11/21/2010 5:13PM

Rule by Night comes close to track record winning Groovy

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Rule by Night runs the fastest seven furlongs at Aqueduct since 2005 in winning Sunday's Groovy Stakes.

Pace pressers swept both $60,000 overnight stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct on Sunday, as Rule by Night ($4.30) dominated the seven-furlong Groovy on the main track, and Lubash ($16.20) ran down Little Mike to win the one-mile Monarch’s Maze on turf.

Rule by Night was coming off a close second in the $250,000 Gallant Bob Stakes for trainer Steve Asmussen. He bobbled at the break, but recovered to track Bank Heist through splits of 22.38 and 44.67 seconds, inhaled the leader approaching the stretch, and drew away under a confident Ramon Dominguez to win by better than nine lengths in 1:20.67, just .63 of a second off the track record set by Artax in the 1999 Carter Handicap.

It was the fastest seven furlongs at Aqueduct since Forest Danger won the 2005 Carter in 1:20.46.

“He’s been able to put it together this fall, and he really likes Aqueduct,” said assistant trainer Toby Sheets.

Sunrise Smarty edged Dixie Notion for second, as Bank Heist faded to fourth.

Lubash chased even-money favorite Little Mike from the outset of the Monarch’s Maze under Jose Lezcano, and drew clear from that rival in the final furlong to give trainer Jim Ryerson his fourth meet winner.

Lubash, has now won turf stakes at all three New York Racing Association tracks this year, having taken the Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion at Saratoga and the Fifth Marine overnight stakes at Belmont Park.

Lubash scored by 2 ½ lengths and ran the mile in 1:36.88 over a turf course labeled firm.

Little Mike, who had won three in a row since switched to grass by Allen Iwinski, saved the place over Flamin’ Hot.