During his nine-race 2009 season, Repole Stable’s Driven By
Success knocked heads with some of the biggest sprint stars in thoroughbred
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
“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
Besides Driven By Success, Vinery Stables LLC’s Peace
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.
and Stetson Stables’ Wall Street Wonder – both recent allowance winners over
the inner track – and Hobeau Farm’s Shoptate complete the field.