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OZONE PARK, NY – Repole Stable’s Backsideofthemoon, fourth in last year’s edition, took the field on a carousel ride in Saturday’s $100,000 Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct.
Backsideofthemoon shot to the lead after breaking from post 4 under Jose Lezcano as the 7/2 third choice and kept a comfortable tempo while the even-money favorite Musical Heart stalked behind and to the outside.
After setting opening fractions of 24.18, 48.39, and 1:13.17, Backsideofthemoon rounded the far turn still in command and drew off to win the 1 1/8-mile fast dirt route by 6 lengths in 1:52.94
“He broke very well,” Lezcano said. “I sent him a little bit, and after that, he just jumped right in the bridle. He seemed very confident the whole way around. When I asked him, he gave me everything he had and just kept on going.”
The rest of the field crossed in the same order that they kept from start to finish. Musical Heart was 12 1/4 lengths clear of Empty Tomb in third, while Mirinaque, Danny California, and an eased So High completed the order of finish.
Forewarned was scratched.
Backsideofthemoon’s win was his second at the stakes level following the Jazil over this course and distance in January 2018 and improved his overall record to 47-8-9-7 with $722,216 earned. Trainer Rudy Rodriguez claimed the 8-year-old Malibu Moon gelding for $62.5k in September after losing him for $100k in November 2019.
“All the credit goes to Mike (Repole),” Rodriguez said. “We were going to scratch and run tomorrow. I called Mike and he said, ‘You know what, Rudy? Just leave him there. I think he’ll be good in there.’ So, I have to give the credit to Mike. He plays the game very aggressively. We’ll see what he wants to do next out.”
Backsideofthemoon returned $9.20 to win, $3.50 to place, and $2.60 to show. Musical Heart brought back $3 to place and $2.30 to show, while Empty Tomb paid $3.60 to show.
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