02/16/2011 2:50PM

Sky Music out to make amends at Aqueduct


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Sky Music looks to make amends for two disappointing efforts at short prices when he heads a field of six New York-bred 3-year-olds entered to run in Friday’s $60,000 Undaunted Mettle Stakes at Aqueduct.

After winning his first two outings, Sky Music finished fourth as the 4-5 favorite in the Damon Runyon Stakes in December and third as the even-money choice in the Champagneforashley Stakes in January. In the Damon Runyon, Sky Music was running back just 18 days after winning a stakes, and in the Champagneforashley, Sky Music got off a step slowly, was well off the pace, and failed to change leads until deep stretch when beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Preachintothedevil.

“In his last start he gave up a little more ground than we expected and fell out of the race,” said Jonathan Thomas, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. “He came with a big run, just came a little too late.”

Sky Music was scratched out of the Whirlaway Stakes here on Feb. 5 because of a “minor inconvenience,” according to Thomas, who said the horse has been training “pretty well” lately.

Sky Music will break from post 6 under David Cohen.

Eminent Tale, who won a sprint division of the New York Stallion Stakes over the main track in November, finished a neck in front of Sky Music in the Champagneforashley. That was his first race around two turns, and though he did get away with relatively soft fractions, he faded in the final furlong.

Perhaps with that race under his belt and two bullet workouts over the inner track in the interim, Eminent Tale could rebound. He is reunited with Ramon Dominguez, who was up for the Stallion Stakes score.

If Eminent Tale goes to the lead, he could find some company with Gold Raptor, who successfully stretched out around two turns winning a first-level New York-bred allowance race by eight lengths in front-running fashion on Jan. 28. He has the rail again and is likely to use that and his speed to his advantage under Cornelio Velasquez.

Beau de Beaupre won the slowly run Damon Runyon Stakes here on Dec. 5 but was no factor when seventh in the Champangeforashley. Ram, who finished sixth in the Damon Runyon, and the seemingly overmatched Uncle Smokey complete the field.