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SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – One race after becoming only the eighth trainer in North America to notch 5,000 wins, trainer Todd Pletcher picked up triumph 5,001 in the first stakes event of the Aqueduct fall meet, when Shadwell Stable’s regally-bred Malathaat led at every point of call and strolled home a 7 3/4-length winner in the $100,000 Tempted.
The daughter of multiple champion producing stallion Curlin, out of dual graded stakes-winning A.P. Indy mare Dreaming of Julia, arrived at the one-turn mile event over the main track for juvenile fillies off a debut triumph on October 9 at Belmont Park, where she gave Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez a 2,000th career victory over Big Sandy.
Breaking from post 4, Malathaat was nudged slightly by jockey Kendrick Carmouche and asserted herself to the front commanding opening fractions of 24.15 and 48.28 seconds over the fast main track, with Spa Ready and Cafe Society to her outside.
Around the turn, her two foes inched closer to the front with American West launching a bid to the inside. Just past the 1/4 pole, Malathaat extended her advantage to 4 1/2 lengths while under an all-out drive under Carmouche. By the furlong marker, the race was already under wraps as Malathaat crossed the wire under a hand ride in a final time of 1:40.35.
American West finished 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Cafe Society in third. Spa Ready and Dauntless Gal completed the order of finish. Celestial Cheetah was scratched.
“She’s a very nice horse; push-button,” Carmouche said. “They didn’t give me any instruction, just to warm her up good. I broke sharp, got her to the front and she relaxed on her own. She did it by herself. I asked her to run at the beginning and she accelerated good. Todd Pletcher and Shadwell Stable had this horse ready to run.”
In addition to pushing Pletcher one win above 5,000, Malathaat gave the veteran conditioner his fifth Tempted triumph after previously scoring with Smok’n Frolic (2001), Summer Raven (2004), Ailalea (2009), and Stopchargingmaria (2013).
“She trained well into her last race and we had high hopes for her because she had been performing well in the morning,” said assistant trainer Byron Hughes. “She trained well into this race and Kendrick did a great job of getting her out into the clear. She lived up to the talent level we thought she had.”
Off as the odds-on favorite, Malathaat returned $4 for a $2 win bet and banked $55,000 in victory while pushing her lifetime earnings to $89,500. She is unbeaten in both of her career starts.
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, Malathaat was purchased for $1,050,000 from the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where she was consigned by Denali Stud.
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