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Driven By Success tops Paumonok

During his nine-race 2009 season, Repole Stable’s Driven By Success knocked heads with some of the biggest sprint stars in thoroughbred racing.


That list includes recent Eclipse Award winner Kodiak Kowboy, and Grade 1 victors Fabulous Strike, Bribon, Pyro and Vineyard Haven.


On Saturday, the speedy 5-year-old son of Precise End starts his 2010 season in the 102nd running of the six-furlong Paumonok Handicap against five rivals who have not yet achieved that same level of success.


“We actually entered him in a New York-bred stakes race last week but that didn’t fill,” trainer Bruce Levine said.  “There aren’t many spots available out there, and we just wanted to find a good spot to start the year with him.  He’s been training awesome.”


Last year, Driven by Success began his season defeating a state-bred optional claiming field over Aqueduct’s inner track before moving on to finish fifth in the Grade 3 Toboggan and third in the Grade 1 Carter.


He’ll enter the Paumonok off a two-month layoff after pressing the pace and fading to sixth in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile.


“He always seems to run well fresh, so we try to space his races accordingly,” Levine said.  “I actually think seven furlongs may be his best distance.  He has enough speed to get to the front and then enough stamina to hang on.”


Mike Luzzi will ride Driven by Success, the even-money morning line favorite, from post position No. 3.


Vincent Scuderi’s Laysh Laysh Laysh exits a fourth-place finish in the Gravesend Handicap on December 26.


The 5-year-old Whywhywhy ridgling had previously won three races in a row – two since being claimed from David Jacobson by new conditioner Sydney Dutrow.


Besides Driven By Success, Vinery Stables LLC’s Peace Town is the only member of the Paumonok field with a stakes victory on his resume.


The 4-year-old son of Peace Rules took Laurel’s Maryland Juvenile Championship Stakes back in December of 2008.


Ted Hoover’s Mt. Glittermore and Stetson Stables’ Wall Street Wonder – both recent allowance winners over the inner track – and Hobeau Farm’s Shoptate complete the field.


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