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Icabad Crane Surges to Win Alex Robb

Icabad Crane 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 York-breds.


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.





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