04/02/2016 5:45PM

Cerro cashes in for Gargan in Caixa Eletronica

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Susie Raisher/NYRA
Jose Ortiz wins his fourth race of the program aboard favored Toledo Eddie in the Stud Muffin.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Danny Gargan claimed Cerro on behalf of Midwest Thoroughbreds in February, turned him back in distance at Aqueduct on Saturday, and won the $85,000 Caixa Eletronica.

There's nothing terribly surprising about this, as Gargan is excellent with horses making their first start for him. But it does seem fitting that he would win a nice pot on New York Claiming Championship Day.

Over the last five years, and not counting Cerro, Gargan has won first off the claim with 18 of his 79 starters (23 percent). He has a positive return on investment of $2.45 with those runners.

"He's a very competitive, fast horse, and I'm a speed trainer so I liked," Gargan said of Cerro. "We claimed him for this race and we wanted to turn him back to seven furlongs."

The win was the ninth from 32 starts for 6-year-old Cerro, whose last three starts had come around two turns over the inner track. The seven-furlong Caixa Eletronica was for horses who have started for a claiming price of $40,000 or less since Jan. 1, 2015.

Cerro tracked pacesetting Bond Vigilante on Saturday, took the lead in the upper stretch, and had plenty left to hold off runner-up Nubin Ridge by 2 3/4 lengths.

Cerro paid $6 to win and was timed in 1:24.44.

Nubin Ridge ran pretty well himself. He was fanned five wide into the stretch and finished nicely to be 5 1/4 lengths clear of third-place finisher Eighty Three.

Stud Muffin: Jose Ortiz wins his fourth of the day

Jose Ortiz won his fourth of the day aboard odds-on favorite Toledo Eddie in the $75,000 Stud Muffin, the seventh race on the card.

Jose's brother, Irad Ortiz Jr., won two races himself. Since Angel Arroyo won the first race opener, it has been all Ortiz all the time.

Toledo Eddie, making his first start for owner-trainer David Jacobson after racing in California, sprinted clear early in the one-mile Stud Muffin and was never headed, scoring by 2 1/4 lengths.

He paid $3 in the five-horse field and was timed in 1:37.43.

Mills finished second, 2 3/4 lengths in front of third-place North Slope.

The Stud Muffin was for horses who have started for a claiming price of $25,000 or less in 2015-16.

Toledo Eddie, 7, is now 13 for 41 in his career. He was claimed for $20,000 out of a first-level optional claiming race at Santa Anita by trainer Robertino Diodoro in January. He ran back in a $50,000 claiming race at Santa Anita on March 6 and won by 15 lengths while earning a 106 Beyer Speed Figure.

 

Ronald Friedman More than 1 year ago
Robertino Diodoro another miracle trainer.