11/04/2016 2:37PM

Hemsworth takes advantage of scratch, stumbles to win Nashua

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Chelsea Durand/NYRA
Hemsworth, ridden by Antonio Gallardo, wins the Grade 2 Nashua as a maiden.

The Grade 2 Nashua on opening day at Aqueduct looked like an interesting matchup between the impressive 2-year-old maiden winners Mo Town and Capitaine. But the complexion of the race changed when Mo Town was withdrawn following a minor physical setback, leaving Capitaine an odds-on favorite in a four-horse field.

And then the gates opened, and the $200,000 race took another turn.

Both 1-5 favorite Capitaine and 9-2 second choice Han Sense stumbled badly at the start. This allowed the maiden Hemsworth to make the lead while being pressed by Boys From Boston, the longest shot on the board at 7-1.

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Hemsworth disposed of Boys from Boston on the far turn and drew clear, while Han Sense, along the inside, and Capitaine, three wide, tried to close the gap from several lengths back. They never could, and Hemsworth pulled away in the stretch under jockey Antonio Gallardo to win by 9 1/2 lengths.

Han Sense held second over Capitaine by 1 1/4 lengths. It was 15 1/2 lengths back to Boys From Boston.

Hemsworth, owned by Godolphin Racing and trained by Tom Albertrani, paid $14 to win. With $38,000 of the $54,000 place pool wagered on Capitaine, Hemsworth returned $11.20 to place. Han Sense paid $6.50 to place. There was no show wagering.

Hemsworth set fractions of 24.37, 47.94, and 1:12.85 en route to a final time of 1:38.70.

"The plan was not push him or hold him back, whatever he felt comfortable doing, it was fine," Gallardo said. "Once I saw [Han Sense] stumble from the gate, I said 'Okay, let's go.' It worked out good."  

Hemsworth, a son of Bernardini, had finished fourth in his two prior races. His debut was won by the undefeated Theory, who is entered in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Saturday. Hemsworth was treated with Lasix for the first time in the Nashua.

* Mo Town was scratched due a sore muscle in his hind end. Trainer Tony Dutrow said Mo Town would now be pointed to the Grade 2, $300,000 Remsen, a 1 1/8-mile race at Aqueduct on Nov. 26.

- additional reporting by David Grening