A field of 11 familiar sprinters, including Spooky Mulder and Clever Electrician, are set for Sunday's $100,000-added Gravesend Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct on the last day of live racing in New York until Dec. 28.
To accommodate 10 races, the New York Racing Association has decided on a 12:10 p.m. EST post for Sunday's races.
With $584,065 in earnings and 23 career victories, Bruce Golden's 7-year-old gelding Spooky Mulder is still looking for his first stakes win.
"He's amazing," trainer Scott Lake said. "If I had a barn full of horses like him, I wouldn't have to have divisions at five tracks. It's really unbelievable that with all he's done on the track, he's never won a stakes. Winning the Gravesend would be great for him."
Orlando Mojica, who was aboard Spooky Mulder for a game allowance win earlier this month, will ride again in the six-furlong Gravesend.
Gumpster Stable's Clever Electrician is one year younger than Spooky Mulder and is a three-time stakes winner against New York breds. The Clever Trick horse was sent off at 48-1 in his last start, the De Francis Memorial (gr. I), and rallied from off the pace to earn the show spot.
"He ran super in the De Francis," trainer Bruce Levine said. "I thought he was going to kick and be second, but he just couldn't get by the second horse."
Vincent Papandrea's Presidentialaffair cuts back to a sprint for the Gravesend after 12 consecutive route tries. The 6-year-old gelding's early route speed appears to make him easily adaptable to sprinting. Four of his 11 victories came at six furlongs earlier in his career.
Presidentialaffair opened up a big lead as the odds-on favorite in the Maryland Million Classic in October, but hit a wall. Trainer Marty Ciresa discovered that the gelding's vulnerable feet were bugging him.
"We took him to Fair Hill (training center) because the track at Philadelphia Park was just too hard on his feet," Ciresa said. "The move really seemed to help."
After the move, Presidentialaffair blew away a small field in the Mountaineer Mile, beating favored Discreet Hero by 16 ¾ lengths.
The 119-pound highweight for the Gravesend is Hobeau Farm's Tom Fool (gr. II) winner Smokume. Jean-Luc Samyn takes over aboard Smokume, who drew outside post 11, replacing Chantal Sutherland.$100,000-added Gravesend (gr. III), 3 & up, 6 furlongs
PP. HORSE, TRAINER, JOCKEY, WGT.
1. Banjo Picker, Steve Krebs, Tara Hemmings, 113
2. Pioneer Empire, Kim Laudati, Jose Espinoza, 110
3. Clever Electrician, Bruce Levine, Jose Santos, 117
4. Acclimate, Mike Trombetta, Pablo Fragoso, 113
5. Saay Mi Name, Wayne Bailey, Art Madrid Jr., 115
6. Spooky Mulder, Scott Lake, Orlando Mojica, 114
7. Presidentialaffair, Martin Ciresa, Todd Glasser, 117
8. Exciting Metro, Dale Romans, Mike Luzzi, 114
9. Super Fuse, Chris Englehart, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 115
10. Introspect, Billy Turner, Channing Hill, 112
11. Smokume, H. Allen Jerkens, Jean-Luc Samyn, 119