11/05/2017 5:09PM

Lucy N Ethel takes smooth win in Pumpkin Pie

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Annette Jasko
Lucy N Ethel paid $8.90 in winning the Pumpkin Pie Stakes at Aqueduct on Sunday.

With Lucy N Ethel, Bustin Out, and True Romance entered in the $100,000 Pumpkin Pie at Aqueduct on Sunday, it looked like there could be a logjam on the front end of the six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares.

But when the gates opened, Lucy N Ethel went to the lead, Bustin Out applied only token pressure from the outside, and True Romance settled into third, several lengths back. At that point the race realistically was over.

Lucy N Ethel opened up a clear lead in upper stretch of the $100,000 stakes and jockey John Velazquez kept her mind on business as she cruised home to win by 2 1/4 lengths under a hand ride.

Lucy N Ethel paid $8.90 as the second choice to 6-5 Indulgent, who looked like the most likely runner to capitalize if a speed duel developed. Lucy N Ethel was timed in 1:10.39 after setting reasonable fractions of 22.43, 45.37, and 57.44.

"She broke well and I got her a little off the rail like I wanted to, and she just did it easy today," Velazquez said. "She was ready."

Indulgent stayed to the inside and was up for second by a length over Bustin Out, who held third by a half-length over True Romance.

Lucy N Ethel is owned by her breeders, J A G Racing and the Jettany Thoroughbred Corporation. She is now 5 for 7 in her career with three stakes wins. She won the Grade 3 Old Hat at Gulfstream Park and Grade 2 Prioress at Saratoga in 2016.

The Pumpkin Pie was her second start for trainer Todd Pletcher. On Sept. 24, she tired to finish sixth after setting the pace in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom at Belmont Park while coming off an 11-month layoff.

Pletcher is Lucy N Ethel's fourth trainer. She won her first three starts, including the Old Hat, for Ramon Preciado; took the Prioress for Chloe Bradley; and then made one start last fall for Tom Amoss.