02/20/2016 3:20PM

Irad Ortiz makes right choice to ride Clipthecouponannie in Franklin Square

Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
Clipthecouponannie, with Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard, scores by a half-length over Frosty Margarita in the Franklin Square.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - His knowledge of both the horse he was riding and his main stretch rival helped Irad Ortiz Jr. guide Clipthecouponannie to a hard-fought, half-length victory over Frosty Margarita in Saturday’s $125,000 Franklin Square Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.

Ortiz had ridden Clipthecouponannie to victory in each of her first two starts. He had also been aboard Frosty Margarita in all seven of her starts - including three straight stakes wins.

In electing to ride Clipthecouponannie over Frosty Margarita, Ortiz thought his filly would finish stronger than Frosty Margarita who, according to Ortiz, has a tendency to hang a little bit.

After bobbling at the break, Clipthecouponannie went to the lead and took some early pressure from Wonderment as the two ran a quarter-mile in 22.94 seconds. Entering the far turn, as Wonderment couldn’t keep up, Jose Ortiz guided Frosty Margarita three wide and into contention. Clipthecouponannie had a length lead turning for home after running a half-mile in 46 seconds.

Irad Ortiz said he waited for Frosty Margarita to come alongside Clipthecouponannie in the stretch before asking his filly to run. Frosty Margarita put a head in front of Clipthecouponannie at the eighth pole, but with one strike of Irad Ortiz’s right-handed whip and two of his left, Clipthecouponannie edged away from Frosty Margarita to get the win.

“I know this filly would give me a little more run in the end than the other one. She likes to hang a little bit and it’s a little hard to make her finish,” Irad Ortiz Jr. said. “I know my filly can finish.”

Clipthecouponannie, a daughter of Uncle Mo trained by Todd Pletcher, covered the six furlongs in 1:11.15 and returned $3.10 as the 1-2 favorite.

Frosty Margarita finished five lengths in front of Wonderment. It was 15 lengths back to Red Atlantic in last. Absatootly and Stones of Navarone were scratched.

Mike Repole, the owner/breeder of Clipthecouponannie, said he named the filly and the filly’s dam-Lights Off Annie - in honor of his mother, whom Repole said cut coupons out of the newspaper every Wednesday and Sunday.

Repole said that he would talk to Pletcher about it, but he would like to take a shot stretching the filly out to 1 1/8 miles in the Grade 2, $300,000 Gazelle for 3-year-old fillies on April 9.