- Horse Racing - Dr. Brendler prepped and ready for Red Smith

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Friday, November 19
Dr. Brendler prepped and ready for Red Smith

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Sometimes it's better not to have a plan.

Trainer Graham Motion had no plan for Dr. Brendler when he ran him in an allowance race at Keeneland last month. But the race, which Dr. Brendler lost by a neck, seems to have him set up perfectly for Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct. The Red Smith is scheduled for 1 3/8 miles on the turf, though forecasted showers could move the race to the dirt.

Dr. Brendler, who won the Dixie Handicap on soft ground in 2003, was away from the races for 14 months after straining a suspensory ligament in last year's Sword Dancer Invitational. Motion said he was very pleased with the way Dr. Brendler ran in his return.

"It was a good spot for a comeback race," Motion said. "He got a little tired that last 100 yards."

Motion said the Red Smith turned out to be a logical spot because it gave Dr. Brendler five weeks between races and it enables him to run "at a distance he really likes."

Dr. Brendler will have to overcome post 11, however, and the fact he is the 120-pound highweight.

Irish Colonial, a 5-year-old New York-bred son of Colonial Affair, ended a lengthy losing streak when he won the 1 1/8-mile Mohawk Handicap for statebreds on Oct. 23. He has won over this course and trainer Randy Schulhofer believes Irish Colonial can get the distance.

"Last race he ran like he'd go a little further," Schulhofer said.

Evening Attire won the 2002 Red Smith when it came off the turf. He was entered to run on either surface Saturday, but trainer Pat Kelly said he is still considering next Friday's Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. Evening Attire finished second in the Knickerbocker Handicap on Oct. 30, his first start on turf, though Kelly said, "I don't think [turf] made him any better." Evening Attire would have to carry 127 pounds if the race is run on dirt.

Dreadnaught and Sailaway finished one-two in a second-level allowance race at Belmont at this distance. In their next start, Dreadnaught was beaten a neck in the John Henry Stakes while Sailaway was third in the Knickerbocker.

* Storm Minstrel returns to Aqueduct and cuts back to six furlongs when she faces nine 3-year-old fillies in the $60,000 Safely Kept Stakes.

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