Bandit very close to Idol Image, nearly putting Studart into the rail. The two had heated words after the race, according to the stewards.

Also, Junior Alvarado was fined $500 for standing up prior to the wire aboard Chairman Now, who finished second in the fourth race here on Feb. 12. Alvarado had previously been warned about failing to finish a race in a professional manner.