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OZONE PARK, NY – Making his first start since claimed for $62.5k in late November, Pete’s Play Call picked up a big victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Gravesend Stakes at Aqueduct.
With Jorge Vargas Jr. in the irons for the first time as the 8-year-old veteran made career start 46, Pete’s Play Call pressed the early pace outside of Happy Farm before taking over at the 1/4 pole.
Now trained by Rudy Rodriguez for new owner Michael Dubb, Pete’s Play Call completed the 6 1/2-furlong muddy (sealed) main track sprint in 1:17.63 while 2 1/2 lengths clear of Stan the Man.
“Rudy told me he was going to run big today and he did,” Vargas Jr. said. “All credit to him, he had him ready off the claim. I was pretty happy where I was, and when I asked him, he took off. He’s quick. I was just trying to keep him happy and where he was comfortable.”
Drafted, the 7/5 favorite My Boy Tate, and a faltering Happy Farm completed the order of finish.
Pete’s Play Call’s winwas his second straight following a 6-furlong local sprint that provided Rodriguez the chance to claim him. The Maryland-bred son of Munnings now carries a record of 46-14-9-6 with $648,421 earned.
“He was training very good,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a hard-knocking horse. He’s been doing very well since we claimed him. I thought we paid top dollar for him, but seeing him working in the morning, it looked like he was worth every penny.”
Pete’s Play Call returned $10.20 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.70 to show. Stan the Man brought back $3.40 to place and $2.70 to show, while Drafted paid $3.70 to show.
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