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OZONE PARK, NY – Trainer Linda Rice’s 3-year-old Turned Aside toppled a strong group of older horses to win Saturday’s $100,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship Stakes.
Sent from post 6 under Jose Lezcano at 5/1 odds, Turned Aside pressed the pace outside of Hollywood Talent in the middle and the 3/1 favorite Sayyaaf on the rail.
After racing three-wide just behind an opening pace of :22.45 and :46.59, Turned Aside advanced while cornering and straightened for home with a lead that he extended to 1 1/4 lengths as he crossed victorious.
Turned Aside completed the 6-furlong good outer turf sprint in 1:10.89.
“He broke good and he’s a very nice horse,” Lezcano said. “He can run on anything. I got my position and let him grow into the race little by little. I let the two inside horses go and when it was time to go, I let him pick it up.”
El Tormenta‘s sojourn south from his home track Woodbine in Toronto resulted in a strong runner-up effort over True Valour, while Therapist necked out Maxwell Esquire for fourth.
Archidust, Battle Station, Lonhtwist, Hollywood Talent, and Sayyaaf completed the order of finish.
Turned Aside’s win was second at the stakes level following July’s Quick Call (G3) at Saratoga and improved his overall record to 9-4-2-1. Owned and bred by the late Paul Pompa Jr., the American Pharoah colt has now earned $241,967.
“It’s a big step up to run a 3-year-old against older horses and I thought this was a deep, competitive field,” Rice said. “There were some really solid turf sprinters in here. It’s the end of the 3-year-old season, so we didn’t have very many options. This horse has trained outstanding all year.”
Turned Aside returned $12 to win, $6 to place, and $4.20 to show. El Tormenta brought back $8.40 to place and $6.10 to show, while True Valour paid $4.40 to show.
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