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Ron The Greek Wires Field in Queens County

Ron the Greek dictated the pace and drew clear in the stretch to take Saturday's 106th running of the $65,000 Queens County at Aqueduct Racetrack over favored Inherit the Gold.

Drawn inside, Ron the Greek covered a quarter-mile in 24.30 and a half in 49.35 while being pressed by longshot Fonda Ronda Won, who in turn was followed by Inherit the Gold. Asked for run at the top of the stretch, the winner drew clear to hit the wire 2 ¼ lengths ahead of the favorite, stopping the clock at 1:56.84 for 1 3/16 miles over the inner track.

"He broke pretty good and I just let him get comfortable all the way," said winning rider Junior Alvarado. "He took the lead nice and easy. When I asked him to pick it up, he gave it to me. When he felt the horses coming to him on the outside, he just kept going and going. In the end, he did everything easy."

It was the second consecutive victory for Ron the Greek, who scored by 5 lengths in the Sunny and Mild overnight stakes over a muddy main track at Aqueduct on November 17. A Florida-bred son of Full Mandate, Ron the Greek is campaigned by Jack Hammer, his breeder and co-owner with Brous Stable and Wachtel Stable. The 4-year-old is now 2-1-0 in three starts for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, with a lifetime record of 5-2-1 and $239,665 in earnings from 15 outings.

In the Queens County, Ron the Greek returned $5.20 as the 8-5 second-choice in the field of five. Arson Squad, who was third in the 2010 renewal of the Queens County, completed Saturday's trifecta, followed by Ea and Fonda Ronda Won.

Also on Saturday, apprentice jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. rode four winners, bookending the card with victories in the opener aboard Tap Attack ($8.60) and the nightcap aboard Taconic Knight ($6.30). The 19-year-old Puerto Rican native also won race 4 aboard Amylimehouse ($3.50) and race 6 aboard Ezzy ($10) and now holds third place in the NYRA jockey standings with 11 victories, behind Junior Alvarado (16 wins) and Cornelio Velasquez (12 wins).


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