12/12/2010 8:10PM

Quiet Giant relishes slop in Cheap Seats

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Quiet Giant found the off track and the weak competition to her liking Sunday as she took control in midstretch and splashed home to an 8 3/4-length victory in the $60,000 Cheap Seats Stakes at sloppy Aqueduct.

It was the third victory in six starts and first in a stakes race for Quiet Giant, a daughter of Giant’s Causeway who is also a half-sister to 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam. Quiet Giant is owned and bred by Edward P. Evans and trained by Todd Pletcher.

Under John Velazquez, Quiet Giant stalked longshot Malibu Legacy through fractions of 25.15 seconds, 49.15, and 1:13.92 before taking over just inside the three-sixteenths pole. Quiet Giant covered the mile in 1:38.46 and returned $3.10 as the 1-2 favorite.

The victory was the sixth from 20 starts for Pletcher, who is in second place in the trainer standings behind Rick Violette, who won another race Sunday with Not Macho Any More, giving him 8 wins from 16 starters at the meet.

Sunday marked the opening of simulcasting at Belmont Park - at least as far as Aqueduct’s races were concerned - and New York Racing Association officials estimated a crowd of 120 fans showed up. Handle at the Belmont Café was $34,200, of which $25,036 was bet on Aqueduct’s races.

Still, the nasty weather conditions didn’t help business Sunday as all-sources handle was $5,806,195, a 16-percent decline compared with $6,943,093 a year ago. Both Belmont and Aqueduct will be open Monday and Tuesday for dark-day simulcasting.

* V Sat, a 3-year-old son of Vindication, suffered fractured sesamoids to his right front foreleg during the running of Sunday’s seventh race and had to be euthanized. That came a day after three horses sustained fatal injuries at Aqueduct - Ramsgate, Great Emperor, and Rum Row.