SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – Long Lake Stable’s Stan the Man showed no signs of rust on Saturday, returning from a six-month sojourn to earn his first stakes score in the $125,000 Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct.
Breaking from post 2 under Dylan Davis as the 5/2 second choice, Stan the Man received an early Christmas present when the 6/5 favorite Major Cabbie stumbled out of the gate, unseating rider Junior Alvarado. Major Cabbie continued running sans jockey, while Alvarado was able to walk off under his own power.
On the front end, four horses fought for early command before Bon Raison secured it and posted opening fractions of :23.73 and :47.45 before Han Sense took command heading into the far turn. Running three-wide on the backstretch, Stan the Man watched and waited closely for the right moment to move.
Off the far turn, Stan the Man ranged up along Bon Raison’s outside, and with 1/4 of a mile to the finish, it looked like a two-horse battle for the wire. Han Sense fought gamely along the inside before giving in near the 1/16 pole, but a late-running Adventist was closing quickly between foes.
Despite Adventist’s gutsy effort in the shadow of the wire, Stan the Man was able to prevail by a neck in a photo finish. The John Terranova II trainee completed the 1 1/8-mile event over the fast main track in a final time of 1:50.72.
“I didn’t know the horse stumbled out of there and lost the rider until we got to the backside and I saw the loose horse on the outside,” Davis said. “Once I saw that, I was really relaxed, as he was one of our main competitors. I moved when I wanted to and really had him in a good rhythm. He got a little late close to the wire, but he should improve off of that. John did a great job getting him ready off the layoff.”
After running at the rear for much of the early going, Adventist’s surging move in the front stretch nearly led to a victory. Under John Bisono, he finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Han Sense, who just held off Backsideofthemoon by a head at the wire. Roaming Union, a spent Bon Raison, and a rider-less Major Cabbie completed the order of finish.
Stan the Man’s win was his fifth in 12 local starts and improved his overall record to 20-6-6-2, all on the NYRA circuit. The 5-year-old gelded son of Broken Vow, purchased as a yearling for $150,000, has now earned $400,499 in his career.
“He had dead aim on them in the stretch and really dug in,” Terranova said. “Hopefully, he continues to improve as the winter goes on with a race or two more under his belt. He gave a great effort. We figured the layoff might catch up with him a little bit, but the trip worked out nicely for him and Dylan rode him really well. We’re just glad to have him back to the races and happy it all worked out.”
Stan the Man returned $7.40 to win, $4.60 to place, and $3.20 to show. Adventist brought back $17.40 to place and $6.80 to show, while Han Sense paid $5.30 to show.