07/29/2010 2:01PM

Raynick's Jet well spotted in Ontario County


Raynick’s Jet was overmatched against Grade 3 stakes company and his first stakes try against fellow New York-bred 3-year-olds. But based on his recent Beyer Speed Figures, a change of scenery from metropolitan New York to Finger Lakes may be all he needs to secure his first stakes victory.

Shipping in for the powerhouse stable of Steve Asmussen, Raynick’s Jet looks like a standout against six rivals, including a coupled entry for trainer M. Anthony Ferraro, in Saturday’s $50,000 Ontario County at six furlongs.

Three of Raynick’s Jet’s last four Beyers are between 88 and 95, including a victory going six furlongs against open first-level allowance company at Belmont Park. In comparison, none of his opponents has ever posted a dirt Beyer higher than a 78.

Although Asmussen is 4 for 9 overall shipping horses into Finger Lakes the last five years, according to DRF’s Formulator, he did fail with Trinity Magic, who finished last, beaten 27 1/2 lengths, as the 3-2 favorite in last year’s Ontario County.

Two possibile viable alternatives to the heavy favorite are Piano Star and Too Tough Jake.

The locally based Piano Star will be dropping into statebred company for the first time after finishing no worse than second in 4 of 6 starts. He has been off since winning a nonwinners-of-two allowance on June 15. His trainer, Michael Lecesse, is 7 for 28 with last-out winners returning following a break of 31 to 60 days.

Too Tough Jake was 0 for 4 racing at Belmont and Aqueduct, but romped by 10 3/4 lengths in his Finger Lakes debut on July 4. The group of open company maidens he defeated, however, looks like a weak bunch. They are a collective 0 for 7 since then with a high Beyer of 35.

The other intriguing upset possibility is Vital Argument, who returns to his home base after a pair of thirds over the synthetic Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs. Two starts ago, Vital Argument earned an 85 Beyer, which would put him in the hunt with Raynick’s Jet if he can duplicate that performance on dirt. He was good enough last fall to finish second by a head against open company in the Finger Lakes Juvenile.