Updated on 09/17/2011 7:07PM

Tani Maru drops and stretches out


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Tom Bush will find out a lot about his 2-year-old Tani Maru when he stretches him out for the first time Wednesday in a $44,000 entry-level allowance race for 2-year-olds at Aqueduct. The 1 1/16-mile race goes as the seventh and serves as leg four of a pick-six wager that includes a $37,853 carryover.

Bush, who is 3 for 7 at the inner track meet, claimed Tani Maru for $75,000 on Sept. 24 at Belmont. Tani Maru paid instant dividends, winning a maiden race before finishing a troubled third in the Huntington Stakes over Aqueduct's main track on Nov. 14. In that race, Tani Maru had to alter course down the backside, then was blocked from the middle of the turn to the top of the stretch. Meanwhile, Magoo's Magic coasted to a front-running score.

"There was a horse going down the backside that was lugging out pretty badly, and Edgar [Prado] couldn't clear that horse,'' Bush said. "Finally, Edgar reached up and grabbed him and dropped him in. Then he didn't have anywhere to go for a little while. He showed a lot of courage, I thought, through the lane.''

Thus far, has not raced beyond six furlongs. Tani Maru is a son of sprint champion Cherokee Run, who won the nine-furlong Dwyer and ran second in the Preakness. Tani Maru's mother, the unraced Bullville Belle, is a half-sister to route stakes winners Royal Fair and Native Regent.

"His pedigree on the bottom side certainly says he should [stretch out],'' said Bush, who has Rafael Bejarano to ride. "I'm hopeful that he will.''

and Pavo unsuccessfully chased Rockport Harbor and Galloping Grocer in the Grade 2 Remsen. Trainer Nick Zito thinks highly of Father Weist, but said he had no concrete reason why he ran so poorly when fifth in the Remsen. Prior to that, Father Weist finished a good second behind Magna Graduate going two turns at Keeneland.

was headstrong early on in the Remsen and stepped on Rockport Harbor entering the first turn, causing a severe gash in Rockport Harbor's hind foot. Pavo could not keep up when the real running started around the far turn and finished last.

was bumped hard from both sides leaving the gate in his debut, but then fell into a dream trip behind a three-ply speed duel when he won his maiden at 26-1 on Nov. 6. Jockey Richard Migliore makes his return from a seven-week, injury-related layoff on this John Kimmel-trained colt.