Lake Lonely Racing's Backsideofthemoon kept close watch on the pace setting Doyouknowsomething through most of the running of the $100,000 Jazil Stakes at Aqueduct on Jan. 20.
In the very last stride of the mile and a furlong contest on the new main track, the 6-year-old ridgling by Malibu Moon from the Saint Ballado mare Ballado's Thunder dropped his nose as he crossed under the wire to come away with a nose victory, his first in stakes company.
With Kendrick Caramouche in the saddle for veteran trainer Leo O'Brien, Backsideofthemoon ran the mile and an eighth in 1:49.94 over a fast track to defeat three rivals and earn $60,000 for Lake Lonely's racing account.
Doyouknowsomething, the 9 to 10 favorite with Angel Arroyo in the saddle, was a half length ahead of long shot Turco Bravo and Joe Rocco,
After the post race pictures, Caramouche said, “Mr. O'Brien told me to ride him to win, and that's what I did. I wanted to make sure I followed the Number 1 horse (Doyouknowsomething) every step of the way because that was the horse to beat. It worked out,” he concluded.
A day later, Caramouche teamed up with Michael Dubb and David Simon's Control Group to score a gate-to-wire victory in the$100,000-added Alex M. Robb Stakes for New York-breds that was also run at 1-1/8 miles on the main track.
The 4-year-old colt by Posse from the Victory Gallop mare We Kept Her defeated four rivals by seizing the lead before the first call and cutting our fractions of :50.16 for the first half, 1:14.18 for three quarters of a mile, 1:39.94 for the mile and then finishing in 1:52.19.
The win for Control Group was his sixth from 14 lifetime starts after he was purchased by Dubb and Simon at the Ocala Breeders Sale of June 2016 for $15,000. Since then, he has banked $381,750.
After the race, trainer Rudy Rodriguez said his charge “...Broke good and was in control. He runs his best races that way.”
When asked about his future plans for Control Group, the trainer said, “We'll talk to the boss (Michael Dubb) and figure out where we go from here.”
After breaking fifth in a field of six fillies and mares, jockey Manny Franco hustled Just Got Out to the front and stayed there to win the featured $100,000 Ladies Handicap on Jan. 21.
The 7-year-old mare, racing in the colors of Sacandaga Stable and co-owner and trainer Linda Rice, was closely pursued by Bombshell (the eventual fourth place finisher) and later by a fast closing Girl Talk before gaining a neck victory in the race that was her 41st lifetime start.
The Canadian-bred mare was claimed twice by Rice during that span with the Ladies Handicap being her 10th career win. She has banked $375,908 for her various owners.
After the winners' circle ceremonies, Rice lauded Franco's ride saying, “Manny gave her a strong ride. He never gave up on (her). She's a real stayer. She has a lot of stamina and he was aware of that.”
Girl Talk and Caramouche were a neck behind Just Got Out at the finish line. Sherini and Trevor McCarthy finished third but were disqualified and placed fifth for interference in the stretch.
Just Got Out's front running effort resulted in a 1:55.32 clocking for the mile and a furlong.
Fall Handle Up
The betting numbers for the Aqueduct Fall 2017 race meeting are in — and they're in the black.
Management moved the Cigar Mile, the meeting's signature race back a week from its traditional spot on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to a spot four weeks after the Breeders' Cup.
The purse was also raised from $500,000 to $750,000.
Those moves saw all-sources handle for Cigar Mile Day increase 11.8% over the 2016 figure to $13.5 million.
Altogether, Aqueduct Fall 2017 generated:
All-sources handle: $250.3 million.
All-sources daily average handle: $6.9 million.
Race days: 36.
Total 2017 on-track handle: $28.09 million.
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