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King And Crusader Wins Jimmy Winkfield

King and Crusader, winner of a one-mile optional claimer at Aqueduct Racetrack on Friday, bounced back quickly to take Monday’s $75,000, six-furlong Jimmy Winkfield Stakes.


Patiently ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, King and Crusader sat a wide trip in third through opening fractions of 22.48 and 45.42 set by favored Yo Koffy who was pressed by Deliburnsky. Given his cue at the top of the stretch, King and Crusader swept by the front runners at the eighth pole and held off a late charge from stablemate Reserved Quality to prevail by three-quarters of a length at the wire. The top two finishers are both trained by Rick Dutrow, Jr.


Sent off at 7-2, King and Crusader returned $9.90 as he completed six furlongs in 1:11.72.


“The No. 1 horse [Yo Koffy] and the No. 3 horse [Deliburnsky] wanted to go to the front, and my horse stayed third easy,” said Velasquez. “At the five-sixteenths, I thought I had a lot of horse and he passed them into the lead when I asked him. The other Dutrow horse was coming, but I had a lot of horse. He tried hard. For three days rest, he won easily. I like him. He’s a nice horse.”


Prior to his allowance win on Friday, the sophomore son of Lion Heart was first across the line in the Maryland Juvenile Championship at Laurel Park on December 17, from which he was later disqualified for a medication violation. He broke his maiden for a $25,000 claiming tag at Belmont Park on October 7. On Monday, King and Crusader earned $45,000 for owner James Riccio and ran his record to 3-0-1 from seven starts.


“It was all Rick Dutrow,” Riccio said of the idea to run King and Crusader back so quickly. “I liked the idea, but I was just curious as to what the numbers were going to look like and they looked OK. I would say he’s going to get about six weeks off now.”


Deliburnsky finished third, followed by Yo Koffy and Done Done Done. He Can Run was eased and vanned off in mild distress. No musculoskeletal injuries were immediately apparent, according to Dr. Anthony Verderosa, NYRA’s Chief Examining Veterinarian. McKinley Square was scratched.




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