Nicole H extended her inner-track
unbeaten streak to four Saturday afternoon at Aqueduct Racetrack,
splitting horses in the stretch and going on to a 2 ½-length victory in
the 72nd running of the $100,000 Correction Stakes.
in third along the rail as Winning Image was stalked by Golden Mystery
through an opening quarter-mile in 23.18 and a half in 46.78, Nicole H
found herself blocked to the outside as they turned for home. Urged
between the two front runners by jockey Ramon Dominguez, Nicole H
grabbed the lead and widened her advantage through the stretch.
was actually trying to work my way out from the half-mile to the
three-eighths pole, but unfortunately, horses kept coming to my outside,
and really, I was left with no choice," Dominguez said. "I felt like I
had enough horse and she was handy enough where even if the horse in
front had come in, even in a split-second, I had the horse to get inside
or outside. I would have rather been tracking on the outside, but I was
very happy about the way she was taking me. When she finally got
through, she continued going. She was a lot handier than last time."
5-year-old daughter of Mr. Greeley completed six furlongs in 1:11.08
and returned $3.00 as the 1-2 favorite. Longshot Honchis'n Ponchis came
on late to edge Golden Mystery for second and Love That Dance, Streaker,
Cinco de Mayo Mio and Winning Image completed the order of finish.
[Velasquez, aboard Golden Mystery] race-rode my horse pretty strong. It
was good riding, but you hope the best horse makes the trainer and
jockey look pretty smart," said Mike Hushion, who trains Nicole H for
Gem, Inc. "We've always felt she was one of the best fillies in the
country. We have the rest of the year to prove it."
H now claims a record of 7-6-2 from 18 starts and a $404,344 bankroll,
including the $60,000 she earned for today's victory. Next up could be a
title defense in the Grade 2, $200,000 Distaff Handicap run at seven
furlongs over Aqueduct's main track on April 14.
"There are a lot of choices, but that would be the obvious one," Hushion said.