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.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
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
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