07/02/2017 7:50PM

Aqua Frio rallies to nip Riser in Seattle Slew Stakes

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Aqua Frio stamped his ticket to the $75,000 Emerald Downs Derby with a thrilling win over his stablemate Riser in the $50,000 Seattle Slew at Emerald on Sunday.

He paid $14.40.

With Kevin Orozco aboard, Aqua Frio broke sharply in the one-mile race for 3-year-olds and settled into third while Riser was being chased by Marquee Marini through a half-mile in 45.18 seconds. He moved into second, but was still five lengths behind Riser at the six-furlong mark. Under strong urging from Orozco he finished full of run to nip Riser by a head at the wire. More Power to Him rallied to finish third.

The final time was 1:34.82 over the speed-favoring track.

“He broke well, but I just took my time with him,” Orozco said. “He responded well when I chirped to him at the three-eighths pole, and I knew we were in good shape when we hit the quarter-pole. He’s a small horse with a big heart.”

It was the first stakes win for Orozco, who is the leading apprentice at Emerald and second in the overall standings behind Rocco Bowen.

“It is an amazing feeling,” he said. “I have tears in my eyes."

Aqua Frio and Riser are trained by leading trainer Blaine Wright. It was the first stakes win for the Kentucky-bred son of Uncle Mo who is owned by Peter Redekop.