03/27/2008 11:00PM

Wishing Wishes can end meet on winning note


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Though he has won 23 races from 141 starters through Friday and will finish in the top 10 in the standings, trainer Tony Dutrow characterized his winter meet at Aqueduct as "disappointing."

Dutrow, who had 27 second-place finishes and 21 thirds, has a chance to end the inner-track session on a positive note when he sends out Wishing Wishes in Sunday's $50,000 first-level allowance race for fillies and mares going six furlongs. Following Sunday's card, racing at Aqueduct switches to the main track Wednesday through April 27.

Dutrow certainly couldn't characterize Wishing Wishes as a disappointment. Dutrow ran her in a $14,000 claiming race last Nov. 16, a race Wishing Wishes won by nearly two lengths, and that kick-started a three-race winning streak, including a pair of New York-bred allowance races. Her streak was stopped in the Broadway Handicap when she finished a solid second behind favored Karakorum Starlet.

"I was happy with her," Dutrow said. "She had stepped it up and trained better and ran better and gave it all she could. She was second-best to the winner, but I was happy and proud of her effort."

Since that race, Wishing Wishes has come back with a strong half-mile work in 48.20 seconds. Alan Garcia will ride from post 3.

Wild Debutante will try to bounce back from a third-place finish at this level Feb. 27. Before that, Wild Debutante had won her first two starts of the year impressively.

"She was 3-5 in that race, and she ran like she was 53-1," said Bruce Levine, trainer of Wild Debutante. "She's a little filly. She was carrying 123, but she just didn't run good."

Levine said he would ultimately like to stretch Wild Debutante out in distance but doesn't mind sprinting her one more time on the inner track because of her speed.

Victory for M'lady is stepping up into allowance company off a solid maiden win last out in her first start for trainer Richard Schosberg. She would benefit from a hot pace similar to the one she closed into to win her last race.

Michele the Great is a two-time winner over the inner track, but both of those races came at distances beyond six furlongs. This race looks a prep for future turf races. Are We Dreamin, Hatta Diamond, and All Bridled complete the field.

Earlier on the card, there is a first-level allowance for fillies and mares going one mile around two turns. Rock Hampton, a daughter of Storm Cat trained by Tom Albertrani, looms the one to beat.