04/13/2010 11:00PM

Rodriguez off to great start training


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - If Rudy Rodriguez knew he was going to do this well this soon as a trainer, perhaps he would have quit riding years ago.

Rodriguez has gone 4 for 4 since Aqueduct's main track opened and is 4 for 10 since starting his first horse as a trainer five weeks ago. Rodriguez, 37, retired from riding after an 18-year career in which he won 221 races, including the Grade 1 Suburban in 2008.

"I always loved to ride. I just never got the opportunity to ride the horses I would like to ride,'' Rodriguez said. "I was riding horses with problems, horses with mental problems and it's hard when you ride those kinds of horses against two, three, or four favorites. But it was always on my mind to train horses.''

Two of Rodriguez's four winners have been longshots, including Aegean Breeze, who won a $7,500 claiming race at 21-1 after failing to beat a horse in her previous four starts while beaten 115 lengths.

"I really didn't do much with her,'' Rodriguez said. "I put blinkers on her. I guess she really liked that.''

Rodriguez also won a starter allowance with 12-1 Temecula Creek, whom he claimed for $7,500. His other winners were Chromospere, who won a maiden $16,000 claimer on the turf, and West Coast Flier, a 6-year-old gelding who went gate to wire Sunday to win a $20,000 claimer.

"Everything is moving the way I was hoping,'' Rodriguez said. "A little too fast maybe, but I'm going to try and do the best I can and hopefully everything continues to work out the way I want.''

Rodriguez did not have a runner on Wednesday, nor does he have one on Friday. He was scheduled to run Coach Gravy in a $35,000 claimer on Thursday. On Saturday, he starts Rocketing Returns in a starter allowance. On March 12, Rodriguez won a five-way shake for Rocketing Returns for $12,500.