01/24/2011 4:11PM

Timing works out at Aqueduct for Inherit the Gold


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The complexion of Wednesday’s rescheduled $60,000 Mr. International Stakes for New York-breds at Aqueduct changed significantly from last Friday when it was originally to be run but wasn’t because of the weather-related cancellation of that day’s card.

The re-drawn field now includes Inherit the Gold, a winner of 3 of his last 4 starts, including a good-looking victory in allowance company in his last start. That race, which Inherit the Gold won by three lengths and for which he earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure, was run on Jan. 13. James Hooper, the trainer as well as part-owner and breeder of Inherit the Gold, said he didn’t want to run the horse back in eight days. But 13 days is a different story.

“I typically would never run a horse back in seven or eight days,” said Hooper, who took out his trainer’s license only last summer. “Of course, I wish I had a few more days, but if I don’t run then I don’t have a race for another two or three weeks.”

The potential of another winter storm could threaten Wednesday’s card, though Hooper said he’s not rooting for another cancellation.

“I don’t think the horse needs any more time,” Hooper said. “I plan on giving him a good amount of time after this race.”

Hooper, his wife, Suzanne, and their business partners Ed and Mary Murray had Inherit the Gold with trainer Charlton Baker. Hooper decided to take out his trainer’s license last summer and now has five horses, with Inherit the Gold being the best one. Inherit the Gold is 3 for 3 in two-turn races run over the inner track.

“We tried to be patient with him,” Hooper said. “He had shins at one point. He’s become a racehorse. I still think he’s got a couple of strides to go yet.”

Eddie Castro will ride Inherit the Gold from the rail.

Driven by Success was the horse to beat when this race was originally drawn. While he has had all of his success around one turn, trainer Todd Pletcher feels that a mile and 70 yards around two turns is within the 6-year-old gelding’s scope.

“The key is if he behaves well at the gate and breaks well and uses his speed without overdoing it,” Pletcher said Monday at Belmont.

The rest of the originally drawn field came back as well, including contenders Saginaw and Spa City Fever.