In the first race on Saturday at Aqueduct, Flores Island under Junior Alvarado took the $77,000 purse in a muddy one mile on the dirt. (All Photos: Michael O’Kane)
In the second race, Groupthink and jockey Jose L. Ortiz outlasted the pack over six furlongs on the dirt to nab the $60,000 purse.
Hoppy Do and jockey Manuel Franco came out victorious in the fourth race of the day, one mile on the dirt. The race carried a $32,000 purse.
• Ullapool won her third straight race and remained unbeaten in 2013 by using front-running tactics to take the $100,000 Garland of Roses by two lengths over Delightful Quality on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Backed as the 3-2 favorite in the six-furlong race for fillies and mares, Ullapool claimed the lead in the opening sixteenth of a mile.
“[I had instructions] to try to put her on the lead,” said winning jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. “My horse relaxed pretty good, and she just picked it up, as you saw, at the quarter pole. I was just a passenger.”
Ullapool’s victory in the Garland of Roses completed a sweep of races 6-8 for Ortiz.
Trainer Eddie Kenneally owns Ullapool in partnership with Marc Detampel, and the duo claimed the gray daughter of Langfuhr for $25,000 in May 2012 at Belmont. Since then, she has won three of five starts.
Overall, Ullapool is 6-1-0 in 13 starts and has earned $271,911, including $60,000 for her Garland of Roses triumph.
“Eddie had mentioned the Florida Millions [as a possibility for her next start],” said Leonard Dunne, assistant to Kenneally. “She’s a Florida-bred, but now that she has won a stake at Aqueduct I’ll be lobbying to keep her here, of course.” (Jon Forbes)
• The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has announced the stakes schedule for the 2014 winter/spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack, with stakes purses totaling $6 million.
The Grade 1, $1 million Wood Memorial, New York’s premier prep race for the Triple Crown, tops the stakes schedule and will be contested on April 5.
The Wood Memorial will receive top billing on the card that also will include the Grade 1, $500,000 Carter Handicap, the Grade 2, $300,000 Gazelle, the Grade 2, $250,000 Ruffian Handicap, and the Grade 3, $300,000 Bay Shore.
In addition, Aqueduct will host three graded stakes around two turns for 3-year-olds that lead to the Wood Memorial: the Grade 2, $200,000 Jerome on January 4, the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers on February 1, and the Grade 3, $500,000 Gotham on March 1.
The minimum stakes purse is $100,000, up from $75,000 last year.
Aqueduct will predominantly race on a Thursday-through-Monday schedule in January and March, and on a four-day, Friday-through-Monday schedule in February.
From April through the end of the year, NYRA generally will hold live racing on its customary Wednesday-through-Sunday schedule, with the usual exception of the Saratoga meet when there will again be live racing every day except Tuesday.
• Trainers Jeremiah Englehart and Tom Morley will be among the industry speakers participating in The New York Racing Association, Inc.’s (NYRA) next “New Owners Luncheon” at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday, December 21.
The event will begin at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast in Equestris Restaurant followed by presentations and a Q&A session