03/21/2013 4:22PM

Aqueduct: Saginaw, Awesome Vision dead heat in Compelling Word

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Awesome Vision (outside) gets up to dead heat with Saginaw on Thursday at Aqueduct.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Saginaw won again Thursday, but this time he had to share.

Despite seeming home free on an Aqueduct inner track that was favoring his front-running tactics, Saginaw wound up in a dead heat for win with the late-running Awesome Vision in Thursday’s $75,000 Compelling Word Stakes. It was a half-length back to third-place finisher Johannesburg Smile.

Saginaw, a 7-year-old gelding who won 10 of 14 starts in 2012, won for the second time in as many races in 2013. It was his 18th win overall from 37 starts. He has won 11 of 14 starts for Drawing Away Stable and trainer David Jacobson, who claimed him for $30,000 March 8, 2012.

Awesome Vision, a 4-year-old colt by Awesome Again, won for third time in as many starts this year and is 5 for 7 overall for West Point Thoroughbreds.

Saginaw, under Junior Alvarado, had it all his own way in the Compelling Word, running fractions of 23.84 seconds for the quarter and 47.25 for the half-mile. Meanwhile, Awesome Vision, under Jose Ortiz, was in last, seven lengths back after the opening quarter.

Saginaw had a three-length lead at the eighth pole while Awesome Vision was swung five-wide for the stretch. Ortiz got Awesome Vision to switch to his correct lead in deep stretch and he kicked in to catch Saginaw. The two covered the mile in 1:36.46. Saginaw, the 6-5 favorite, returned $2.70 while Awesome Vision, who was the 3-1 third choice, returned $3.60.

“I thought we got nosed out,” David Jacobson, the trainer of Saginaw said. “I’m very happy. A win is a win.”

Ortiz, riding his first day as a journeyman, said he had to move his horse a little earlier than he wanted because Saginaw was cruising on the lead.

“When I asked him from the half-mile pole to the three-eighths pole he picked it up and when I switched sticks to my left hand he gave me a good kick,” said Ortiz, who also won the nightcap on Westerday.

Saginaw and Awesome Vision will most likely go their separate ways as Saginaw would be pointed to races a mile and shorter while Awesome Vision would likely go in races further than one mile.