concluded his 5-year-old season with a hard-charging victory at Aqueduct
Racetrack on New Year’s Eve in the $65,000 Alex M. Robb for New
Last of six early, Icabad Crane moved into fourth along the
backstretch, waited behind horses on the final bend, and rallied from between rivals
in the final furlong to edge pacesetter Manteca by a half-length.
“The pace was slow, and when he gave me the indication that he
wanted to go, I wasn’t going to tell him no,” said winning rider
Rajiv Maragh. “I kind of just let him run his own pace. Once they went
slow, he got in better contention and I always felt like I had horse.
He’s definitely more effective running at horses, so it was good that [Manteca] was giving him a
little fight today – it made him more aggressive.”
Icabad Crane, 5-6-7 from 22 career starts, is now 3-2-3 in eight races
on the Big A’s inner track, including a 1 ¾-length score in the Kings
Point Handicap in March, his most recent triumph prior to today’s
success. The $39,000 winner’s share of the Alex M. Robb purse boosted his
career earnings to $450,895.
“He’s been so consistent for so long,” said Adrian
Rolls, assistant to winning trainer H. Graham Motion, of Icabad Crane, third in
the 2008 Grade 1 Preakness. “We’ll see how he comes out of this
race before deciding what’s next for him. We’ll probably look for
something up here because he seems to like it so well.”
Owned by Earle I. Macke, LLC, Icabad Crane returned $4.90 for a $2 win
wager as the 7-5 favorite and completed the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.48.
The gelded son of Jump Start was bred by Gallagher’s Stud.
Mine Over Matter out-nodded Giant Moon by a head to finish third, with
Spa City Fever and Ruffino completing the order of finish. Stud Muffin and
Writingonthewall were scratched.