11/09/2010 3:52PM

Opus A returns from sidelines after 11 months

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Opus A will make her first start in 11 months on Thursday at Aqueduct.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Opus A, sidelined for 11 months since a remarkable win in the East View Stakes last December, returns in a $44,000 allowance/optional claiming race that serves as the Veterans Day headliner.

Opus A won 2 of 3 starts as a 2-year-old for Rick Violette Jr., her only loss coming in the Grade 1 Spinaway, after which she underwent minor throat surgery.

Racing with blinkers on in the East View, Opus A broke from the far outside post and raced very wide throughout, but she somehow rallied from next-to-last to win going away under Alan Garcia.

“She did the impossible – you can’t win on the inner track blowing both turns,” Violette said. “Unfortunately, she cracked a cannon bone over the winter, and we had to put in a couple of screws.”

Opus A is bred to like Aqueduct’s main track as her sire Read the Footnotes won the Nashua and Remsen over the surface for Violette in November 2003.

Though she has been a late-running type thus far, Opus A may be positioned closer to the pace in a seven-furlong race without much early speed.

“She’s doing terrific and she’s fairly sharp, so we’re not going to take anything from her that comes easy,” Violette said.

Among the seven other New York-bred fillies and mares, the likeliest candidates to get the early lead are A Smart Judge, Laylaben, Spa City Princess, and Bearursa, though not necessarily in that order.

A Smart Judge was run down by Laylaben in the slop at Saratoga two starts back but was placed first when the Laylaben was disqualified for drifting out in the stretch. She has been freshened by John Hertler since trying open company in mid-September and recently worked a bullet half-mile.

Laylaben came back to win her first allowance condition with an improved show of tactical speed at Belmont for Rich Schosberg. She appears to be in career-best form.

Spa City Princess has been away since a pair of turf races in May. She won back-to-back starts at Aqueduct in late winter and early spring for Pat Kelly.

Bearursa makes her first start in nearly seven weeks for Steve Asmussen. She won this condition by better than 10 lengths off a similar freshening in June and is thus entered for the $25,000 claim price.

Rogue’s Jewel, Fivefifteen, and Enniskillen also entered.