11/26/2015 2:14PM

Constellation cruises to win in Furlough Stakes

Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
Constellation scores by 8 1/4 lengths under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. in the Furlough Stakes on Thursday.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The recipient of a perfect stalking trip under Irad Ortiz Jr., the heavily favored Constellation coasted to an 8 1/4-length victory over Tonasah in Thursday’s $150,000 Furlough Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.

It was 5 3/4 lengths farther back to Wave of Glory in third. Summer Reading finished last of four. Shayna Lady was scratched.

Constellation, a daughter of Bellamy Road purchased for $800,000 by the LNJ Foxwoods stable of Jaime, Nanci, and Larry Roth, won for the second time in four starts. She also finished third in the Grade 1 Spinaway and second in the Grade 2 Matron.

Breaking from the outside post in the Furlough, Constellation stalked the pacesetting Summer Reading through a half-mile in 45.69 seconds before taking over in upper stretch. Ortiz did hit Constellation once right-handed and twice left-handed to make sure she finished up.

“I’ve ridden her before, and turning for home, she was looking around sometimes,” Ortiz said. “She didn’t do that today, but I wanted to make sure there was no hesitation and she learns that she has to go the last quarter-mile.”

Constellation, trained by Steve Asmussen, covered the six furlongs in 1:10.39 and returned $3 as the 1-2 favorite.

Toby Sheets, the New York-based assistant for Asmussen, said he wasn’t sure whether Constellation would remain sprinting or be stretched out in distance.

“We haven’t decided that yet, just happy with the way she ran today,” Sheets said. “She ran great.”