01/01/2010 12:00AM

Pletcher runs 1-2 in Interborough


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - In what was most likely the final start of her career, Distorted Passion went out in style, holding off stablemate Awesome Ashley by a half-length to win Friday's at Aqueduct. It was 6 3/4 lengths back to East Breaks in third.

The victory was the fifth from 18 starts for Distorted Passion, who continued trainer Todd Pletcher's torrid winter. Pletcher, who also ran 1-2 in Thursday's Gallant Fox Handicap, has won 14 races - including five stakes - from 30 starters since Aqueduct's inner track opened Dec. 2.

Distorted Passion, a 5-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor owned by the Gulf Coast Farms of Jerry Bailey and Lance Robinson, is cataloged to be sold at the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale beginning Jan. 11. While it's possible someone could buy her and keep her in training, the more likely scenario is she is retired and turned into a broodmare.

"She's been a very, very generous filly to us," said Jonathon Thomas, Pletcher's New York-based assistant. "It's great to see her end her career on that note."

Breaking from the rail under Javier Castellano, Distorted Passion dueled inside of Casanova Killer before Castellano took Distorted Passion in hand and guided her to the outside of Casanova Killer. After a dueling with Casanova Killer through a half-mile in 47.49 seconds, Distorted Passion took command turning for home and then held Awesome Ashley at bay. Distorted Passion covered the six furlongs in 1:12.53 and returned $5.20 as the slight favorite over Awesome Ashley.

"My concern today was the inside post," said Castellano, who won his seventh race from 14 mounts over a three-day period. "I'm glad I was able to put her in the race early. It worked out perfectly."

* The stewards gave jockey Maylan Studart a seven-day careless riding suspension for an incident in Thursday's sixth race in which she allowed her mount to come over on another horse, nearly putting jockey Rudy Rodriguez into the rail, while causing jockey Alex Bisono to take up sharply on his mount. Studart's suspension begins Monday.