12/07/2014 10:47AM

In a Jif goes wire to wire to win first stakes in Holiday Inaugural

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Turfway Park/Coady Photography
In a Jif went wire to wire Saturday to win her first career stakes in the Holiday Inaugural at Turfway Park.

In a Jif led every step of the six-furlong journey Saturday night while narrowly holding on for her first career stakes victory in the $54,300 Holiday Inaugural, the first stakes during four months of winter racing at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

The gate-to-wire triumph also was the first in a stakes for 28-year-old Rolando “Ronnie” Aragon, a longtime exercise rider on the Chicago circuit who shifted his tack to Turfway when the holiday meet began this week.

“It was a pretty emotional win for him and for us,” said trainer Jeff Greenhill, who bred and owns In a Jif in tandem with his wife, Sherri.

In a Jif drew off in the turn but was put to a sustained drive down the stretch by Aragon in holding off two other 4-year-old fillies. Hitechnoweenie, finishing fast near the rail, was just a nose behind the winner and a head in front of Shrinking Violet, racing farthest outside in the three-horse photo.

Pegged at 30-1 on the Turfway morning line, In a Jif returned $28.80 to win after finishing in 1:09.48 over Polytrack. An Indiana-bred by Saintly Look, she won for the seventh time in 15 starts while bumping her career earnings to $200,885.

“I suspected the filly would be the speed of the speed,” said Greenhill, a former chemical engineer from Alabama. “We took a shot, and it worked.”

Aragon, a native of Mexico, galloped horses in Chicago for 11 years before deciding this summer to become a jockey. He notched his first career win in June at Arlington Park.

The $2 exacta (4-3) paid $383.60, the $1 trifecta (4-3-11) returned $1,396.10, and the 10-cent superfecta (4-3-11-10) was worth $1,130.77.