04/10/2016 5:02PM

Macagone coasts as lone speed in Danger's Hour

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Jose Ortiz collects one of his four wins on the program aboard Macagone in the Danger's Hour Stakes.

In yet another example of how pace makes the race, Macagone looked like the lone speed on paper and he was the lone speed on Aqueduct’s yielding turf course, taking Sunday’s $100,000 Danger’s Hour Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths over 3-5 favorite Takeover Target.

Not only did he have a pace advantage, but Macagone, in with 115 pounds, was getting eight pounds from the multiple stakes winner Takeover Target, who sat fourth early, but could only get second by 1 1/4 lengths over Fredericksburg. Legendary, Lubash, and Late Night Lu completed the order of finish.

The last time the New York-bred Macagone raced at Aqueduct, he went gate to wire in a first-level open-company allowance race over a yielding Aqueduct turf. His lone start since was a third-place finish behind Reporting Star in the El Prado Stakes last December at Gulfstream.

Trainer Michelle Nihei had the 5-year-old gelding by Artie Schiller ready to run off the four-month layoff. The gelding will remain at Belmont Park in the barn of Carl Domino before reuniting with Nihei later this summer in Saratoga. Macagone ran under Domino’s name last November when he won an allowance race at Aqueduct, but otherwise ran for Nihei.

Macagone was ridden to victory by Jose Ortiz, who also won the Grade 3 Top Flight Invitational aboard Carrumba as part of a four-win afternoon for the meet’s leading rider.

The Danger’s Hour proved to be an easy ride for Ortiz, who sent Macagone to the front out of the gate, maintained a two-length advantage through a quarter-mile in 24.44 seconds, a half-mile in 48.41, and six furlongs in 1:12.21. He opened up a three-length lead turning for home and was never threatened in the lane.

Macagone, owned and bred by Trinity Farm, covered the mile in 1:36.96 and returned $14.80.

“This is a nice horse,” Ortiz said. “He looked great today. I warmed him up good. Michelle brought him here 100 percent. I just broke out of there, tried to relax him as much as I could and when I asked him to go by the three-sixteenths pole I didn’t even have to hit him.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of times Macagone raced under trainer Carl Domino last year. Macagone ran once under Domino in 2015; Nihei was the trainer in his other starts that year.