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Rule by Night 7-5 Choice in Gravesend

Rule By Night breaks maiden at Aqueduct.
Photo: NYRA - Adam Coglianese
Saturday’s 52nd running of the Gravesend Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack takes on an international flavor as Newmarket-based Deerslayer makes his American debut against five other sprinters.


Owned by Andy Bonarius and trained by Amy Weaver, the 5-year-old gelded son of Rahy enters the Gravesend off a neck victory in claiming race at Lingfield. The win was his sixth of the year from 15 starts, all sprinting, with three coming on turf and three over an all-weather surface.


“The plan is to get him sold and for him to remain in America,” said Weaver, 30, who will be saddling her first American starter as a trainer. “He’s American-bred, and fetched $500,000 as a yearling. He handles dirt and Polytrack well and we chose this spot hoping he will take to American racing.”


Mike Luzzi has the mount on Deerslayer, 20-1 on the morning line under 115 pounds, from post position 3.


Favored at 7-5 in the six-furlong race is Gold Square’s Rule by Night, the 119-pound highweight whose lone victory in 2011 came in the Duck Dance overnight stakes at Belmont Park on October 9. Most recently fourth after setting the pace in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler going seven furlongs, Rule by Night is 3-1-0 from five starts at Aqueduct, including a 9 `/4-length victory in the 2010 Groovy.


Rule by Night will have Junior Alvarado aboard from post position 4.


Fourth behind Rule by Night in the Duck Dance was This Ones for Phil, who drew post position 5. The Duck Dance was the fourth start of the year for the 5-year-old gelding, who returned from a 14-month layoff in May to win an overnight stakes at Monmouth, after which he finished second in the Grade 2 True North Handicap presented by Emirates Airline at Belmont and sixth in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap.


The Rick Dutrow, Jr. trainee was listed at 2-1 on the morning line and will tote 118 pounds, including Jose Valdivia, Jr.


Frazil, who will be making his stakes debut in the Gravesend, enters the race off a pair of starter handicap victories. Owned and trained by Linda Rice, the 5-year-old gelding has fashioned a record of 5-3-1 from 11 starts at the Big A, all in starter handicap and allowance company.


Cornelio Velasquez rides Frazil, 6-1 on the morning line, from the outside.


Drawing post position 2 and carrying 113 pounds is Susanne Bobley’s Pretty Boy Freud, most recently third to Dr Disco in Aqueduct’s Vodka overnight stakes on December 4. The 5-year-old New York-bred gelding has one win in nine starts at the Big A, taking an optional claimer in December, 2009.


David Cohen will ride Pretty Boy Freud, 5-1 on the morning line.


Completing the field is the well-traveled Escrow Kid, most recently fourth in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap in his Aqueduct debut. Third in the James Marvin and sixth in the Grade 1 Forego behind Jackson Bend at Saratoga, the City Place gelding, 8-1 on the morning line, will be ridden by Oliver Castillo from the rail.


The field for the $65,000 Gravesend Handicap:








Escrow Kid (FL)

O Castillo


C Doran



Pretty Boy Freud (NY)

D Cohen


L O'Brien



Deerslayer (KY)

M J Luzzi


A Weaver



Rule by Night (KY)

J Alvarado


S M Asmussen



This Ones for Phil (FL)

J Valdivia, Jr.


R E Dutrow, Jr.



Frazil (KY)

C H Velasquez


L Rice





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