From Sunday's NYRA notes:
After his anxiety-inducing yet impressive victory in Saturday's Bay Shore S. (G3), EIGHTYFIVEINAFIFTY (Forest Camp) will set his sights on one of two races for his next target. According to trainer Gary Contessa, the explosively fast three-year-old colt will either remain at Aqueduct for the Withers S. (G3) or ship to Churchill Downs for The Cliff's Edge Derby Trial S. (G3). Both are one-turn mile races.
Eightyfiveinafifty first served notice when posting a 109 BRIS Speed figure for his 17 1/4-length romp in a six-furlong maiden at Aqueduct in January. The bay earned a 106 Speed rating for his 2 1/2-length victory in the seven-furlong Bay Shore.
In between those sprints, he endured an adventurous trip in the 1 1/16-mile Whirlaway S. at Aqueduct on February 6. That was intended to serve as his two-turn debut, but Eightyfiveinafifty never made it to the second turn. Bolting around the first turn, he took himself out of the race and ran through the outer rail.
He also displayed certain antics in the Bay Shore, looking at the infield numerous times on the backstretch, leave Contessa wondering just how good he can be with a few adjustments.
"How dangerous would he be if he learns to run straight?" Contessa, New York's leading trainer four years running, asked Sunday.
"He is a highly perceptive horse, and yesterday when the rail disappeared on the backstretch, he started to look left. Imagine that he can turn his head 180 degrees left and still run :22, :45, and 1:08 and change.
"It's incredible, and the sky is the limit if he ever gets it all together and puts his mind on business. He's given me some fits, but we've managed to figure him out and I have to keep tweaking him and making him better. He's the best horse I've ever had."
When asked about potential distance limitations, Contessa clearly wants to take a wait and see approach.
"I'm not sure how far he will go," he said. "Yesterday he looked like a sprinter, but it's important to take into account that he has never had uninterrupted training.
"We've never seen him at 100 percent. For his maiden victory he was 75 percent and yesterday he was also 75 percent. It will be very interesting to see how he develops and matures over the year to come."