Saturday, November 10, 2012


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Sportswriter, already a winner of a New York Stallion Stakes on the turf, will try to win his first NYSS on the dirt when he competes in Wednesday’s $100,000 Thunder Rumble at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The Thunder Rumble is one of two NYSS races on Wednesday’s card, the other being the Staten Island for fillies and mares. Both races are seven furlongs.

Sportswriter, owned by Michael Dubb and Michael Imperio, won an NYSS for 3-year-olds at one mile on the turf at Saratoga Race Course in August. Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, the gray gelding has sprinted in his two most recent starts, a sixth in Belmont’s Groovy overnight stakes against open company on the grass in September and a fourth against New York-breds in the Hudson over that venue’s main track on October 20.

Javier Castellano will ride Sportswriter, the 1-4 morning-line favorite, from post position 2.

Frisky Warrior, owned and trained by Ralph D’Alessandro, ships south to Aqueduct off four straight allowance wins at Finger Lakes. He was last seen prevailing by a half-length in a state-bred allowance in the mud on November 2.

Jaime Rodriguez, aboard Frisky Warrior since the winning streak began, retains the mount for Wednesday’s race. The gelding was installed at 6-1 on the morning line and drew post position 5.

Game Token, Anaphylaxis, Dave’s Shadow, Keltic Fighter, and Maggie’s Hadder complete the field.

In the Staten Island, Sunny Desert aims for her fifth straight win and third in a stakes.

After breaking her maiden by 15 ¼ lengths in March at Aqueduct in her sixth start, Sunny Desert rallied along the rail to win the NYSS Park Avenue by a nose in May at Belmont. Since then, she has added wins in a Saratoga optional claimer in July and Belmont’s Judy Soda overnight stakes on September 14.

Ramon Dominguez, Sunny Desert’s regular rider, has the assignment once again. Sunny Desert, trained by John Parisella for Saul J. and Max Kupferberg, will depart from post 2 at 3-5 on the morning line.

Lady On the Run, a two-time NYSS winner, took the Arctic Queen Handicap in July at Finger Lakes and enters Wednesday’s race off a sixth in the Fleet Indian in August at Saratoga and a third in the Iroquois on October 20 at Belmont.

Mike Luzzi has the call aboard Lady On the Run, 2-1, from post 5.

The field also includes Haldane, Mah Jong Maddnes, and Jitney.

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