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Sunny Desert Hoping for a Curtain Call in Broadway

By Jenny Kellner | 03/27/2013 04:30 PM ET
Sunny Desert
PHOTO/Adam Coglianese

Sunny Desert, whose six-race winning streak ended with a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap, looks to start anew Saturday when she faces four other New York-bred fillies and mares in the $75,000 Broadway at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by John Parisella for Saul and Max Kupferberg, the 4-year-old Wild Desert filly scored four stakes victories facing restricted company during her winning streak, including the one mile, 70-yard Cat Cay on January 6. The Broadway will mark her first start at six furlongs since a second-place finish in a maiden race last January.

“Normally I’d wait another couple of weeks to run her back, but she came out of the Top Flight very well,” said Parisella. “She showed what kind of real talent she has in that race and now we’re going back to New York-breds. In this game, sometimes when you’re supposed to win you get beat, but at least I feel going in she’s supposed to win.”

Leaving from the rail, Sunny Desert will tote high weight of 123 pounds, including Cornelio Velasquez, as the 3-5 favorite on the morning line.

Making her 2013 debut in the Broadway is Lady On the Run, who closed out her 4-year-old campaign with a third-place finish in the Lottsa Talc in December. Owned by Jeffrey Tucker, Lady On the Run has posted two official workouts at Belmont Park since returning to training, most recently breezing five furlongs in 1:02.17 on March 23.

“She runs well fresh,” said trainer John Morrison of the Ten Most Wanted mare, who is 5-7-4 from 19 career starts. “We gave her the winter off with the Broadway as being her first start back, and everything has gone according to plan. It looks like a small but very competitive field.”

Mike Luzzi will ride Lady On the Run, 5-1 on the morning line, from post position 3.

Since switching to the dirt last summer, AnJes Farm’s Clear Pasaj has been first or second in all but one of eight starts. The Broadway will mark the first stakes for the 4-year-old daughter of Smoke Glacken, most recently second after setting the pace in a six-furlong optional claimer on the inner track on March 1.

“She’s really done nothing wrong since she hit the dirt,” said trainer Bruce Levine of Clear Pasaj, the 4-1 morning line second choice who leaves from post position 5 with Jose Ortiz in the irons. “She’s earned her opportunity. She tries hard every time. The owner owns the dam, so we’ll try. I’m only worried about the speed.”

Likely to be forwardly placed in the Broadway is Peter Kazamias’s Here’s Zealicious, owner of a three-race winning streak, including a pair of front-running victories over the inner track this year. The 5-year-old homebred daughter of Here’s Zealous, 4-2-0 from seven starts, was 11th in her only main track appearance at the Big A last November after bobbling at the start.

Channing Hill will ride Here’s Zealicious, 6-1 on the morning line, from post position 4.

Rounding out the field is Nicole’s Miss El, most recently fourth in the Ruby Rubles on February 22 at the Big A in her 2013 bow.

The field for the $75,000 Broadway:








Sunny Desert (NY)

C H. Velasquez


J Parisella



Nicole's Miss El (NY)

L E. Perez


D H. Conway, Jr.



Lady On the Run (NY)

M J. Luzzi


J Morrison



Here's Zealicious (NY)

C Hill


P Kazamias



Clear Pasaj (NY)

J L. Ortiz


B N. Levine