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SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – Lael Stable’s Arrest Me Red split horses at the top of the stretch and repelled a stubborn Town of Gold from the inside to post a 2-length victory in the $100,000 Atlantic Beach for juveniles going 6 furlongs on Opening Day Friday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The third running of the Atlantic Beach, contested on the firm outer turf, was part of the 10-race lid-lifter for the 18-day fall meet at the Big A, which is highlighted by 29 stakes (including 11 graded events) worth $3.41 million in purse money. The sprint saw Arrest Me Red notch his first stakes win, building on a debut victory at 5 1/2 furlongs in August at Laurel Park before running fifth when stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in the Bourbon (G2) on October 4 at Keeneland.
Cutting back in distance, the Pioneerof the Nile colt tracked in third position as Town of Gold, off at 58/1, led the seven-horse field through the opening 1/4-mile in 22.34 seconds and the 1/2 in 45.57. Jockey Reylu Gutierrez kept the pressure up aboard Town of Gold out of the turn, maintaining the edge near the rail while Trade Deal gave pursuit from the inside. But Hector Diaz Jr. found a seam between the two and took command with Arrest Me Red, powering to the wire in a final time of 1:09.85.
The Arnaud Delacour trainee, off at 5/2, returned $7.70 on a $2 win wager. He improved his career earnings to $83,800 while improving to 2-for-3.
“The key on the grass is to save some ground, but I have to give all the credit to the horse,” Diaz Jr. said. “He was just waiting for the hole to open. I knew it was going to open up because tired horses will drift and usually the hole opens. I just had to be patient and wait. When I asked, I had plenty of horse.”
Town of Gold, trained by Jorge Duarte Jr., finished on the board for the fourth time in five career starts (1-2-1), besting 3/2 favorite Whatmakessammyrun by a 1/2-length for second.
“I had a spectacular trip,” Gutierrez said. “Jorge told me to be aggressive coming out of the gate, but I didn’t have to be aggressive at all, my horse exploded out of the gate and took me there. When they run out of the gate, I’m not taking any horse back, especially at those odds. Let them run free and see where they go. We really bottomed out the field. We went pretty fast for three-quarters and the turf isn’t firm, so to go those fractions is pretty impressive.”
Trade Deal, Light Us Up, Chrome Dixie, and Texas Basin completed the order of finish. Lookin for Loki and Phantom Smoke were scratched.
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