Sunday Break, winning an allowance race at Aqueduct Wednesday.

Sunday Break, winning an allowance race at Aqueduct Wednesday.

Sunday Break Weaves, but Wins

By Dan Lauletta

Sunday Break overcame an erratic stretch drive to win for the third straight time, taking a 1 1/8-mile, money allowance race at Aqueduct Wednesday. The victory keeps the Japanese-bred son of Forty Niner on target for the April 13 Wood Memorial (gr. I), and a possible stop at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 4.

"I'm still thinking Wood for him," said trainer Neil Drysdale, who earlier this month shipped Sunday Break from California to New York. "This race was a good experience for him."

Under Gary Stevens, Sunday Break sat a stalking trip before taking over from Tomahawk Lake approaching the quarter pole. Things became exciting in the final furlong when the colt turned an easy victory into an adventure by ducking in sharply on multiple occasions. Stevens was finally able to straighten him out in deep stretch, and Sunday Break registered a length win over Tomahawk Lake with Iwin a close third. Following a stewards' inquiry, the result was allowed to stand.

"It was too easy for him," Stevens said in explaining the race. "At the quarter pole he was dragging me to the lead. I went to shake him up a little bit to keep his mind on business. He ducked out and then he ducked back in again. I damn near came off him the second time he ducked in on me."

Drysdale plans on keeping Sunday Break in New York until the Wood Memorial. His main rivals in the Wood are expected to be Mayakovsky and Saarland, the top two finishers in the Gotham, March 17 at Aqueduct.

Two years ago, Drysdale won the Wood Memorial with Fusaichi Pegasus, who went to Kentucky and captured the Derby as favorite.

Sunday Break completed the nine furlongs in 1:51.48.