01/13/2010 12:00AM

Weathered, By the Light head proven cast


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - A field of seven older New York-bred fillies and mares, all of whom have run well on Aqueduct's inner track, entered Thursday's Darlin Momma, a $60,000 overnight stake at a mile and 70 yards.

Heading the lineup are Weathered and By the Light, 10-time winners who each won two stakes here last winter.

Weathered, trained by Karl Grusmark, won the Rare Treat and Grade 3 Next Move and has been freshened up since setting the pace in the Grade 2 Top Flight Nov. 27.

By the Light, a 5-year-old trained by Rick Dutrow, has raced only twice in two-turn routes - a win as a 2-year-old in the $300,000 Delta Princess that remains the richest payday of her career, and a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Fitz Dixon Cotillion the following year.

By the Light returned from a layoff during the first week of the winter meet on Dec. 5 and rallied mildly in the slop to finish fourth in the Garland of Roses as the favorite.

At this time last year, What a Pear was in the midst of a 4-for-4 tear on the inner track, climaxed by wins vs. open company in the Wistful and the Busher - the Busher by better than 10 lengths with a Beyer Speed Figure of 93, an exceptional effort for a 3-year-old filly so early in the season.

That performance earned What a Pear a start in the Grade 1 Ashland, but she faded to last as the second choice, and finished out the year with six more disappointing races.

What a Pear, whose younger three-quarter-sister Beautiful Pear runs earlier on the card, returns from a short layoff with a trainer change to Pat Reynolds. She worked a bullet five furlongs last Friday on the Belmont training track.

Also making their first start since November are 4-year-olds Gold for the Queen and Sapphire Sky, the one-two finishers from last summer's New York Oaks at Finger Lakes.

Gold for the Queen has turned in a series of sharp drills for Charlie Baker.

Sapphire Sky ran second to What a Pear in the Wistful last winter, and went on to win sloppy editions of the Bouwerie and Biogio's Rose for David Donk. A confirmed mudlark, she closed out her 3-year-old campaign with a trio of in-the-money finishes.

Completing the field are She's Prime, who is riding a two-race winning streak, and Dean Henry.