Updated on 09/15/2011 1:37PM

White Ibis taking shot at two turns


JAMAICA, N.Y. - White Ibis is the dominant 2-year-old New York-bred male this year, with three consecutive wins in restricted stakes at a mile and under.

The gelding faces a new challenge on Sunday in the $75,000-added Damon Runyon at Aqueduct, when he tries two turns for the first time.

* is the likely favorite of the eight-horse Damon Runyon, restricted to New York-breds and run at 1 1/16 miles over the inner track.

White Ibis, owned by Quarter Keg Stable and trained by Richard DeStasio, has raced exclusively in stakes in his five starts. After a pair of third-place finishes in stakes at Finger Lakes during the summer, White Ibis came into DeStasio's Belmont barn and reeled off wins in the Bertram F. Bongard, Sleepy Hollow, and Great White Way, which was run here Nov. 11 over the main track.

DeStasio said White Ibis's 2 1/4-length win in the one-mile Sleepy Hollow in October gave him hope his gelding will stretch out comfortably.

"I thought the mile race was a good indicator he'll go a mile and a sixteenth," said DeStasio, who has employed long gallops to build White Ibis's endurance. The trainer said jockey Robbie Davis "says he relaxes for him, but has the speed to be right there."

Davis rides White Ibis, who should be close early, from post 3. White Ibis totes 122 pounds, giving seven pounds to his rivals.

A first-level allowance race run here

Nov. 29 could prove key to the Damon Runyon's outcome. The top three under the wire in the seven-furlong race, No Parole, Papua, and Eye of the Comet, are entered here.

No Parole was a length winner, but was disqualified and placed fourth for interfering with Eye of the Comet, who finished in a dead heat for third with Summer Dust.

No Parole's trainer, Joe Aquilino said his colt is still learning.

"He ran a big race last time, but he's still a little green," Aquilino said "When John Velazquez rapped him pretty good left-handed, he ducked out."

Private Practice also ran in the Nov. 29 race as the second choice after his 8 1/2-length romp in his debut. He bore out on the turn and was eased. Trainer Gary Contessa doesn't know what happened but said Private Practice checked out fine physically. Contessa puts blinkers on Private Practice, who drew post 8.


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