01/27/2009 12:00AM

Successful Affair loves the track


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The accent in U.S. racing may be on sprinters, but you'd never know it from a Thursday program at Aqueduct that features seven route races. Highlighting the card are two $44,000 races: an optional claimer at 1 1/2 miles that goes as race 2, and a starter allowance at one mile carded as race 8.

Eight older New York-bred males entered the three-turn marathon. Among runners entered for the optional $25,000 claiming price are Lorccan and Successful Affair, long-winded veterans who have won two of the last three renewals of the Coyote Lakes at the same 1 1/2-mile trip.

Successful Affair, who has won or placed in 14 of 18 career starts on the inner track, won the Coyote Lakes and Gallant Fox in 2006, and finished second in both of those races last winter.

Successful Affair returns from a seven-week layoff for trainer David Jacobson. It might be relevant that Successful Affair's best race in 2008 came off a similar break here last February.

Lorccan won the Coyote Lakes on opening day this winter for trainer Jimmy Ferraro, but stopped badly in the Gallant Fox Handicap four weeks later. "He didn't run his usual race, he didn't try at all," said Ferraro.

Any leftover moisture in the track from Wednesday's expected storm could help the enigmatic Lorccan, who won on sloppy and muddy tracks last year.

Six others will try going the distance: Dantastic, Bonus Size, Odor Free, Western Deed, Commissioner Chris, and Hoist the Gala.

Judge William, coming off his two fastest races, heads a competitive group of eight in race 8, a starter allowance for older runners who have started for a $50,000 claiming price.

Judge William is a New York-bred colt who won 4 of 10 starts last year. He also has won both of his previous starts on wet tracks. He has a stretch-running style that could play well if front-runners Lion by My Side and San Naa, drawn in posts 1 and 3, hook up in an early pace duel.

Masala T, a four-time winner in 2008, stretches out from six furlongs in his first start off a claim by Ferraro, and has not finished worse than second in three previous starts at a mile. "He definitely wants to go long," Ferraro said.