Updated on 09/15/2011 2:27PM

Sun setting on N.Y. turf season


JAMAICA, N.Y. - With less than three weeks remaining in the turf season in New York, trainers are hoping to get one more race out of their grass horses before laying them up or shipping them south.

The spate of good weather in the East has given trainers ample opportunity to do that, making for some terrific betting races at Aqueduct.

A case in point is Thursday's feature, a third-level allowance race at one mile for fillies and mares, which drew a contentious field of 10 betting interests.

After taking nearly a year to get through the second-level allowance condition, Unbridled Vice could be primed to hurdle the next level when she cuts back to a mile following a troubled trip at nine furlongs. The last time Unbridled Vice cut back in distance, she came charging from last to win by a neck at 6-1.

In her last start, Unbridled Vice finished sixth, beaten only two lengths, when forced to take up in deep stretch.

"It looked like she was going to win," said Buzz Tenney, assistant trainer Shug McGaughey. "She never had much chance to run. If she had a keyhole to run through she would have run through it. She was on the inside the whole way and nothing ever opened up."

Tenney said that Unbridled Vice has turned into a better horse by being taken back off the early pace.

With Shooting Party and Tiger Babe in the field, Unbridled Vice should be able to settle and come with her late run under John Velazquez.

Two other closers to consider are L'Emeraude and Talent to the Max. After racing in France - where she faced Group winners Spring Oak and Volga - L'Emeraude made her U.S. debut off a five-month layoff in the Miss Liberty Stakes at The Meadowlands. She finished seventh, beaten only 3 1/2 lengths.

"It probably wasn't the smartest place to make a return to the races," trainer Mark Hennig said. "The course wasn't in the best of shape and she was kind of wide all the way around there. It was a roughly run race."

Hennig said L'Emeraude has been doing well since the race, but he is concerned the mile may be too short for her.

Another contender, Talent to the Max, has won two of three starts since returning from a layoff caused by a fractured cannon bone.

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