01/22/2017 5:08PM

Takrees runs down Disco Chick at wire of Interborough

Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
Takrees, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., take the Interborough by a neck.

Closing horses are often at the mercy of front-runners to give them a contested pace to be effective, and in Sunday’s $100,000 Interborough Stakes at Aqueduct late-running Takrees received just that, providing her with the opportunity to catch Disco Chick on the wire by a neck.

Although the fractions were not strikingly hot – a quarter-mile in 23.28 seconds and a half-mile in 46.73 – Disco Chick and fellow front-runner Hot City Girl were never able to get a breather early, with the pair racing as a team for two-thirds of the race.

Coming into the stretch, it seemed Disco Chick would prove the winner, moving easier for her rider than Hot City Girl, and with no late-running horses in sight. But Takrees, with Irad Ortiz Jr. delivering a grounds-saving ride around the turn, was well-positioned, advancing from last while on the fence before angling out into the center of the track for the stretch run.

Put to stern urging in the stretch, Takrees ran down Disco Chick – a filly prone to blowing leads- and got up in the final stride, taking the better of a head bob at the wire. The winner, a 4-year-old daughter of Daaher, raced six furlongs in 1:11.70 over a fast but dull track.

Ortiz, aboard her for the first time, said he discussed the filly with jockey Kendrick Carmouche, who had ridden her earlier in her career, and was told she was at her best rallying from behind. “I think that was the key to the win,” he said.

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Owned and bred by Shadwell Stable and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, Takrees ($6.90) earned her first stakes victory in the Interborough. Her most notable race in 2016 had been a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Prioress at Saratoga last summer.

The favored Hot City Girl offered little fight in the stretch to be third, 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner, perhaps signaling an end to her successful career. It was the second straight fairly lackluster effort from her, not showing the brilliance she exhibited as a younger filly.