11/05/2008 12:00AM

Timber Reserve lands in familiar spot

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - In 8 of his 10 career starts, Timber Reserve has either drawn the extreme inside or outside post position. That streak continued Wednesday when Timber Reserve - for the fifth time - drew the rail for Friday's $57,000 money allowance feature at Aqueduct.

"It's the Kimmel spot," trainer John Kimmel said. "It's either 12 or it's 1."

Kimmel was hoping to use this one-mile race as a prep for the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 28. But his rail draw and the presence of three other graded stakes winners in the field make this a tougher heat than Kimmel was probably seeking.

Timber Reserve, winner of last year's Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby, seemed to be heading in the right direction after a classified allowance victory at Saratoga on Aug. 29. Timber Reserve then finished third in the Meadowlands Cup where his rail post draw may have been a factor.

Kimmel told jockey Kent Desormeaux to let Timber Reserve run away from the gate, but he did not want to get into a duel with the main speed of the race, Past the Point. Timber Reserve outsprinted Past the Point and Actin Good into the first turn and was on the lead through splits of 22.88 seconds, 45.91, and 1:10.12 for six furlongs. Though he turned back Past the Point in upper stretch, Timber Reserve could not hold off Arson Squad, who won by 2 1/2 lengths. Anak Nakal nipped Timber Reserve by a nose for second.

"Had he ridden him properly, he would've been very tough to beat," Kimmel said.

Javier Castellano replaces Desormeaux on Timber Reserve. Castellano is 2 for 5 on Timber Reserve.

Kimmel hopes Castellano can avoid getting into a speed duel with Temporary Saint, Bribon, and possibly Mister Triester. Temporary Saint, who won the Grade 3 Excelsior over this course in April, is 2 for 2 since being claimed by David Jacobson. He defeated Mister Triester when those two alternated for the lead in a one-mile, $60,000 claiming race at Belmont on Oct. 16.

In June, at Belmont, Bribon won a one-mile allowance race in 1:34.24 and earned a 118 Beyer Speed Figure. After a lengthy break, Bribon finished a well-beaten third in a six-furlong allowance race at Belmont.

The potential for a lively pace could set things up for Sir Whimsey, the Gulfstream Park Handicap winner who makes his first start for trainer Steve Asmussen, or Hunting, who won the Grade 3 Stuyvesant over this track last fall.