11/25/2016 6:23PM

Loki’s Vengeance leads all the way in Thunder Rumble

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Different tactics, but the same winning result for Loki’s Vengeance in Friday’s $100,000 Thunder Rumble Division of the New York Stallion Stakes at Aqueduct.

Taking control soon after the start under Jose Ortiz, Loki’s Vengeance led every step of the seven furlongs to win the Thunder Rumble by 7 1/4 lengths over Becker’s Galaxy, who chased Loki’s Vengeance the entire way, ultimately holding second by a neck over West Hills Giant.

It was the second straight year Loki’s Vengeance won this race. Last year, he did it from a stalking position. The lack of other speed in Friday’s field prompted different tactics.

“Handicapped the race three different ways and finally figured it was going to come out like that,” said Mike Hushion, who trains Loki’s Vengeance for David Greenhouse’s Blue Bison Stable. “Sometimes he breaks so hard, he stumbles only because he’s so powerful coming out of there like a Quarter Horse.”

Loki’s Vengeance, a 5-year-old son of Frost Giant, was making his first start since July 14, when he finished fifth among six in an open company allowance race. Hushion doesn’t believe the horse performs well in the heat, which prompted the break.

As it was, Loki’s Vengeance was a bit hot on Friday, but he made things uncomfortable for his seven foes, setting fractions of 23.32 seconds for the quarter and 46.69 for the half-mile before kicking away from Becker’s Galaxy in the stretch.

Loki’s Vengeance covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.20 - .93 seconds faster than he did last year - and returned $8.90 to win.

“I looked at the quarter pole, I saw everybody was moving already and not closing, that was a big help,” Hushion said. “When he kicked away from [Becker’s Galaxy] I felt pretty good.”

Empire Dreams, third as the favorite in this race last year, finished fourth as the favorite Thursday. He was followed, in order, by Jet Black, We Did, Bust Another and Cloud Control.

Filibustin remains perfect in Key Cents
Filibustin improved her record to 3 for 3 with a three-length, front-running victory in Friday’s $100,000 Key Cents Stakes for New York-bred juvenile fillies.

After winning her first two starts in gate-to-wire fashion, Filibustin, under Jose Lezcano, on Friday shared the early lead with Ribbonite early through a half-mile in 23.18 seconds and a quarter in 47.39.

Perched comfortably on the outside of Ribbonite, Filibustin drew clear just outside the eighth pole. Filibustin, a daughter of Bustin Stones owned by Alan Cook and trained by Greg Sacco, covered the six furlongs in 1:12.50 and returned $8.50 as the second choice.

“With the outside draw I left it up to Jose wherever she was comfortable,” Sacco said. “She’s rated in the morning very well, I let him know that. He had a great trip and it was just turning for home if she was good enough.”

Overnegotiate, the 3-1 third choice, rallied to get second by 1 1/4 lengths over Ribbonite.

Kim Royale, the 2-1 favorite, was pulled up by jockey Antonia Gallardo at the five-sixteenths pole. She suffered an unspecified injury to her left hind leg, was vanned off and was to be evaluated.

Sacco said Filibustin would return to Parx Racing, where she will be based for the winter, but she may return to Aqueduct for the $150,000 Fifth Avenue Division of the New York Stallion Stakes on Dec. 18.