OZONE PARK, NY – Repole Stable’s Never Surprised shot to the front and made every pole a winning one in Saturday’s $100,000 Central Park Stakes at Aqueduct.
Never Surprised was the 2/1 favorite as he broke from post 8 under aggressive front-end specialist Kendrick Carmouche, who expertly piloted the Todd Pletcher trainee through the 1 1/16-mile good outer turf route in 1:43.74.
Only Hard Love could remain within striking distance, running second at every point of call before crossing 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner; it was a further 10 lengths back to Take Profit in third.
“Todd Pletcher does such a great job, so all I had to do today was put him in the right spot and slow him down a little on the backside,” Carmouche said. “This horse is a class horse. He sits in your hands so nicely.”
Scarlett Sky, Catman, Royne, Breadman, and Run Casper Run completed the order of finish. Original was scratched from the race restricted to juveniles.
Run Casper Run veered out sharply at the start and knocked Breadman into Counterfeitcurency, who stumbled and threw Michael Luzzi. Both human and equine safely walked off the course.
Never Surprised followed up his smashing debut score in a 6-furlong sprint over this course 20 days prior. The Constitution colt, purchased as a yearling for $200,000, has now earned $99,000.
“I was talking to Mike (Repole) this morning and I said, ‘We’re doing pretty much everything wrong that you can do,’” Pletcher said. “We were running back off short rest after an impressive debut; going from a maiden to a stake; going from short to long; and going from firm to soft ground. We pretty much threw the book at him today.”
Never Surprised returned $6.50 to win, $3.60 to place, and $3 to show. Hard Love brought back $3.40 to place and $3 to show, while Take Profit paid $10.40 to show.