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OZONE PARK, NY – Jockey Eric Cancel posted his sixth win on the card and secured his first NYRA meet riding title with a dramatic late rally aboard My Boy Tate in Sunday’s $100,000 Haynesfield on Closing Day of the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained, bred, and co-owned by Michelle Nevin in partnership with Little Red Feather Racing, My Boy Tate arrived in the final stride for a neck score over 4/5 mutuel favorite Bankit in the one-turn mile for New York-bred older horses.
The victory capped a remarkable day for Cancel, who overcame a 4-win deficit to overtake Kendrick Carmouche to win the title.
“I’m filled with emotions. I worked very hard for this and being able to compete with a guy like Kendrick, who is a very hard-riding guy, it feels wonderful,” said Cancel. “Yesterday, I didn’t think I was going to get it. But today, I just woke up and said to keep on swinging and go for it. I want to thank my agent and all the owners and trainers who gave me the opportunity to be here and win this meet.”
My Boy Tate broke sharp but Cancel allowed the 7-year-old Boys At Tosconova gelding to settle as stablemate South Africa was hustled to the lead by Carmouche through splits of 23.16 and 46.17 seconds on the sloppy and sealed main track.
Bankit, tracking from second position under Manny Franco, loomed large late in the turn and opened up a 1/2-length lead at the stretch call as South Africa dug in gamely. But there was no denying Cancel on a stellar day as the 24-year-old rider angled his charge down the middle of the track and closed with authority for the win in a final time of 1:36.37.
Bankit completed the exacta, 3 lengths the better of South Africa. Microscope and T Loves a Fight rounded out the order of finish.
The victory marked the fifth stakes win of the meet for Cancel, including scores with Espresso Shot (Biogio’s Rose), Make Mischief (Maddie May), Miss Brazil (Ruthless), and Risk Taking (Withers [G3]).
Cancel said a patient trip was the key to victory.
“I was telling Michelle that he’s very talented,” said Cancel. “He’s been improving as he’s gotten older. He’s been doing everything perfect. The last few races, he’s just been sitting very nice and patient and making his run. I tried to ride him confident and just wait into the last 1/8 and just go on from there.”
Nevin was full of praise for her team in helping prepare the tough gelding for his fifth career stakes win and second straight following a score in the Hollie Hughes on February 15 at the Big A.
“He is something else. He makes everybody in the barn work hard for it,” said Nevin. “He’s a wiry tough guy to be around. But when he runs, he really puts his effort out.”
My Boy Tate banked $55,000 in victory while improving his record to 23-9-5-2. He returned $6.10 on a $2 win wager.
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