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Jockey John Velazquez and Aigue Marine return after winning the Long Island Handicap.
The $150,000 Long Island Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct features older fillies and mares going 1 1/2 miles around 3 turns of the turf course. Conditions were typical for November on Long Island, with mostly sunny skies, temperatures in the high 40's, and a turf course rated "yielding". Danza Cavallo was sent off as the 8-5 favorite in the field of 12. In to challenge her included 4-1 second choice Viva Rafaela, third in the Flower Bowl (G1) after second in the Glens Falls (G3), and 6-1 third choice Aigue Marine, winner of the R.G. Dick Memorial (G3) and unraced since 5th in the Glens Falls.
Down the stretch with Aigue Marine coming through on the inside.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Aigue Marine Velazquez 15.20 6.00 4.90 5 Danza Cavallo Ortiz Jr. 3.60 2.90 4 Maximova Franco 5.00 Winning Time: 2:35.37 $2 Exacta 1-5 51.00 $2 Trifecta 1-5-4 667.00 $2 Superfecta 1-5-4-13 6,594.00
Left: Aigue Marine in the winner's circle with winning trainer Christophe Clement on the far left. Clement said, "She went a bit off form last time, otherwise she's always been a nice filly. We've tried to win the Long Island with her for a few years; it's wonderful she's done it this year. She's going to go back to Europe and become a broodmare now. The trip John gave her was between superb and unbelievable; that's what you call 'saving ground.'"
Right: Aigue Marine heads out for the post parade. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "There were only two speed horses, and I thought I'd come out of there and get it the way I wanted, try to sit and wait, and that's the way it worked out. I had to bide my time inside the 1/4 pole, but at the 3/16 pole she came running. I wanted to make sure I had room. Once I cleared the horse inside me, and I pulled her out, she was running really good, and I said 'I'm going to get there.'"
Left: Second place finishe and beaten favorite Danza Cavallo in the post parade. The 8-5 favorite rated in 5th about 5 lengths off the pace early under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., rallied to gain the lead midstretch but was outfinished late. The Chad Brown trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 4 seconds, and 2 thirds in 12 starts, earning $157,228 for owners Mike Dubb, Sheep Pond Partners, Bethlehem Stables, and Elkstone Group.
Right: Third place finisher Maximova heads out to the track before the race. The 24-1 longshot raced in 8th early about 7 lengths off the pace under jockey Manuel Franco, moved out 4 wide for room into the lane and rallied well to get third beaten 2 1/4 lengths. The Christophe Clement trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 1 second, and 2 thirds in 10 starts, earning $247,950 for owner-breeder Gallagher's Stud.
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