11/16/2013 5:56PM

Aqueduct: Imagining overcomes tough trip to win Red Smith

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Imagining captures the Grade 3 Red Smith under Joel Rosario on Saturday.

The Phipps Stable and Shug McGaughey captured Saturday’s $250,000 Red Smith Handicap for the third straight year when Imagining surged to the lead just inside the eighth pole and turned back late runs from Hangover Kid and Tannery to prevail by a half-length in the Grade 3 race.

Thought to be the potential pacesetter in the 1 3/8-mile turf race, Imagining broke a step slowly with Joel Rosario and raced in the middle of the pack while strung out wide, as Mission Approved ambled along on the lead for 1 1/4 miles before finally giving way.

Imagining briefly opened a daylight lead inside the eighth pole and held on to secure the victory for his connections, which won the last two Red Smith renewals with Boisterous.

“I thought he’d be racing on the lead or in second, but he broke a little slowly and I had to race behind horses,” said Rosario. “They weren’t going all that fast, and we were able to move up. I asked him turning for home, and he gave it to me.”

Imagining paid $8.30 to win as the second choice. He carried 118 pounds and ran 1 3/8 miles in 2:18.43 on a firm turf course. It was the first graded stakes win for the 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, who was second in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at 3 but had been off the board in his three subsequent starts in graded events. This was his fourth win from six starts this year, and he improved to 7-3-0 from 14 starts overall.

“(Joel) let him settle in and get to the outside, which is where he wanted to be,” said McGaughey. “I was glad to see that. I said to myself when they were going down the backside, ‘I hope he punches from here,’ because it would be something different for him. It was a pretty good bunch of horses; I think we’re moving on up.”

McGaughey said Imagining could run next in the Hollywood Turf Cup on Dec. 14 or in Florida.

The 23-1 longshot Hangover Kid and the filly Tannery brought up the rear in the 12-horse field until the final turn. They rallied wide and finished fast to wind up noses apart in second and third. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Slip and Drive, who finished fourth. Hyper, the 3-2 favorite and 120 pound highweight, never fired and checked in eighth in the field of 12.

Rosario narrowly missed a sweep of the day’s three stakes. Earlier on the card, he was aboard So Lonesome, who rallied widest to take the $100,000 Virgo Libra overnight stakes in a frantic photo finish over Marvin’s Miracle and Blue Pigeon. He paid $15.60 to win.
So Lonesome, a 2-year-old gelding by Awesome Again trained by Tom Bush, was making his turf debut following a third-place finish in the Bertram F. Bongard.

In the $100,000 Move It Now overnight stakes, Awesome Vision - another son of Awesome Again - rallied widest of all into the stretch under Irad Ortiz Jr. and edged Rosario’s mount, Zivo, by a head. It was the third stakes win of the year and the sixth win at Aqueduct for Awesome Vision, a Tom Albertrani-trained New York-bred. He paid $14.20 to win.


Bill Kaup More than 1 year ago
When Rosario is on his game - which is most of the time - he has no peer in NY, He really moves horses up and is one of the strongest finishers seen since Cordero. Quite a future if he stays healthy.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Za approval bc mile a good example and the future is here.i benefitted from his services and saw early on his ability.this year he showed he can win the major races .if he avoids major injury,he could have a HOF career .
Greg More than 1 year ago
Rosario tried to bring Zivo home, not enough horse, these boys need horse to win!!!He will be the next top rider over there. especially if he keeps his patience.
Flipper More than 1 year ago
I thought he is the best rider already.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Great on the sod
Greg More than 1 year ago
Hyper looked shot. needs rest had nothing at odds on.
Brian Russell More than 1 year ago
Hyper was not odds on. Odds on Is less than even money.
Peter Siipola More than 1 year ago
no value--no play
Greg More than 1 year ago
Great ride by Rosario, I thought he go wire to wire, but he settled him, an blasted home nice turn of foot, saved the horse for the last 100 yds.