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Water White is the One who Knocks in Busher
NYRA / Chelsea Durand

Water White is the One who Knocks in Busher

SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – After knocking on the door twice before, E.V. Racing Stable’s Water White finally answered with a big score in Saturday’s $250,000 Busher Invitational Stakes at Aqueduct.

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Breaking from post 6 at 17/1 odds under Jorge Vargas, Jr., Water White took back early and remained out in the clear while watching the early pace develop. Up front, the 4/5 favorite Lake Avenue overcame a slow start to lead Persisto down the backside while posting fractions of :23.30 and :46.81.

Heading into the far turn, Water White began picking off foes while remaining outside and hit the top of the stretch in third. Kansas Kis took control nearing the 1/4 pole and began to draw off in the stretch, but Water White’s momentum helped her gradually cut into that foe’s lead.

Never giving up, Water White waited until the final jump to surge past Kansas Kis to secure victory by a nose. Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, Water White completed the mile-long event over the fast main track in a final time of 1:40.21.

Credit: NYRA / Annette Jasko

“The filly was super good going into this race,” said Vargas, Jr. “It was about time because she’s been running so good. She kicked pretty well.”

Kansas Kis’ hard-luck effort was strong enough to keep her and the winner 5 1/4 lengths clear of Panthera Onca in third. Lake Avenue weakened steadily in the stretch, finishing 3 3/4 lengths behind Panthera Onca and just barely nosing out Mo City for fourth.

Maedean and Persisto completed the order of finish. Inveterate was scratched.

The Busher is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Water White earned 50 points for the win, with Kansas Kis receiving 20 for second, Panthera Onca 10 for third, and Lake Avenue 5 for fourth.

Water White’s win was her first since breaking her maiden here on November 15 and improved her overall record to 6-2-2-0 with $234,275 earned. The 3-year-old daughter of Conveyance had previously finished fifth in the Demoiselle Stakes (G2) and second in the Busanda Stakes coming into the Busher.

“We were happy with the way she was coming into the race,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a very tough group, but she was training very good. We decided to take a chance and she’s been beaten by some nice, solid horses. We just took our time and let her continue to develop and today was our day.”

Water White returned $37.20 to win, $15.40 to place, and $8.30 to show. Kansas Kis brought back $12.60 to place and $6.20 to show, while Panthera Onca paid $12.40 to show.

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