07/14/2010 5:38PM

Pletcher, Zito make race go


ELMONT, N.Y. – The effects of the rule change uncoupling same-trainer different-owner entries will be felt twice on the final Friday of the meet, in the form of first-level allowance races that otherwise may not have seen the light of day.

Exhibit A is race 3, a $53,000 route at 1 1/16 miles, where 3-year-olds trained by Todd Pletcher and Nick Zito comprise four of the five entrants.

Bookending the short field is Pletcher’s pair of Tiznow colts, Winaholic on the rail and Modern Cowboy on the outside.

“The new rule is to the benefit of everyone, and this is a great example,” said assistant trainer Jonathan Thomas. “I don’t think the race would have gone otherwise.”

Winaholic finished a distant third to Bay Shore winner Eightyfiveinafifty when unveiled at six furlongs in January, but returned in May and improved substantially to win a two-turn route at Monmouth Park. Four weeks later, he was nosed for second as part of a favored entry with the winner, Aikenite.

“He has trained well since his last race,” said Thomas. “We’ve always had the feeling that some distance will be to his benefit, and he seems like a late-maturing type of colt.”

Up until last week, Modern Cowboy would have been thrown into the deal, but now bettors must decide whether he can run back to a sharp effort at Churchill Downs in his first start of the year.

Even though Gold Cup Kid has won three straight, he is getting a class check after taking two photo finishes in starter allowance races at Philadelphia Park, and Wake Maker seems like the faster and classier representative from Nick Zito’s barn.

After breaking slowly in his debut at six furlongs, Wake Maker stretched out to a mile and showed vastly improved gate speed for a front-running maiden win, earning a Beyer Figure of 93.

Top It, a 5-year-old making his second start of the season for Bruce Levine, completes the field.

Exhibit B is race 8, a $52,000 sprint scheduled for the Widener turf at seven furlongs, where uncoupled entries from Christophe Clement and Mike Trombetta account for four of the seven starters.Clement, who won with five straight starters last week, sends out Manhattan Fox and Spanish Fortune.Trombetta has Into the Wind shipping in from Fair Hill, and Close to the Edge coming from Monmouth.