01/27/2010 12:00AM

Rerun of sprint might produce different result


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - After a four-day break, racing returns to Aqueduct on Friday with a nine-race card, headlined by a second-level optional $25,000 claiming race for New York-breds that has a similar look to a race run here on Jan. 2.

Seven of the nine entrants in Friday's six-furlong feature all ran in a same-conditioned race on Jan. 2, including Gold Vendetta, who came from next-to-last to win that race by 2 3/4 lengths at odds of 29-1. Gold Vendetta was offered for the optional claiming tag of $25,000 that day and is one of four horses being offered for that same price Friday. Gold Vendetta may have benefited from the wide trip he had that day, but lately the inner track has been favoring inside speed.

William Thomas was the 8-5 favorite in that Jan. 2 race, and while he set the pace under slow fractions - a half-mile in 47.58 seconds - he finished last. In his previous start, a first-level allowance win over the inner track, William Thomas ran a half-mile in 45.93 seconds before drawing off to win by 3 1/4 lengths.

Trainer Steve Klesaris is puzzled by William Thomas's last effort, but couldn't find any reason not to run him back.

"The horse didn't clear as easily or as comfortable as I thought he should have,'' Klesaris said. "He kind of struggled; had an off day. But he came out of it good and is going into this one good.''

David Cohen replaces Ramon Dominguez, who has landed on Al's Deputy for this race. As aggressive as Cohen has shown to be here this winter, one would expect William Thomas to leave the gate running.

There is other speed in this field, however, including C T Chimes, a Finger Lakes shipper who has not been out since Oct. 5, and King David J, who chased the pace from post 11 last out in his first start in 10 1/2 months.

A contested pace would set things up again for Gold Vendetta, who fell into a sweet trip under apprentice Jackie Davis last out.

Al's Lark, who is coupled with Al's Deputy, did well to hold third in that Jan. 2 race after attending the early pace. He has shown the ability to be successful from off the pace. He has drawn the rail in this spot.

After finishing a dull seventh last out, Al's Deputy gets blinkers for the first time.