Dominguez dominant with five at Aqueduct
Report: USA, Saturday
Aqueduct: Cigar Mile (Grade 1 hcap) 1m, dirt, 3yo+
CHAMPION jockey Ramon Dominguez celebrated his 36th birthday by dominating Saturday's card at Aqueduct with a five-timer, including both Grade 1 events on Stay Thirsty and Dance Card.
The Venezuelan, who has won the last two Eclipse Awards for North America's leading rider, wasn't the only person in multiple form as owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher teamed up to win three of the four graded stakes.
Repole, best known for the exploits of Uncle Mo, boycotted the Breeders' Cup as a result of the ban on Lasix in juvenile contests, keeping his powder dry for Saturday's hometown card in New York.
He was rewarded with a treble, headed by last year's Travers Stakes winner Stay Thirsty in the Cigar Mile under Dominguez, who also rode Overanalyze to win the Remsen for Repole and Pletcher. The partnership's third winner was Unlimited Budget in the Demoiselle.
Sent off a 5-2 chance, Stay Thirsty just got the better of a bobbing finish to beat star filly Groupie Doll by a nose in the Cigar Mile to record his first win since the Travers in August last year.
"Aqueduct is not the prettiest place in the world, but it means a lot to me, it means lot to my friends, it means a lot to my family," said Repole.
"I grew up ten minutes from here and I said, 'this is my Breeders' Cup weekend' - and we won four graded stakes," added Repole, who also scored with Caixa Eletronica on Friday's card.
"I don't care how long I'm in racing, you're not going to win three graded stakes in a row, two with two-year-olds and one with Stay Thirsty, who means so much to me."
Stay Thirsty, who ran the mile in 1min35.47sec, was runner-up in the Jockey Club Gold Cup on his previous outing. The son of Bernardini will now be retired to stand at Ashford Stud in Kentucky.
Despite being so narrowly beaten in her quest for a six-timer, Breeders' Cup winner Groupie Doll is a certainty to be voted Eclipse Award winner in the female sprint division after another gallant effort only three weeks after her exertions in California.
Also on Saturday
Aqueduct: Gazelle Stakes (Grade 1) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo fillies
Despite lugging out across the track in the straight, Godolphin's Dance Card (Kiaran McLaughlin/Ramon Dominguez), a $750,000 daughter of Tapit, was much the best here as she completed a four-timer on her Grade 1 debut.
The grey filly scored by four lengths after setting even fractions up front to take her career record to four out of five. "She's a beautiful animal with high cruising speed and she can pick it up whenever you ask her," said Dominguez.
Aqueduct: Remsen Stakes (Grade 2) 1m1f, dirt, 2yo
Overanalyze (Todd Pletcher/Ramon Dominguez) rallied again to inch ahead of Normandy Invasion, who made a startling move from the rear to look like the winner entering the final furlong.
"When he [Normandy Invasion] came to me, he actually got ahead of me," said Dominguez. "I wasn't happy about that.
"My horse was taking sand by that point, but I kept after him and he kept on coming. I was very proud of the way he came back at the other horse. The other horse never stopped running. It was actually my horse doing the comeback. I was very pleased about that."
Aqueduct: Demoiselle Stakes (Grade 2) 1m1f, dirt, 2yo fillies
Under a canny ride from John Velazquez, Repole's Unlimited Budget (Todd Pletcher) made all before holding Juddmonte's Emollient in the stretch drive. She had broken her maiden only nine days previously on her career start.
Churchill Downs: Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (Grade 2) 1m½f, dirt, 2yo
Canadian-trained Uncaptured (Mark Casse/Miguel Mena) took his two-year-old record to six win from seven outings - five of them stakes races - as he scored by a neck after a fierce drive with Frac Daddy.
A big night for Canadian visitors- and Peruvian jockey Miguel Mena - was set up when 31-1 outsider Seaneen Girl took the Grade 2 Golden Rod for juvenile fillies.