Saturday, March 28, 2009
WEATHERED WEATHERS ALL CHALLENGES AND WINS NEXT MOVE
Chevalier Stable’s heavily favored Weathered turned back two challenges Saturday afternoon and powered on to a 1 ½-length victory in the 35th running of the Grade 3, $107,800 Next Move – the final graded stakes race of the Aqueduct Racetrack inner dirt season.
Trained by Karl Grusmark and ridden by Mike Luzzi, the 4-year-old New York-bred daughter of Key Contender won for the second time in three starts this year, all at the Big A, as the favorite of 4,197 fans. The Next Move, for fillies and mares, was at nine furlongs on the fast inner dirt track, the same distance as her victory in the February 21st Rare Treat.
Weathered drew even after a half of 48.36, but Successful Sarah came back again and they continued their war through three quarters of 1:13.05. Jockey Rajiv Margh then asked Winning Point to take her, but after putting away Successful Sarah, Weathered hung in after a mile in 1:38.95 and refused to be headed again. She won in 1:52.44, for her ninth victory in 15 starts.
“With the speed horse on the rail, on paper, we figured the race would unfold as it did,” said Luzzi, whose mount returned $3.70. “I’ve been working with her in the mornings, teaching her to slow down – she got away from me a little bit – but I got her to relax on the backside. In the stretch, when I needed her to fight, she did. Karl (Grusmark, trainer) has been keeping her happy for a long time and today it showed.”
Grusmark said he might consider a start at Charles Town next month for Weathered.
“I was very hopeful [coming into the race],” Grusmark said. “She’s been doing extremely well and we thought she’d run awfully well today and she didn’t disappoint. [She held off] the late run of the McLaughlin horse (#4, Winning Point, 2nd-place finisher), and that’s who I was worried about. Weathered has done extremely well this winter – she loves Aqueduct! We hope she loves Saratoga just as much. We’re going to take a look and see how she comes out of this – she might take a little side trip to Charles Town [on April 18th] – but we’re very pleased with the effort today. Michael (Luzzi, jockey) did a wonderful job with her, as usual.”
Successful Sarah, Point Me To It and Bourbon Maid trailed.
Nijinsky’s Bullet was scratched.
Aqueduct will be not have live racing on Monday and Tuesday, but will be open for simulcasting on those days. Live racing returns to Aqueduct’s main track on Wednesday, April 1 – no fooling.
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