03/21/2015 6:47PM

Piquant rolls to victory in Peeping Tom Stakes


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Owner Brian Novak and trainer Richard Stoklosa claimed Piquant for $32,000 the day after nominations closed for Saturday’s inaugural New York Claiming Championships. Much to their delight, the previous connections had nominated the 7-year-old gelding to the $70,000 Peeping Tom Stakes.

Since Piquant had won so convincingly the day they claimed him, Novak and Stoklosa decided to run back in the Peeping Tom. They got more than their $32,000 investment back when Piquant came rolling six wide down the center of Aqueduct’s inner track under Fernando Jara to win the Peeping Tom by three lengths over Joking. It was back 1 3/4 lengths back to Ground Force in third.

“Give him the credit,” Stoklosa said, pointing to Novak in the winner’s circle following the race. “He picked the horse out.”

Stoklosa and Novak said they liked the fact that the previous connections, owner Michael Imperio and trainer Gustavo Rodriguez, were raising the horse in class to $32,000 off a runner-up finish for $25,000 Jan. 30. They were even happier when he ran as well as he did, earning a 93 Beyer Speed Figure.

“He had an old problem with his back foot. I guess [Rodriguez] must have worked on it and corrected it,” Stoklosa said. “I know he was a little sensitive on it, so we put a full shoe on instead of putting a bend on it. We were confident. I thought he’d be second choice in here to be honest with you.”

Piquant took advantage of a contested pace and out-finished Joking, who under Manuel Franco, was rallying one path inside of Piquant.

Piquant, by Arch, covered the six furlongs in 1:11.84 and returned $17.40 to win.

In other stakes

** In the $90,000 Caixa Eletronica, the favored Doubledown Again ($4.10) dropping out of a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Toboggan, rallied past the pace-setting Uptown Boy in upper stretch and drew off to win by 1 3/4 lengths over the late-running Energetico.

Doubledown Again, owned by J.W. Singer and trained by Michelle Nevin, was ridden to victory by Jose Ortiz. He covered the six furlongs in 1:12.32.

** Maryland shipper Before You Know It ($3.40) took control soon after the start under Manuel Franco and led gate to wire to win the $80,000 Karkorum Elektra Stakes by four lengths over Rock Me Mama.

Before You Know It, a 5-year-old daughter of Hard Spun owned by Charles Jones Sr. and trained by Claudio Gonzalez, covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:48.16.

** In the $70,000 Xtra Heat Stakes, the favored My Savannah Belle ($5.30) received a ground-saving trip from Irad Ortiz Jr. before tipping out in the stretch and bounding clear for a two-length victory over Here’s Zealicious.

My Savannah Belle, a daughter of Afleet Alex owned by Kingsport Farm and rained by Assaf Ronen, ran six furlongs in 1:13.43.

** In the $60,000 Sis City Stakes, Pebble Beach Baby ($6.70) rallied along the rail under Jose Ortiz to run down the pace-setting Resentment and win by 1 1/4 lengths. Resentment finished second by three lengths over Lasamanamama.

Pebble Beach Baby, a 5-year-old daughter of Rock Hard Ten, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:49.32.

** In the $60,000 More To Tell Stakes, the favored Tizmas ($6.70), under Junior Alvarado, led gate to wire and held off a late run from Lucky Lotto to win by a half-length.

Tizmas, a 6-year-old gelding by Tiznow, is trained by Jason Servis for Mr. Amore Stable. He ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:47.22.

** Room for Me ($7.30), claimed for $12,500 out of her last race at Santa Anita, transferred her form cross-country and cruised to a 13 1/2-length victory in the $50,000 Videogenic Stakes for fillies and mares.

Room for Me, who ran for owner-trainer David Jacobson, covered six furlongs in 1:11.20 under Cornelio Velasquez.

** In the $50,000 Kelly Kip, N.F.’s Destiny flaunted his impressive early speed and led all the way under Irad Ortiz Jr. to win beat Dan’s Gold.

The ultra-consistent N.F.’s Destiny – a half-brother to the top New York-bred filly sprinter La Verdad – now has a record of 8-9-1 from 23 starts and earnings of $335,670.

N.F.’s Destiny, a 6-year-old gelding by Cuvee, is trained by Gustavo Rodriguez for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables, and Gary Aisquith.