Trainer Rudy Rodriguez reported that all was well with Repole Stable’s Backsideofthemoon, who registered his first stakes win in nearly three years when capturing the nine-furlong $100,000 Queens County on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The 8-year-old son of Malibu Moon recorded a 105 Beyer for the six-length victory, where he led at every point of call while setting an easy tempo up front before kicking clear under jockey Jose Lezcano. He boasts a record of 47-8-9-7 and $722,216 in earnings through a career that began in September 2015.
Backsideofthemoon appears to have an affinity for the Aqueduct main track, as six of his nine career victories have taken place there, including a triumph in the Jazil in January 2018 for former trainer Leo O’Brien.
Rodriguez claimed Backsideofthemoon from O’Brien in August 2019 and two starts later won going a one-turn mile at Aqueduct under Rodriguez’s tutelage before being claimed by trainer Robert Klesaris. Rodriguez then claimed him back in September after a second-place finish in a one-mile allowance optional claiming event at Belmont Park.
“He’s a cool horse to be around. He likes his job,” Rodriguez said. “When I claimed him before he was good and Bobby [Klesaris] did a good job of keeping everything together. There aren’t too many horses his age that run the way he runs.”
Rodriguez gelded Backsideofthemoon after claiming him for the first time last August.
“The only thing we did was geld him when I claimed him before,” Rodriguez said. “He always trained well and if you look at him physically, he looks like a stakes level horse. He’s a nice, solid strong, big horse. The coat he has right now looks like he’s in Florida. He has a very shiny coat and not many horse, in the winter have that kind of coat.”
Rodriguez said he was unsure as to where the seasoned veteran’s next start would take place, but that the $100,000 Jazil on January 23 could be in play.
“I’ll talk to the boss and see what he says,” Rodriguez said. “He ran a big number, so we’ll keep it together and hope for the best.”
Rodriguez also reported EV Racing’s Eagle Orb, the New York-bred son of Orb who won the November 14 Notebook at the Big A, could target either the $150,000 Jerome on January 1 at Aqueduct – a 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifier – or stay against state-breds in the $100,000 Rego Park on January 11 at going 6 ½ furlongs.
“We have those two races in mind for him and me and the owner are still trying to decide which spot is best. He’s training well,” Rodriguez said.
Bred in New York by Barry Ostrager, Eagle Orb is out of the Harlan’s Holiday mare Lady On Holiday and was purchased for 95,000 from the Saratoga New York-bred Yearling Sale last August.
Photo Credit: Chelsea Durand