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Meese Ready to Rock at Big A

Eight fillies and mares are expected to line up Saturday for the 72nd running of the six-furlong, $65,000 Correction at Aqueduct Racetrack.

 

The elder stateswoman in the group is Henry Terranova’s ultra-consistent 6-year-old Meese Rocks, who exits a pair of runner-up finishes to Nicole H in Aqueduct’s Interborough and Garland of Roses Stakes.

 

“She ran her guts out [in the Interborough], earned a 94 Beyer and just got beat by a better horse,” trainer Eddie Barker said of Meese Rocks, a New York-bred daughter of Rock and Roll. “She’s not facing Nicole H this time and she’ll run her race like she always does.”

 

Meese Rocks broke her maiden at Saratoga in August 2009 and has not finished worse than fifth in 16 subsequent starts, seven of them wins. Her most recent victory was in the seven-furlong Iroquois Stakes on New York Showcase Day at Belmont on October 23 prior to the December 4 Garland of Roses and New Year’s Day Interborough, in which she set the pace.

 

“She’s a dream to train,” said Barker. “She’s easy on herself and she’ll do whatever you ask her to do.”

 

Junior Alvarado, aboard for the mare’s two most recent starts, has the return call on the 2-1 morning-line favorite from post position 8.

 

Making her first start of 2011 is Dell Ridge Farm’s Kid Kate, most recently second after a troubled trip in the Foil overnight stakes at Aqueduct on November 20. In the Correction, the 4-year old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid will attempt to return to the solid form she displayed in the latter half of 2010.

 

Ninth in the Grade 1 Alcibiades over the synthetic track at Keeneland, trainer Chad Brown opted to start the filly on the turf in the one-mile Little Silver Stakes at Monmouth Park on May 30, in which she finished seventh.

 

“We wanted to find out early in the season if she might be better on the turf, but she didn’t run so well there,” said Brown. “After that, I think we finally found out what she really wants to be doing and we’ve kept her to one-turn dirt races.”

 

Kid Kate next faced older females in a one-mile optional claiming race at Belmont on June 18, finishing second, 3 ¾ lengths ahead of eventual Grade 1 winner Persistently. Facing her elders again at Saratoga Race Course on August 4, she closed swiftly to capture a seven-furlong optional claimer en route to a win in the Belle Cherie overnight stakes on October 3.

 

“She’s honest and she seems to run her race every time,” said Brown. “I think three-quarters up to a mile around one turn will be her game. If she runs well here, we might spot her around a little.” 

 

Tabbed as the 5-2 morning-line second choice, Kid Kate gets the services of New York’s leading rider, Ramon Dominguez, from post 6.

 

Shipping in from Philadelphia is Sapphire Racing’s Brilliant Sunshine, most recently a 1 ½-length allowance winner at the Correction distance on January 15 at Parx.

 

“I thought that effort was very good,” trainer John Servis said of the Smarty Jones filly. “She’s shown a lot of talent from the beginning, but she’s very difficult to ride. I put Jose [Ferrer] on her the last time, he rode her perfectly, and he was impressed enough to come get on her again.”

 

Ferrer has the return call aboard Brilliant Sunshine, 8-1 on the morning line, from post position 7.

 

Servis will also saddle Come Sunday, who was third in a one-mile allowance at Parx on December 4. The daughter of Repent won her previous start, a six-furlong optional claimer on October 30 and is 3-for-4 at the distance.

 

“She’s a hard-knocking, hard-trying filly and I think she’s better sprinting, so we decided to shorten her back up,” said Servis.

 

Purrfect Bluff, who completed the trifecta in the Interborough, is one of two 5-year-olds for trainer Rick Dutrow, who also entered Five Grand Girl, off since a narrow second-place finish in a November 16 optional claimer at Parx Racing.

 

Completing the field are Heaven’s Voice, second in an overnight stakes at Laurel Park on December 4, and Honor Hymn, third in an optional claimer at Parx on January 1.

 

The field for the $65,000 Correction:

PP

Horse

Jockey

Wgt

Trainer

Odds

1

Heaven's Voice

D Cohen

116

C W Grove

20-1

2

Honor Hymn

H G Rivera

120

R Preciado

12-1

3

Five Grand Girl  

J Valdivia, Jr.

120

R E Dutrow, Jr.

4-1

4

Purrfect Bluff  

C H Velasquez

120

R E Dutrow, Jr.

6-1

5

Come Sunday  

M J Luzzi

120

J C Servis

20-1

6

Kid Kate

R A Dominguez

120

C C Brown

5-2

7

Brilliant Sunshine  

J C Ferrer

116

J C Servis

8-1

8

Meese Rocks  

J Alvarado

120

E R Barker

2-1

 

 

 

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