10/08/2010 3:03PM

Super Chunky brings hot streak to Basket Weave

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Awakino Cat, winning the 2009 Troy at Saratoga, looks for his fourth straight win in Sunday's Basket Weave.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Coming off wins in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, Super Chunky’s tour of the East Coast brings him to New York for Sunday’s $70,000 Basket Weave Stakes at Belmont Park.

Super Chunky has made only five of his 17 career starts on turf, but he has three wins and two seconds in those races, all at sprint distances. His two losses came to stakes horses Hatfield and Phosphorescent.

But since running second to Phosphorescent in an allowance at Pimlico – his first start off a four-month layoff – Super Chunky won a first-level allowance at Colonial, a second-level allowance at Laurel, and a third-level allowance at Parx Racing in Bensalem, Pa.

“I think he’s getting better each race,” trainer Ken Cox said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him. Each race has impressed me that much more.”

Super Chunky has displayed the versatility to win from on or off the pace. His regular rider, Malcolm Franklin, comes up from Maryland for the ride.

Super Chunky will have to knock off the locally based duo of Awakino Cat and Yield Bogey to get the money. Super Chunky and Awakino Cat were both entered in Saturday’s Grade 3 Woodford at Keeneland but were to scratch to run here.

Awakino Cat, trained by Linda Rice, is 10 for 21 lifetime, including an 8 for 18 record on turf. Amazingly, he has never run at Belmont Park, instead showing a fondness for Saratoga, where he has won his last four starts.

After a couple of disappointing efforts to begin the year, Awakino Cat has reeled off three straight stakes wins, beginning with an off-the-turf win at Suffolk Downs in July before winning twice at Saratoga.

Rice is hopeful that Awakino Cat likes Belmont as much as he does Saratoga.

“Some horses just prefer certain courses, and Saratoga has been his favorite course,” Rice said. “I’d be hard-pressed to think he wouldn’t like this one. Usually, he finishes up well in his races, and that’s key for a horse who runs at Belmont.”

Yield Bogey has two wins at Belmont and finished second to Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint-bound Stradivinsky in the Grade 3 Jaipur here in July. Prior to that, he won an allowance race over this course going six furlongs. Yield Bogey was twice third, beaten one length in each stakes, at Saratoga.

Jean-Luc Samyn rides Yield Bogey from post 7 in the nine-horse field.