By Francis LaBelle Jr.

After a hard-earned victory to end 2008, Gulf Coast Farm’s Distorted Passion had a much easier time Saturday afternoon to begin her 2009 campaign, biding her time off a solid pace and then simply running by the leaders for a 1½-length victory in the $70,460 Correction Stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs on Aqueduct’s fast inner track.

“The race played very much in my favor,” said jockey Rajiv Maragh, whose mount returned $6.40 to win. “The 2 (favored A Rose for You) went after the 4 (Coli Bear) and set things up the way I hoped. It was really simple – a small field, no trouble and an outside trip. And she responded when I asked.”

The 69th renewal of the Correction marked the third victory in a row for Distorted Passion, a 4-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor. She broke well and was taken off the rail as Coli Bear took to the lead for a first quarter-mile of 22.77 and the half of 46.82.

As Coli Bear faded, she made traffic woes for A Rose for You, who was seeking room up the rail. Distorted Passion had plenty of room and plenty of run and made it look easy as she won in 1:11.94.

It was a far cry from her previous victory here on December 14, when she had to look for racing room and finally got up to win by a neck.

“I know she’s got a good stretch run,” Maragh said. “Last time, she had significant trouble in the stretch and had a good run when she was clear. She did the same thing today with a cleaner trip and proved it was no fluke.”

There are plenty of options for Distorted Passion, who has run on synthetic as well as dirt surfaces, but she will likely remain sprinting.

“She’s a very game filly,” said Jonathan Thomas, assistant to winning trainer Todd Pletcher. “She trained on well since her last race, no bumps in the road, so we were all cautiously optimistic. Rajiv gave her a very good ride and I think he learned a bit about her the last time out. Todd and the owner will talk and we’ll see what her next move will be.”

Blowing Kisses, at 14-1, got up to be second and complete a $2 exacta worth $54.50.

Intentional Fever, A Rose for You, Coli Bear and Awesome Chic trailed.

Attendance was 3,415.