Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile will be a key race in determining whether throat surgery earlier this year helped Park Avenue Ball, who will be running at his home track.
The Thoroughbred Breeders' Association of New Jersey named Char-Mari Stables' Park Avenue Ball Horse of the Year for 2005.
A field of eight 3-year-olds who swerved off the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail at some point will battle it out Saturday in the $150,000 Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
The favorite hasn't won the Meadowlands Cup since Marquetry in 1993, but trainer P.G. Johnson is hoping to break that trend when he brings Volponi from New York to New Jersey for Friday's grade II test at Meadowlands. The 5-year-old finished second in last year's running of the race.