11/25/2011 6:16PM

Aqueduct: Lovely Lil scores upset in Go for Wand

Email
Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Lovely Lil, with Cornelio Velasquez riding, wins the Go for Wand.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Mike Hushion's extended holiday weekend got even better Friday as Lovely Lil, dismissed at 15-1 by the betting public, scored a front-running, 1 1/4-length victory in Friday's Grade 2, $150,000 Go for Wand Handicap at Aqueduct.

All Due Respect, the even-money favorite, finished second, three-quarters of a length in front of C.C's Pal. The second- and third-place finishers are both trained by Richard Dutrow Jr. Following C.C's Pal, the order of finish was Katy Now, Risky Rachel, Persuading, Spa City Princess, and Indian Legend, who was eased.

The Go for Wand victory came one day after the Hushion-trained Sunrise Smarty won Thursday's Grade 3, $100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap, also in front-running fashion.

"It's been a happy Thanksgiving," Hushion said.

Lovely Lil is a New York-bred by Tiznow out of the Grade 2 winner How About Now. Though a stakes winner against New York-bred company, Lovely Lil had come up winless in three prior graded stakes tries. Friday, Lovely Lil was full of run under Cornelio Velasquez, who won two races on the card and entered the weekend with 2,998 career victories.

Breaking from the rail, Lovely Lil got away alertly and dueled inside of All Due Respect, who was kept in the middle of the track by jockey Junior Alvarado. The early fractions of 23.04 seconds for the quarter and 45.96 for the half-mile were quick, but Velasquez felt his filly was doing it easily.

"My filly can go 44 and change [in hand]," he said. "She went easy in 45-and-change. She was very relaxed."

Said Hushion, "The horse that ran with her stayed three paths away - it wasn't like they were dogging each other. Both riders were giving their horse a chance to relax a little on the lead."

All Due Respect got closer to Lovely Lil entering the far turn, but that didn't bother Lovely Lil, who opened up her clearest advantage from the quarter pole to the eighth pole. Though both fillies were beginning to tire in the final furlong, Lovely Lil had more left in the tank than did All Due Respect, who was making her first start since May.

Lovely Lil, owned and bred by Barry Schwartz, covered the mile in 1:36.90 and returned $33.80. She has now won 5 of 11 career starts.