Dr B victorious in the Go for Wand – again! (Joe Labozzetta)
By Keith McCalmont – NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Cash is King and LC Racing’s Dr B made every pole a winning one as she successfully defended her title in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Go for Wand, a one-turn mile for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Butch Reid, Jr. and piloted by Jose Lezcano, the 5-year-old Liam’s Map bay operated on a short lead on the muddy and sealed track over the stalking Gerrymander but continued to find more throughout, opening up by four lengths at the stretch call en route to a 3 3/4-length score over Tizzy in the Sky.
“The track’s playing to speed and she likes the track very much, a track just like this – a little moisture on the track, close to the same track last year, I believe. It worked out well,” said Reid, Jr.
Dr B set splits of 22.56 seconds, 45.06 and 1:09.78 with Gerrymander in second and Tizzy in the Sky watching patiently from third. Gerrymander was given her cue by Jose Ortiz through the turn as the 3-2 mutuel favorite Good Sam was asked to launch her rally by Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Dr B put away Gerrymander at the top of the lane and was relishing the wet going as she powered away from her rivals to score in a final time of 1:36.49. The Luis Saez-piloted Tizzy in the Sky pounced to complete the exacta by one length over the late-charging New York-bred Venti Valentine with Good Sam, who was reported to have bled, and Gerrymander rounding out the order of finish. Saddle Up Jessie and Know It All Audrey were scratched.
Lezcano said the swift splits didn’t hamper Dr B.
“Yes it was moving, you know, but I think she is a very nice filly. She ran hard the whole way around,” Lezcano said. “She was very comfortable the first half and I started asking a little bit, but she did pretty good for the whole way almost around.”
It was the first victory in six starts this season for Dr B, who finished second in both the Grade 3 Vagrancy in May at Belmont Park and the Grade 2 Honorable Miss Handicap in July at Saratoga Race Course. She arrived from a distant fourth in the when taking on the boys in the Parx Dirt Mile on September 23.
Reid, Jr. said Dr B, a gate-to-wire winner of this event last year over sloppy and sealed footing, benefited from a short break after the Parx Dirt Mile.
“We sent her to the farm for three or four weeks at Patty Hogan’s place over in Jersey,” Reid, Jr. said. “The grass was nice and she really prospered, put on some weight and came back fresh for just the short break that it was.
“To hold her form that long – we gave her some time off after this race last year – it’s just great that she’s still maintaining this level of competition to be able to compete at this level,” he added. “She’s just been an iron mare from the day we got her and has held that way so far.”
Dr B, out of the graded stakes-placed Proud Citizen mare Boleyn, is a half-sister to the Reid, Jr.-trained stakes winner Stand Up Comic as well as stakes-winner Hi Holiday.
Reid, Jr. said Dr B, if she stays in training, could point to the Interborough here in January with a longer-term goal of the Grade 3 Barbara Fritchie on February 17 at Laurel Park.
“It’s possible,” Reid, Jr. said. “We have our eye on the Barbara Fritchie as maybe one of her big dates we’d like to see. We’ll need a race somewhere in between there and here, so that’s a definite possibility.”
The Todd Pletcher-trained Tizzy in the Sky arrived from a close runner-up effort in the nine-furlong Turnback the Alarm on November 3 here.
“I thought we were going to be on the lead, but it seemed like when she broke from there, she didn’t really want to do nothing,” Saez said. “I had to be after her the whole way, but she kept coming. When we got to the top of the stretch she gave me a little run, but I don’t know, I feel like she needs to go more distance.”
Bred in Kentucky by Eico Ventures, Dr B banked $110,000 in victory while improving her record to 22-6-7-2. She returned $10.40 for a $2 win bet.
Live racing resumes Sunday at Aqueduct with a nine-race card featuring the $125,000 NYSSS Staten Island in Race 7 and the $125,000 NYSSS Thunder Rumble in Race 8. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.