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Aqueduct: Joan's Choice snaps seven-race losing streak in Moro
OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Though it was officially a stakes race, Joan’s Choice may actually have been facing softer company in Saturday’s $75,000 Moro than he had faced in his previous allowance races.
Joan’s Choice took advantage of the soft company and a softer pace to win the Moro Stakes by four lengths at Aqueduct. Isn’t He Perfect, the 6-5 favorite, finished second, four lengths in front of Ea. Keep Me Informed and Burned Bridges completed the order of finish.
Joan’s Choice was ridden by apprentice Jose Ortiz, who recorded his first career stakes win.
It was the sixth win from 23 starts for Joan’s Choice, a 6-year-old gelding by Alphabet Soup owned by Samuel Saccardo and trained by Rick Violette.
Joan’s Choice had lost his last seven starts, but in some of those races he faced stakes winners Ruler On Ice, Lunar Victory, Cease, and Trickmeister.
The Moro was restricted to horses who had run for a claiming price with the 9-year-old Ea the only stakes winner in the field.
Ortiz hustled Joan’s Choice out of the gate and he was able to get loose on the lead through fractions of 24.72 seconds for the quarter, 49.88 for the half-mile, and six furlongs in 1:14.28.
Isn’t He Perfect, under Mike Luzzi, made a run at Joan’s Choicem who had plenty left for the stretch. Joan’s Choice ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.12 and returned $5.70 as the 9-5 second choice.
“He was running very relaxed, when he felt that horse come up behind him he took off and won by himself,” Ortiz said.
Rusty Myers, the assistant to Violette, said two turns is better for Joan’s Choice who struggled in one-turn races at Belmont. Getting away with an easy pace certainly didn’t hurt.
“He’s got a big gallop so he feels comfortable up there,” Myers said.
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