01/26/2013 5:08PM

Aqueduct: Twice the Lady survives inquiry to win Affectionately

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Twice the Lady, with Cornelio Velasquez riding, prevails by two lengths over Withgreatpleasure in the Affectionately.

Twice the Lady, who finished second in two prior starts on the inner track, grabbed the brass ring in Saturday’s $75,000 Affectionately Stakes at Aqueduct, but only after surviving a stewards’ inquiry and objections by the jockey and trainer of the runner-up, Withgreatpleasure.

Claimed for $62,500 at Aqueduct last winter by Tony Dutrow, Twice the Lady, with Cornelio Velasquez riding, reached even terms with Withgreatpleasure in midstretch after Withgreatpleasure had taken over from early leader Stephanie Jayne and established early fractions of 47.73 seconds and 1:12.11 under Travis Dunkelberger.

Approaching the sixteenth pole, Twice the Lady shifted in momentarily while appearing to shy from a shadow on the track, and was quickly straightened, as Withgreatpleasure steadied along the rail.

Twice the Lady then edged away to prevail by two lengths over Withgreatpleasure, who was clearly second-best by 3 1/2 lengths over Stephanie Jayne.

R Gypsy Gold, the 3-5 favorite, trailed throughout and finished last of four.

The stewards flashed the inquiry sign, and there were claims of foul from Withgreatpleasure’s camp by Dunkelberger and trainer David Nunn before the result was declared official.

“My filly stayed strong,” said Velasquez.

As the second choice, Twice the Lady paid $7.20 to win and ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.05 on a fast inner track.

“She stayed up here [from Parx Racing] after her last race, and Tony did a great job placing her and finding the spot,” said assistant trainer Ray Handal. “She’s a tough filly to find a race for. R Gypsy Gold looked tough, but our filly showed her stuff today. We’ll see what happens, but we’ll probably look for a similar spot.”