11/22/2015 5:11PM

Frosty Margarita part of four-win day for Irad Ortiz Jr.

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Irad Ortiz Jr. surpassed 1,000 career riding victories on Sunday with four winners, including Frosty Margarita in the Key Cents.

The many backers of Frosty Margarita never had an anxious moment, as the favorite grabbed the lead early from her inside post and drew off to a handy victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Key Cents Stakes at Aqueduct.

Frosty Margarita was the centerpiece of a big day for Rudy Rodriguez and Irad Ortiz Jr., who teamed up with three winners, beginning with Island Therapy, who was the 1,000th career winner for Ortiz.

Coming off a pair of runner-up finishes in the Joseph A. Gimma and Maid of the Mist, Frosty Margarita ($5.10) was hustled up from the rail, shook off her pursuers through fractions of 23.04 and 46.54 seconds, and kept second choice Melodic at bay under a mild hand ride to notch her first stakes win. Melodic trounced the rest. Surprise Cameo was a distant third, and Louisville First was fourth in a strung-out field of seven 2-year-old New York-bred fillies.

“I rode her before, and after talking to Rudy I think we figured her out now,” said Ortiz, who won four races on the card overall. “Before, we thought she liked to run a little relaxed, but today we let her go and she showed us what she’s got. She fights, and she has a lot of potential.”

Frosty Margarita, a homebred daughter of Frost Giant, ran six furlongs in 1:11.85 on a fast track, and earned $60,000 for breeder-owner Gabrielle Farm.

“She ran the way we expected,” said Rodriguez. “I told Irad to just break from there running, and if someone goes crazy just let the other horse go. She got a nice comfortable lead and then she switched leads and took it home.”

Rodriguez added that cutting back to six furlongs with Frosty Margarita “was the best thing we did. I still think she can stretch out. Hopefully, next year she can stretch out to a mile.”