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New York Central Takes Maryland Sprint

New York Central Takes Maryland Sprint

BALTIMORE, MD – Trainer Steve Asmussen’s New York Central swept to the lead along the rail and powered away convincingly for his first career graded score in Saturday’s $150,000 Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3) at Pimlico Race Course.

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Breaking from the rail under Ricardo Santana, Jr., as one of three 2-1 co-favorites, New York Central bobbled slightly and then settled in mid-pack while the other two co-favorites Lewisfield and Wentz battled through opening fractions of :22.65 and :44.84. Still tracking the leaders along the inside as they raced through the far turn, New York Central began to tip off the rail at the top of the stretch but soon realized that the wall in front of him (which now included Proforma as well) was too tough to break through.

A hole soon opened along the rail, and Santana, Jr., steered his steed down and through it. Bursting away with vigor, New York Central cruised past his outside foes before crossing with a growing 1 3/4-length lead in a final time of 1:09.74.

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“We got a clean break,” said Santana, Jr. “That’s what we were worried about because sometimes he doesn’t break. He broke pretty good today, and I just had patience that the rail would open. I know my horse. He’s a fighter and he’ll go through. As soon as I asked him, he went on through. I had plenty of horse at the 3/8; I just wanted to have plenty of patience to make the right move. I didn’t want to move too early. This is a long stretch. I just had to have a little patience, and thank God we took the win.”

Despite running widest of all down the stretch, Proforma was able to get up for second by a 1/2-length over Lewisfield. Wentz weakened in the stretch and finished fourth, while neither Fellowship and Parade of Nations played a factor before completing the order of finish.

New York Central’s win was his second in three starts this year after kicking off 2019 with an Oaklawn Park allowance victory. The 4-year-old son of Tapit’s record is now 9-4-2-1 with $310,700 earned for co-owners WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International, and SF Racing.

“He had a little bit of an issue after the Pat Day Mile, so we turned him out and were real patient with him and it’s paid off,” said WinStar Farm’s Elliott Walden. “He’s come back great and Steve felt like this was a perfect spot for him. He did a great job. I think he’s a one-turn horse. He ran very well in the Pat Day Mile to be second at a mile around one turn. The way he was able to just sit behind the pace and then kick like he did, they ran fast, so it was a big race.”

New York Central returned $6.60 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.40 to show. Proforma brought back $4.20 to place and $2.60 to show, while Lewisfield paid $2.40 to show.

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