02/05/2010 12:00AM

Time ripe to turn the tables?


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Wishful Tomcat has won his last nine starts in New York dating back to Dec. 12, 2007. Naughty New Yorker has lost his last 13 starts - all in New York - going back two years, including two defeats to Wishful Tomcat

But when the two veteran New York-breds square off Sunday in a $53,000 classified allowance race that serves as Aqueduct's feature, there are reasons to consider playing Naughty New Yorker, who is making his 8-year-old debut, rather than Wishful Tomcat.

Wishful Tomcat has enjoyed most of his success when able to secure a clear lead, which he did when he won the Alex Robb here on Dec. 27, his first start in six months. But in Sunday's 1 1/16-mile race, Wishful Tomcat, who breaks from post 2 under Ramon Dominguez, figures to get pace pressure from the likes of National Pride and Lord Justice.

Naughty New Yorker, meanwhile, has been compromised by slow paces in several of his last races, though he did finish second to Wishful Tomcat last out.

Trainer Pat Kelly has entered Naughty New Yorker a couple of times since then, but those races did not fill. Naughty New Yorker shows two solid works leading up to this, so perhaps the six weeks between starts has done him some good.

"He seems all right," said Kelly. "He looks good. He's feeling good, He bites you if you walk by his stall and you're not careful.''

Naughty New Yorker, who is a four-time winner over the track, should get a ground-saving trip under Jean-Luc Samyn from the rail.

National Pride bounced back from a sixth-place finish in the Alysheba Stakes at the Meadowlands with a front-running victory under Richard Migliore in an optional claiming race here on Jan. 6. He has shown the ability to come from off the pace in the past.

"We're going to be forward," said Art Magnuson, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "It's up to Richie where he wants to fit in, but we're going to break running."

Lord Justice won a first-level allowance race over the inner track last March and has not run since being dueled into defeat in the Grade 3 Pegasus last November. He is another that figures to break running, and will be ridden by Fernando Jara.

Reflect Times won a second-level allowance race over the inner track on Dec. 12 before finishing fourth behind Tiger's Rock in the Gallant Fox at 1 5/8 miles on Dec. 31.

More Than a Reason, fifth in the Evening Attire last out, completes the field.