OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Four of the eight races scheduled for Sunday at Aqueduct are for 2-year-olds, including the featured first-level allowance race for New York-breds, topped by Le General.
A son of Lemon Drop Kid owned by Jeffrey Kallenberg, Le General finished second to the front-running Tales of Chaucer going 5 1/2 furlongs at Belmont Park on June 1. Trainer Michelle Nevin felt that Le General was a horse that would benefit from some time to mature and develop, so she gave the colt the summer off. Le General returned at Aqueduct on Nov. 17 and he rolled to a 6 3/4-length victory.
“The owner let me do what I wanted with him,” Nevin said. “He gained a ton of weight, we got back into it, and he showed up. Now we’re up for another step.”
Following that maiden win, Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stables purchased part-interest in Le General.
Le General will stretch out to a mile in Sunday’s $64,000 allowance race.
“It’s a question,” Nevin said. “I feel like he can. Everything in the morning he’s indicated that shouldn’t be an issue. You never know until you try, and this looks like a good spot to try.”
Le General has come back with one work since his victory, a best-of-16 half-mile breeze in 48.01 seconds.
“It was a really good work considering Aqueduct can be quite dead in the morning time,” Nevin said.
Six were entered in the race, but trainer Linda Rice said Beachside, a recent maiden winner, would likely scratch to run in the Damon Runyon Stakes here on Dec. 31.
Beachside was an entrymate with Just Right, as both are owned by Barry Schwartz. Just Right, a son of Into Mischief, is trained by Todd Pletcher.
Just Right won a seven-furlong maiden race by 4 3/4 lengths at Saratoga on Aug. 27, but then got used in a pace duel when beaten 19 3/4 lengths in the Bertram F. Bongard at Belmont on Sept. 21. He bounced back with a win against open company on Nov. 11.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said Just Right “couldn’t get into a comfortable spot” in the Bongard but “rebounded with a solid effort.”
Pletcher will also send out Southern King, a horse who was just moved to his barn after being purchased privately by a group led by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. He is coming off a victory going a mile here on Nov. 15.
“He’s been pretty straightforward,” Pletcher said. “We breezed him one time and he seemed to go well.”
Durkin’s Call, third to Just Right here on Nov. 11, and Honorable Hero, fourth in the off-the-turf Atlantic Beach Stakes here on Nov. 10, complete the field.
With only eight races on Sunday, first post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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