Redskin Warrior Battles Six in Best Turn

Redskin Warrior will make his sophomore debut when he squares off against six rivals in Saturday's $75,000 Best Turn Stakes going six-furlongs at Aqueduct. The Best Turn is the feature on Saturday's 10-race card with a 12:30 p.m. post.

A son of 1998 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) favorite Indian Charlie, Redskin Warrior notched two easy wins in a 28-day span last October. But following an emphatic entry-level win on Oct. 30, he was vanned off the track.

"His feet were bothering him and he ripped the skin off both his front fetlocks," said trainer Jennifer Pedersen who conditions the colt for Ernie Paragallo. "He was a bloody mess."

Thankfully, neither setback was too serious and Redskin Warrior returned to serious training in December. He was shipped to Florida with the intentions of making his seasonal debut at Gulfstream Park, but returned to New York after a few weeks at Palm Meadows.

"I brought all my horses back," Pedersen said. "They were too far away."

Since returning to Aqueduct, Redskin Warrior has trained strongly for his 3-year-old bow. Last Sunday, he breezed a 'bullet' five furlongs over Aqueduct's inner dirt track in 1:01.

Jockey Richard Migliore has the mount on Redskin Warrior.

Challenging Redskin Warrior will be Excellent Band, who won four of five starts as a juvenile. He looked like he could be a major 3-year-old sprinter on the Florida circuit this winter, but failed to fire when fifth in the Spectacular Bid (gr. III). So, trainer Valora Testerman is shipping the son of Dixieland Band back to the Big A, the site of his Huntington win last November.

"(Jockey Harry Vega) said he had a ton of horse, he just couldn't get a hold of the Gulfstream track," Testerman said. "He's allowed to have a poor race every now and then. He won four of five starts as a 2-year-old."

With rain in the Saturday forecast, Abbondanza becomes a player. A colt by Alphabet Soup, Abbondanza blitzed a field of seven in his Feb. 4 career debut by nearly six lengths over a muddy track. His six furlong time of 1:09 4/5 was quick Trained by Tim Tullock Jr., Abbondanza drew the rail under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan.

The Field for Saturday's Best Turn includes:
1-- Abbondanza (Shaun Bridgmohan, 116)
2-- Smokume (Shannon Uske, 122)
3-- Kiowa Princess (Mike Luzzi, 116)
4-- Excellent Band (Harry Vega, 122)
5- Scary Bob (Aaron Gryder, 120)
6-- Redskin Warrior (Richard Migliore, 116)
7 --Matsui (Arnold Unsihuay, 116)

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