02/08/2011 3:19PM

Sunrise Smarty looks sharp for return at Aqueduct


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Sunrise Smarty, a sharp maiden winner at Belmont’s fall meet before concluding his 3-year-old season in two tough spots, heads a field of six older sprinters in Thursday’s feature, a six-furlong, $44,000 first-level allowance carded as race 3.

On the strength of that wire-to-wire maiden score second time on dirt for Mike Hushion, Sunrise Smarty was entered in the Groovy overnight stakes a month later and finished second to Rule by Night, who came within three ticks of Aqueduct’s seven-furlong track record.

In his first start at this level, Sunrise Smarty was at a tactical disadvantage chasing Driven by Solar, an inner-track specialist who was never headed through a pedestrian pace.

Since then, Sunrise Smarty has turned in three workouts, capped by a half-mile Jan. 31 for which he shared the bullet among 54 at the distance.

Sunrise Smarty, the 7-5 morning-line choice, will again be ridden by Ramon Dominguez.

Fastus Cactus, who showed the way to the top of the stretch in the Grade 3 Toboggan Stakes last time out, drops in class and will be the one to catch under David Cohen.

Fastus Cactus was claimed for $14,000 by Naipaul Chatterpaul in November and returned immediate dividends winning for $20,000 first time on the inner dirt, despite showing his usual tendency to lug out.

In between that win and the Tobbogan, Fastus Cactus set the pace in a $60,000 claimer and faded to third behind Laysh Laysh Laysh, who won a $50,000 stakes at Laurel four days later.

Dahlgren Chapel, who recently garnered his second-level allowance condition against fellow New York-breds second time back from a layoff for Kiaran McLaughlin, tries open company for the first time since running third in the Tyro Stakes as a 2-year-old.

Eltish Star, a 46-start veteran who has run his two fastest Beyers this winter for Paulino Ortiz, will be rallying late.

Six Flings and Never Content complete the field.

The two next-richest races of the day, each for fillies and mares with a $42,000 purse, were originally scheduled for last Wednesday’s canceled program.

Cody Samora, who has won four of five of her starts against non-stakes rivals for John Morrison, is the one to catch in race 7, a one-mile starter allowance.

Devilish Spirit and Mississippi Too are the main contenders in race 8, a six-furlong optional claimer.