12/01/2013 4:38PM

Aqueduct: Long River delivers as favorite in Time for a Change Stakes

NYRA photo
Long River, with Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, wins the Time for a Change Stakes by two lengths Sunday.

Though he was a short price, Long River made his connections and his backers very happy with a solid two-length victory as the even-money favorite in Sunday’s $100,000 Time for a Change Stakes at Aqueduct.

After breaking alertly under Irad Ortiz Jr., Long River settled back in fourth while kept in the six path down the backside. Smooth Bert set fractions of 23.86 seconds for the quarter and 47.18 for the half-mile while being chased by Vegas No Show and Battier.

Leaving the half-mile pole, Ortiz launched a bid on Long River, who joined the leaders by the five-sixteenths pole. While still kept in the middle of the track, Long River seized control in midstretch and drew off with three cracks of the right-handed stick.

Long River, a son of A.P. Indy out of the Grade 1-winning mare Round Pond, covered the mile in 1:35.87 and returned $4.10.

Micromanage got second by a length over Battier, who nosed out Vegas Now Show for third. Smooth Bert and Souper Knight completed the order of finish.

Long River, owned and bred by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stable, won for the third time in eight starts. He has two wins and a second since returning from surgery to remove a knee chip.

“It was a very good run. We’re happy with the way he’s progressed,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “He’s probably going to stay here for the winter for now. He could be a good 4-year-old.”

Long River would be considered for races like the Evening Attire, typically run in late January, and the Stymie in February.

The pick six was not hit Sunday, resulting in a carryover of $22,089 into Wednesday’s card.