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Aqueduct: Overanalyze gets gritty Remsen win
OZONE PARK, N.Y. - With a furlong remaining in Saturday's Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct, owner Mike Repole was resigned to the fact his 2-year-old colt Overanalyze was probably not going to win.
"At the eighth pole, I would have said we will get third place by about two lengths," Repole said. "I didn't think we had a shot."
But on a day when everything went right for Repole, Overanalyze found something in reserve, and despite giving up the lead to Normandy Invasion in deep stretch, he came back to nip that rival and win the $250,000 Remsen by a nose.
Normandy Invasion finished second by three-quarters of a length over the pacesetting Delhomme. It was 16 3/4 lengths back to Quinzieme Monarque who was followed in the order of finish by Indy's Illusion, Keep the Canoli, Irsaal, Stormy Len, Vegas No Show and Micromanage.
The win was one of three graded stakes victories on the day for Repole, who also won the Grade 2 Demoiselle with Unlimited Budget and the Grade 1 Cigar Mile with Stay Thirsty.
Overanalyze was ridden to victory by Ramon Dominguez, who on his 36th birthday won five races including the Cigar Mile and Grade 1 Gazelle aboard Dance Card.
For Overanalyze, a son of Dixie Union, it was his second graded stakes victory in five races this year. He also won the Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont in September. Overanalyze was coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs, where he had an odd trip under Julien Leparoux.
Saturday, in the Remsen, Dominguez had Overanalyze sitting second, a length off stablemate Delhomme, who under Javier Castellano got away with fractions of 23.99 seconds for the quarter, 48.07 for the half-mile, and 1:12.54 for six furlongs.
In midstretch, Overanalyze had to work hard to get past Delhomme, and when he did it appeared as though Normandy Invasion, who was rallying from well off the pace under Jose Lezcano, was going to blow by Overanalyze in deep stretch. But the presence of Normandy Invasion only seemed to embolden Overanalyze, who battled back and won the bob at the wire.
Overanalyze covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.13 and returned $5.50 as part of the 8-5 favored entry. He was coupled with Micromanage.
Dominguez said in the stretch it took Overanalyze "two or three strides to get going," but he felt confident he had Delhomme.
"Then all of sudden I see this horse flying on the outside, and that horse actually got ahead of me," Dominguez said. "My horse was pretty gutsy to dig back in."
Said winning trainer Todd Pletcher: "It looked like the horse that finished second had a lot of momentum. When he got to Overanalyze it emboldened him and kind of carried him on again."
Chad Brown, the trainer of Normandy Invasion, said Lezcano rode his horse to instructions and he was pleased with the performance if not the outcome.
"Jose followed exactly what we said: 'Take him back off the break, don't use him and get caught wide. If you can cut the corner on the final turn it'd help,' " Brown said. "Don't you know it opened up and he cut the corner. He rode a terrific race. The horse ran super for his third start back in 22 days. I'm really proud of the horse."
With the Remsen a qualifying race for the Kentucky Derby, Overanalyze earned 10 points while Normandy Invasion earned four points. Delhomme earned two and Quinzieme Monarque earned one.
Overanalyze, Normandy Invasion and Delhomme will winter in south Florida, their connections said.
Ramon's ride on Overanalyze in the Remsen was great. Never gave up on that one and cameback. Reminded me of a young Laffit Pincay Jr. on that horse.
Another thing to like about the super-talented Chad Brown: He almost always praises the jockey's ride, and not only after a winning ride. He understands that things don't always go according to plan, or even when they do, sometimes you just don't have it that day. A classy way to treat the jockeys who work so hard.
Nice race today. Normandy looks like he will be suited for longer races. Tons of talent. Pletcher meanwhile uses Delhomme as a pace setter for Repole colt instead of running him in Kentucky Jockey Club....run three in Remsen but not one in KJC??? Winstar should be real happy knowing Delhomme's effort could have won KJC.. way to sacrifice a promising colt
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