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Breeders' Cup 2017

Cairo Prince, Stopchargingmaria Win at Big A

alg aqueduct
Photo: New York Daily News
In only his second start, Cairo Prince employed a strong turn of foot on the far turn and held sway in the stretch to win the Grade 2, $250,000 Nashua for 2-year-olds on Sunday at Aqueduct Racetrack.


The Nashua was preceded on the card by the Grade 3, $250,000 Tempted, a race for 2-year-old fillies won by odds-on favorite Stopchargingmaria. Both races were contested at one mile.


Cairo Prince, coming off a 2 ¾-length debut win in a six-furlong race on October 6 at Belmont Park, was away in fifth in the field of 12 and launched a three-wide rally after Manhattan Johnnie, the 5-2 favorite, ran the opening half-mile in 46.90 seconds.


After gaining the lead with five-sixteenths to travel, Cairo Prince rapidly opened up on his rivals and was in front by five lengths at the eighth pole, with Financial Mogul running on late to reduce the winner's margin to 2 ½ lengths at the finish. Noble Moon, who was bumped at the start by Awesome Wildcat, finished an additional half-length behind in third.


"He keeps improving," said jockey Luis Saez, who also rode Cairo Prince in his debut race. "Today, he was impressive. On the turn, he wanted to run, so I let him, and he was flying. I had a lot of horse at the top of the stretch and he just kept going."


Cairo Prince, the first black-type winner for freshman sire Pioneerof the Nile, completed the distance in 1:37.59 and returned $10.60 for a $2 win wager as the 4-1 second choice.


"There was a strong headwind down the backside," noted Arthur Magnuson, assistant to winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "We thought he'd be pretty close, but you worry at the five-sixteenths pole about how much he has left after he's made a run into that wind. Of course, you're also excited about the Remsen [Grade 2, $400,000, Aqueduct, November 30] and Florida and next year in May."


Rick Violette and Leah Gyarmati, the respective trainers of Financial Mogul and Noble Moon, said their horses also will be considered for the Remsen, which is expected to attract Grade 1 Foxwoods Champagne runner-up Honor Code.


Cairo Prince, owned by Namcook Stables, Paul Braverman, Harvey A. Clarke, W. Craig Robertson, III, earned $150,000 for his Nashua victory. His bankroll now stands at $192,000.


Completing the order of finish were Intense Holiday, Jose Sea View, Protonico, Grand Arrival, Louisiana Flyboy, Master Lightning, Manhattan Johnnie, Awesome Wildcat, and Tiznowforamerica.


Stopchargingmaria, the 4-5 favorite in the Tempted, delivered a creditable performance, taking the lead on the far turn and drawing away under Javier Castellano's hand ride in the stretch to prevail by 10 ¾ lengths.


Kept under a tight hold as she vied for the early supremacy outside Divided Attention and Potosi's Silver, Stopchargingmaria maintained a slight lead through an opening quarter in 23.64 seconds and a half in 47.74 before she began to sneak away from her rivals. She needed only a few flashes of the whip to pull clear as Divided Attention picked up the pieces to finish second.


"It was a great performance," said Castellano. "I was just the pilot today. She drew off so nice and made it look so easy. I used my own judgment and put her in the game, and she was the best."


Stopchargingmaria paid $3.70 and ran one mile in 1:38.77.


With her Tempted victory, Stopchargingmaria became the second horse to win a graded stakes in her first start following the Grade 1 Frizette on October 5. Stopchargingmaria was third in the Frizette, finishing ahead of Ria Antonia, who won the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies via disqualification Saturday at Santa Anita. Like Stopchargingmaria in the Tempted, Ria Antonia was ridden in the Breeders' Cup by Castellano.


Prior to the Frizette, Stopchargingmaria had broken her maiden by 5 ½ lengths in July and was second in the Grade 1 Spinaway. Both starts came at Saratoga Race Course. She has earned $308,000 to date.


Stopchargingmaria's owner, Mike Repole, said the daughter of Tale of the Cat could return to Aqueduct in four weeks to compete in the Grade 2, $400,000 Demoiselle on November 30.


"We haven't gotten a nice one like that for a while here, but I guess I'm back at my home track, Aqueduct, and it seems I do better here than most other places," said Repole. "I'll talk to Todd [Pletcher] about bringing her back for the [Demoiselle]. She really did it so easy today. She was much the best."


Derek's Girl finished third and was followed home by Stonetastic and Potosi's Silver.



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