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 division at Aqueduct.
The Thunder Rumble is one of two NYSS races on Wednesday's card, the other being the $100,000 Staten Island division for fillies and mares. Both races are seven furlongs.
Sportswriter captured the Cab Calloway division of an NYSS for three-year-olds going one mile on the turf at Saratoga in August. Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, the gelded son of Maybry's Boy 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 was aboard for Sportswriter's win in the Cab Calloway and his last start, and retains the mount on the gray 1-4 morning-line favorite Wednesday.
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, makes the trip with the Desert Warrior gelding.
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 1/4 lengths in March at Aqueduct in her sixth start, the Wild Desert sophomore rallied along the rail to win the Park Avenue division of the NYSS 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 for trainer John Parisella. The chestnut miss is the 3-5 favorite on the morning line.
Staten Island defending champion Lady on the Run 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 the Ten Most Wanted four-year-old.
The field also includes Haldane, Mah Jong Maddnes and Jitney.