11/30/2010 2:21PM

Schosberg looks to end win drought with Whateverittakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Rick Schosberg finished third with seven horses in seven days at Aqueduct last month.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – From Nov. 10 through Nov. 17, trainer Rick Schosberg ran seven horses at Aqueduct. They all finished third.

“That’s got to be a record for mediocrity, and I hold it,” Schosberg said. “The only problem is the last two horses we ran finished fourth and fifth so we’re going the wrong way.”

Schosberg hopes to turn things in the opposite direction Thursday when he sends out Whateverittakes in a first-level New York-bred allowance race that serves as the feature on Aqueduct’s nine-race card.

Whateverittakes looms the primary speed horse and will be breaking from the rail in the nine-horse field set to contest a two-turn mile over the inner track.

“I kind of like our chances,” Schosberg said. “I was very pleased to see we drew the rail.”

Though Whateverittakes is only 1 for 12 lifetime, Schosberg always thought the horse had some talent. The combination of maturity and the addition of blinkers – the latter being an idea Schosberg credited to his wife Dawn – has led to the 3-year-old gelding firing off his best two races, a 12 1/4-length maiden win on Oct. 2 and, yes, a third-place finish in his first try at this level last out.

“He was just a slow-learning horse,” Schosberg said. “By his 10th start Dawn said ‘Why don’t you put some blinkers on him, you dummy?’ I said ‘Okay,’ and he won by 12. I never lived that down. Last time, he just went a little bit quick early.”

Whateverittakes will likely have to hold off a late run from Smooth Transition, who finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Whateverittakes in that Nov. 11 race when they both finished behind One Turn Eddie. Smooth Transition, trained by Carlos Martin, has a win and two seconds in his last three starts.

“He really turned the corner; we ran him for $10,000 to try and get his confidence up because he wasn’t getting over that hump,” said Martin, who noted the gelding was dealing with foot issues last spring. “His last two races have been really good, and I think he’s going to run another big race.”

While Martin believes Smooth Transition will relish two turns, he is a little leery of running a closer on the inner track, a surface he won over last January, albeit for $35,000 maiden claiming.

“It takes him a while to get straightened out around the turns, but once he does he comes with a big run,” said Martin, who has seven-pound apprentice Jaime Rodriguez to ride. “He couldn’t be doing any better.”