11/15/2009 12:00AM

Pennington's style may hurt

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Uncle T Seven, winning a New York Stallion Stakes on the Saratoga turf this summer, will seek another victory in the series on Sunday, this time on dirt.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The good news for trainer Rick Violette is that his New York-bred Pennington will not have to face Banrock in Sunday's $75,000 Cormorant Stakes at Aqueduct. The bad news is that Pennington's front-running style has been ineffective this fall at Aqueduct.

Still, Pennington looms the horse to beat in the Cormorant, one of five stakes races restricted to progeny of New York-based stallions scheduled to be run Sunday at Aqueduct. Banrock, who has defeated Pennington the last three times he has run, was not entered in this spot and instead is headed for a stakes out of town.

Pennington figures to set the pace under Alan Garcia. But the front-running tactics he employs have not worked too often at this meet.

"The last move wins," Violette said of the way the turf course is playing. "Unless you're odds-on, if you move first you can't win. Maybe the rain changes that a little bit."

As of the conclusion of Friday's card, the rain that had been forecast for the New York metropolitan area had not materialized. The turf course was labeled good for all three of Friday's grass races. The pacesetter in the first two of those races finished last. Exonerated, the pacesetter in the nightcap, just got beat the wire.

Pennington, who will break from post 2, looks like he could have the lead if he wants it. Extra Zip, who has some speed, could also be a pace factor under Jorge Chavez. Extra Zip, trained by John Toscano, is 3 for 3 over Aqueduct's turf course, including a second-level allowance race run here on Nov. 6.

Minnie Punt, who won a division of the New York Stallion Stakes at Belmont in May, looks could be effective from a stalking position under John Velazquez.

Good Prospect, Gargantua and the entry of Pretty Boy Freud and Theconfidenceman complete the field on turf. Hammock and Ruffino are entered in the event the race is washed off the main track.

Thunder Rumble: Uncle T Seven back on dirt

Uncle T Seven seeks his third Stallion Stakes victory of the year when he faces seven rivals in the $75,000 Thunder Rumble Stakes at seven furlongs.

Uncle T Seven began his 3-year-old campaign with a 3 1/2-length victory in the Times Square Division of the Stallion Stakes, a 6 1/2-furlong race run over a sloppy inner track. At Saratoga, he won another division of the Stallion Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Last out, in his first start for trainer John Kimmel, Uncle T Seven finished 11th of 12 in the Mohawk run over an extremely soft turf course.

John Velazquez, aboard Uncle T Seven that day, told Kimmel "as long as he was running into the bridle he was fine, as soon as he asked him to go on that soft track he lost his action," Kimmel said. "He said don't get upset about it, it's just that some horses couldn't handle it and he was one of them."

Kimmel could have entered Uncle T Seven in the Cormorant on turf, but was concerned about catching a similar soft turf.

"He's been training pretty well on dirt, so I'm kind of looking forward to running him," Kimmel said.

Lookin at Her and Tall Poppi, the one-two finishers from the Great White Way division of the Stallion Stakes for juveniles over this track last year, are the ones to fear. Dr. D.F.C. turns back to a sprint after facing the top New York-bred route horses all year long.

Staten Island: Mother Russia packs bullet

Mother Russia, a three-time stakes winner on turf, is back on the dirt in the $75,000 Staten Island Stakes at seven furlongs.

In her last appearance on dirt, Mother Russia won the Park Avenue Division of the Stallion Stakes by 4 3/4 lengths over a sloppy inner track. She enters this race with a bullet five-furlong work on Nov. 7 and has leading jockey Ramon Dominguez in the irons.

Christina's Gold, who won two races by a combined 16 1/2 lengths in the Mid-Atlantic region makes her first start in restricted company for Cody Autrey. Anjorie, a first-level allowance winner here on Oct. 4, is another top contender in this field. Raffie's Treasure, Beam of Love, and City Spirit complete the compact field.