'Naughty' in control off the Aqueduct turf

Aqueduct - Nov. 11, 2006

OZONE PARK, N.Y. -- Naughty New Yorker took advantage of a surface switch and a soft pace to record his first graded stakes victory, taking Saturday's $150,000 Red Smith Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths in front-running fashion at Aqueduct.

Angliana, the 8-5 favorite, finished second, five lengths ahead of Crown Point. Chilly Rooster and Request for Parole completed the order of finish.

The Red Smith was originally scheduled to be run at 1 3/8 miles on the turf, but John Passero, the New York Racing Association's director of racing surfaces, said the turf course was still "very soft" in parts down the backside, prompting him to move the race to the dirt. The race was run at 1 1/4 miles.

Because of the surface switch, the Red Smith scratched down to a field of five. It was automatically downgraded to a Grade 3 pending a review by the North American Graded Stakes Committee.

Jean-Luc Samyn missed two of Naughty New Yorker's stakes victories this past summer because he was sidelined with an injury. With Edgar Prado in Florida on Saturday, Samyn was reunited with Naughty New Yorker, and he put the New York-bred son of Quiet American on the lead an eighth of a mile into the race. Naughty New Yorker got away with ridiculously slow fractions of 26.15 seconds, 51.95, 1:16.56, and 1:40.96 for the opening mile. Thus, he had more than enough left when Angliana and Crown Point attempted to make a run at him at the quarter pole.

Naughty New Yorker ($5.90), owned by Fox Ridge Farm and trained by Pat Kelly, covered the distance in 2:04.52.

"We were all set to run next week," Kelly said, referring to the $100,000 Stuyvesant Handicap. "But we'll take the bigger purse. I figured they wouldn't catch him because he was running so easy."

It was the sixth stakes win for Naughty New Yorker, but first in open company. Overall, Naught New Yorker has won 7 of 27 starts and earned $608,802.