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SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – A rail-skimming trip from jockey Joel Rosario proved to be the edge that put Takaya Shimakawa’s Si Que Es Buena back in the winner’s circle in Saturday’s $400,000 Long Island Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct.
Breaking from the rail under Rosario as the 6/5 favorite, Si Que Es Buena took back to the rear with My Sister Nat. The two watched from afar as Decorating posted opening fractions of :25.53, :51.05, 1:17.56, and 1:43.12 for the opening mile.
Decorating’s lead vanished as the field bunched up through the second pass of the far turn. While everyone else seemingly ran as wide as possible, Rosario kept Si Que Es Buena glued to the rail and waited for an opening.
Finding space shortly after straightening for home, Rosario placed Si Que Es Buena inside of foes and she quickly gobbled up ground. After usurping Decorating at the 1/16 pole, Si Que Es Buena kicked free before crossing a neck clear of the late-rallying My Sister Nat. The Graham Motion trainee completed the 1 3/8-mile event over the good turf course in 2:19.68.
“She just put herself there and she was comfortable,” Rosario said. “We tried to save some ground, hopefully having enough run at the end, and she did. She put in a nice run and came in really strong.”
The top eight runners crossed in a blanket finish, with only necks, heads, and noses separating them. My Sister Nat edged Decorating, while behind her came Pivotal Connection, Empressof the Nile, Mercilla, Lift Up, and Wegetsdamunnys, all within 2 lengths of the winner.
Completing the order of finish came Romantic Pursuit, Homeland Security, Entropia, and More Fun Again. Scratched from the race were Beau Belle, Another Broad, and Team Win, the latter two being main track only entries.
Si Que Es Buena’s win was her third in her last four starts, all at the stakes level, to improver her record to 17-8-3-1 with $437,117 earned. The Argentinian-bred 6-year-old daughter of Equal Stripes was fourth in this event last year, her first since transferring stateside from her native country.
Si Que Es Buena returned $4.60 to win, $3.30 to place, and $2.80 to show. My Sister Nat brought back $6 to place and $4.40 to show, while Decorating paid $9.30 to show.
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