Marc Ferrell’s Tidal Dance got her preferred trip Sunday
afternoon in the 35th running of the $65,000 Affectionately Stakes
at Aqueduct Racetrack, tucking in behind the early leaders before taking charge
and drawing off to win by 2½ lengths.
Making her fourth start for trainer Mike Hushion and her
second over the inner track, the 5-year-old daughter of Pleasant Tap galloped
along comfortably in third behind pacesetting Yes She’s a Lady and longshot All
Night Labor through early fractions of 23.84 and 48.18. Angled out by
jockey Ramon Dominguez at the three-eighths pole, she made the lead nearing the
quarter pole and never looked back.
“I was happy with where we were early in the race,”
Dominguez said. “It actually set up exactly the way I thought it would.
She took the lead a little earlier than I wanted to, but she was doing it
easily. I saw the other horse [No. 2 Pumpkin Shell] making a run at me on
the big screen, but I knew we were home safe so I didn’t really get after her
the last bit of the race.”
Her final time for the 1 1/16 miles over a muddy track was
“It was perfect,” Hushion said of the winner’s trip. “She
was able to kiss the fence the whole way around and Ramon inched her out when
it was time. And, it was great the way he took care of her the last
sixteenth of a mile, I love it when a rider does that.’
With today’s victory, Tidal Dance improved her record to
4-5-2 from 19 starts and increased her earnings to $177,506. She returned
$4.70 as the favorite in the field of six.
“I’m going to talk to the owner about whether we’ll keep her
here or get her out of the weather for a couple of months,” Hushion added.
“You’d like to reward her and get her out of the weather, she’s been so good to
us, but we’ll wait and see, or we might stay here for the next one.”
Pumpkin Shell finished strongly to get second and Yes She’s
a Lady was third. Saxet Heights,
All Night Labor and Yet Again completed the order of finish and By the Light