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C C's Pal Motors Home in Garland of Roses

jockey Junior Alvarado and New York Yankees World Series Champion catcher Jim Leyritz, who made the Garland of Roses trophy presentation.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Even-money favorite C C’s Pal made her inner track debut a winning one Saturday afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack, collaring Isn’t She Grand in midstretch and going on to a 2 ¼-length victory in the 26th running of the $65,000 Garland of Roses.


Entering the six-furlong race off a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Go for Wand Handicap on November 25, C C’s Pal was content to run third along the rail behind Isn’t She Grand as she set fractions of 23.97 and 46.86. Moving up quickly on the turn, the 4-year-old Alex’s Pal filly took aim on the pacesetter once straightened for home and grabbed the lead 70 yards from the wire.


Her winning time for the six furlongs was 1:10.56.


New York Yankees World Series Champion catcher Jim Leyritz, who was making his first visit to Aqueduct, made the trophy presentation for the Garland of Roses to winning owner Eric Fein and jockey Junior Alvarado.


“I knew I had plenty of horse, but at the five-sixteenths pole I was just trying to keep [Isn’t She Grand] in sight,” said Alvarado. “When I turned for home, the horse in front was comfortable, but my horse was much the best. At the end, she just took off the last eighth when I asked her with the left hand. That was it. She just took off – gone.”


C C’s Pal returned $4.10 for a $2 win bet as she earned her second victory in three starts since joining trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr.’s stable, having also won the Miss Golden Circle overnight stakes at Belmont Park on October 23.


“Who would know she was going to sprint on the inner coming back in eight days,” said Dutrow of C C’s Pal, now 6-5-5 from 24 career starts with earnings of $406,086. “If you had asked me, I would have said, ‘I’m just hoping.’


“And, we found out [today] she can sprint on the inner,” he added. “We might keep her around here to do that again, I don’t know.”


Runner-up Isn’t She Grand was 8 ¼ lengths clear of Cinco de Mayo Mio, with Ms Vanenzza and Afaaf completing the order of finish.

Photo - NYRA/Adam Coglianese




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