06/21/2010 11:00PM

Rodriguez has two Belmont favorites


With Thursday's card limited to maiden and claiming races, the most remarkable contest on the day is the one for leading trainer.

As the week began on Wednesday, the erstwhile jockey Rudy Rodriguez was just one win behind Gary Contessa and Todd Pletcher for the top spot. Both of Rodriguez's runners Thursday are favored on the morning line -- Sorority Sister is 8-5 in the third race, and Feldberg is 6-5 in the sixth -- so it's conceivable he could be on top at the end of the day.

"That'd be nice, right?" said an upbeat Rodriguez. "I don't have the stock like Pletcher and Contessa, but we're doing the best we can with what we've got."

Statistically, things can't get much better than they already are: 13 wins and 8 runner-up finishers from 30 starters at the meet, this coming on the heels of 8 wins from a mere 11 starters at Aqueduct's spring meet.

Or can they?

The newly claimed Sorority Sister was entered for the main track only in a first-level allowance Wednesday, but will likely await Thursday's third -- a six-furlong $20,000 claimer -- for her first start in seven weeks and first for R-Rod.

"She's a good filly, but she fell off for a while," Rodriguez said. "She looked very skinny when I got her. She's still not where I want her to look, but we've been trying to baby her and put some weight on her."

Rodriguez hasn't tinkered with her late-running style, so Sorority Sister will have to come from behind in a field that also includes Chernobyl Princess, Dana's Bell, Salt Water Reign, Silver Payday, and Sister in the City.

Feldberg makes her second start in race 6, and the 3-year-old filly will be favored despite stepping up from maiden $16,000 to maiden $25,000 company.

Following an even try for third from the rail three weeks ago, Feldberg drew the rail once again -- but this time she will be adding Lasix.

"I was very pleased the way she ran the first time," said Rodriguez. "She was a little intimidated on the inside, but at least she got the experience. She was honest, she tried."

* Freud, readying for a start in the Prioress on July 4, worked five furlongs on the main track in a bullet 59.45 seconds Tuesday for John Terranova, more than two seconds faster than the next-best time.