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Tug of War Stretches Out in Damon Runyon

Tug of War, previously conditioned by recently retired trainer Ramon “Mike” Hernandez, will make his first start for Heriberto Cedano in Sunday’s $65,000 Damon Runyon at Aqueduct Racetrack.


The Damon Runyon will be contested at one mile, 70 yards on the inner track and attracted a well-matched field of nine 2-year-old New York-breds.


Owned by La Union Stable and Jeffrey P. Raine, Tug of War will be competing over a route of ground for the first time in his career, having reeled in the pacesetters to take a six-furlong, New York-bred allowance by two widening lengths on November 18 on the Aqueduct main track. He entered that race off a two-length maiden win in a 5 ½-furlong off-the-turf dash at Saratoga Race Course and a fifth in the seven-furlong Bertram F. Bongard on October 22 at Belmont Park. Overall, he is 2-0-1 in five starts.


Cornelio Velasquez will ride Tug of War, 5-1 on the morning line, from post position 4.


Think I’m Hooked broke his maiden by seven lengths on October 23 at Belmont in his fourth start and enters the Damon Runyon off a second, beaten a neck, the NYSS Great White Way on November 13 at the Big A. Both starts were at six furlongs against New York-breds.


David Cohen has the call aboard Think I’m Hooked, who was installed at 8-1 on the morning line and drew post 2.


Live for Today, trained by Dominick Schettino, is the lone entrant who has won at a mile or longer on dirt. Competing in a one-mile New York-bred maiden race around one turn at Aqueduct on November 16, the Michael Imperio and Mia Racing Stables color-bearer drew away under hand urging to prevail by three lengths. He had made one previous start, finishing third in a maiden event won by Damon Runyon entrant Coalition on October 14 at Belmont.


Ryan Curatolo will ride Live for Today, 4-1 on the morning line, from post 8.


Disco On has also won at a mile, albeit on grass. Trying turf for the first time on November 18, Disco On made a furious charge between horses in the stretch to get up by a half-length at 52-1. In his one start on dirt, he was 11th in the October 23 maiden race won by Think I’m Hooked.


Owned and trained by Richard Lugovich, Disco On was tabbed at 20-1 on the morning line. Carlos Montalvo will ride from the rail.


Swag Daddy, Pretension, Coalition, Mississippi Duel, and Missilewhileuwork round out the field.


The field for the $65,000 Damon Runyon:








Disco On (NY)

C Montalvo


R J Lugovich



Think I'm Hooked (NY)

D Cohen


G C Contessa



Swag Daddy (NY)

J Alvarado


R E Dutrow, Jr.



Tug of War (NY)

C H Velasquez


H Cedano



Pretension (NY)

J Santiago


C W Grove



Coalition (NY)

I Ortiz, Jr.


C R McGaughey III



Mississippi Duel (NY)

C S Nakatani


W I Mott



Live for Today (NY)

R Curatolo


D A Schettino



Missilewhileuwork (NY)

C C Lopez


D G Galluscio





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