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Aqueduct: DeCarlo sitting chilly with Pletcher mounts
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – It has been more than a decade since Chris DeCarlo spent a winter riding regularly in New York. But with his 5-year-old daughter about to start school in New Jersey, DeCarlo made the decision to stay in the Northeast this winter and ride at Aqueduct.
“I didn’t want to move her around, and I didn’t want to be away from them either,” said DeCarlo, who will make the daily commute from Oceanport, N.J. “It’s been a while. In a perfect world, I’d love to be down in south Florida, but I’ve ridden here before in the winter. I’ll just have to get used to it like everybody else.”
It’s a little easier to brave a New York winter when you have trainer Todd Pletcher on your side. On Wednesday, DeCarlo won his first race of the fall meet when he guided the Pletcher-trained Mordi’s Miracle, a 3-year-old son of Lawyer Ron, to a 9 1/2-length victory in a maiden race.
Mordi’s Miracle lost his first four starts. Wednesday, he ran a mile in 1:36.35 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 96.
“He ran impressive,” DeCarlo said Thursday. “Todd told me he was probably the most disappointing horse he had, given the way he had been working in the morning. Yesterday, he seemed to just put it together.”
Saturday, DeCarlo will ride San Pablo for Pletcher as the probable odds-on choice in the $75,000 Queens County Stakes. DeCarlo is 3 for 3 aboard San Pablo, including a victory in the Grade 3 Iselin at Monmouth in August and in the listed Swatara Stakes at Penn National last month.
“When he won at Monmouth, he broke a little tardy. I didn’t expect to be that far back,” DeCarlo, 43, said. “I thought I was going to be a little closer. When I found myself back there, I just let him get himself together. When I got to the backside, he got on the bridle and he started going. He was like the Energizer horse – he kept going and going.”
DeCarlo has won 1,034 races in his career, 208 for Pletcher.
“He’s been sort of our go-to guy when we ship out of town,” Pletcher said. “He’s a very underrated rider, intelligent rider. He rides the dirt and the turf very well. He’s always professional and well-prepared before he goes out there. If people watched him a little more closely, they’d realize he’s very good underrated rider.”
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