01/04/2011 4:28PM

Streak or no streak, Englehart runners figure


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Is eight enough? That will be the story Thursday if Who’s the Cowboy, who kicked off a magnificent seven straight winners for Chris Englehart last Thursday, comes back and wins again as the trainer’s only starter Wednesday.

Should Who’s the Cowboy prevail, that would give Englehart eight straight wins on the NYRA circuit, a feat accomplished four times during a stretch from 1973-83, but not since then.

Englehart, who entered the week 9-0-2 with 11 meet starters overall, has three horses entered Thursday, beginning with the hard-knocking Crafty Mark, the 7-2 second choice in the $10,000 claiming opener.

“We’ll take it one step at a time and see what happens Wednesday,” said Englehart, when it was mentioned that Crafty Mark could conceivably be his record-breaking ninth straight winner in New York.

Crafty Mark, claimed away from Englehart from a win on the inner track last March, was reclaimed at the first opportunity and won or placed in five consecutive starts through summer and fall. His main foes are Stealth Missile, the stronger half of a Repole Stable entry, and Polished, who has kept tough company in Pennsylvania recently.

In race 6, the $42,000 optional claiming feature, Sorority Sister makes her second start off a claim by Island Wind Racing after being transferred from Rudy Rodriguez to Englehart, a path also taken by Who’s the Cowboy.

“They came over at the same time,” said Englehart. Sorority Sister “has been training well.”

Rodriguez, meanwhile, sends out two: Mustang Fever, who is second off the claim; and Zip by You, a freshened 7-year-old mare who has spent most of her career on turf.

Yo Karakorum, coming off a huge pacesetting try on a severe anti-speed track Dec. 9, is the one to catch from the rail. Jacky Juice, looking for her third win at the meet, will chase.

Englehart’s third and final starter is High Stakes Player, who breaks from the rail in race 8, a “beaten” $25,000 claiming sprint.

High Stakes Player won or placed in four starts off the Englehart claim, prior to a dull effort on the main track. “He just threw a really bad race – don’t know why,” he said.

High Stakes Player comes off a bullet five-furlong gate work in company with stablemate Brocket Man, a maiden and allowance winner at Finger Lakes in November.