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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Edited NYRA ReleaseRob Atras, winning trainer of Maracuja (No. 2, $31.40): “She broke really sharp, which I was happy with, and she was kind of right there. They all seemed like they were coming and I thought Ricardo [Santana, Jr.] made a smart move by backing off and coming around the outside. What a race.
“She loves the two turns. She puts a lot into her gallops every day. The further, the better for her.”
On winning as a longshot: “Sometimes when I’m 1-to-9 I don’t expect to win. It’s never over until it’s over and as you can see, she needed every part of the mile and an eighth to win.
“When they turned for home, I thought we had a shot. It looked like we were definitely going to be second but as the wire kept getting closer, she just really laid it down. That filly of Todd’s [No. 1, Malathaat], I didn’t think we were going to get by her, to be honest.”
On her improvement following a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks: “She was very good going into the [Kentucky] Oaks, she just broke a little flat footed and got shuffled back in the turn. She really didn’t get a great trip that day and it wasn’t a true showing of her. She’s obviously improved a lot the past few months.”
John Sakkos, founding partner of winning owner Beach Haven Thoroughbreds (No. 6): “It was nerve-racking, especially after coming in seventh in the Oaks, but it was exciting. I was just hoping we would perform better than the Oaks. She had been doing well and Rob and the team have done a phenomenal job with her. She had a good rest after the Oaks.”
On a potential next start in the Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama on August 21: “We’ll probably go to the Alabama after this.”
Ricardo Santana, Jr., jockey aboard winner Maracuja (No. 8): “The trip was perfect. She broke really well today. She was running comfortably. Rob liked the filly a lot and I was happy with her. There wasn’t much pressure in this race. He told me, ‘Just do what you have to do’ and we took the victory today. I had some pressure on the side from the 4 [Clairiere] and I just let my filly take a deep breath. As soon as I took her back out, she came rolling. She ran a great race today.”
John Velazquez, jockey aboard runner-up Malathaat: “You have to play the cards you’re dealt. She was doing great. She was comfortable in what she was doing, but she had to fight the whole way around and obviously set it up for somebody else. She’s a great horse and you can’t take that away from her.”
Winning margin: headFinal time (1 1/8 miles): 1:49.29Fractions: 23.38, 47.13, 1:11.02, 1:36.35Full order of finish: 2-1-4-3
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