OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Dream Maker Racing’s Yo Cuz led every step of the way to earn her third consecutive stakes triumph in Sunday’s $100,000 East View, a seven-furlong sprint for New York-bred sophomore fillies on Closing Day of the winter meet, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Yo Cuz cut back to seven furlongs after a last-out 3 1/4-length victory in the one-mile Maddie May at the Big A on February 21. The bay filly kicked off her trio of stakes victories with a maiden-breaking score in the NYSSS Fifth Avenue on December 18.
Breaking sharply from post 5, Yo Cuz cruised to the front under regular rider Jose Ortiz as the Kendrick Carmouche-piloted Stone Creator raced in second to her outside through an opening quarter-mile in 23.97 seconds over the fast main track.
Yo Cuz continued to lead down the backstretch as Silver Fist, who stumbled at the start, rushed up the rail to challenge Stone Creator for second while Sandy’s Garden chased three-wide in third under jockey Trevor McCarthy.
Approaching the turn through a half-mile in 47.99, Yo Cuz was still in hand with Stone Creator coming under a ride from Carmouche to make her bid for the lead. Ortiz gave a confident hand ride to the daughter of Laoban as they exited the turn, giving a tap of the crop near the sixteenth pole as she drew away from an all-out Stone Creator. Yo Cuz was wrapped up just before the wire and finished 5 1/4 lengths the best in a final time of 1:26.94.
Stone Creator, who also finished second to Yo Cuz last time out in the Maddie May, held onto place honors by a neck over the late-closing Captainsdaughter. Sandy’s Garden, Salsa a Parte, and Silver Fist completed the order of finish.
Ortiz, who has ridden Yo Cuz to each of her victories, said he expected Sandy’s Garden to provide more pressure from post 4.
“She’s a nice filly,” said Ortiz. “I was expecting the four-horse to show some speed, too. I broke good and did my thing and ended up by yourself up there, so I took it. She did the rest. She finished up well. It’s very windy around the turn, so I think you’ll see a lot of slow times today, but she did everything right. She keeps moving forward. It’s a heavy track. I know she’ll be a lot better when she gets to Belmont; the track will suit her a little better.”
Carmouche said the uncontested pace hindered his chances.
“I thought there would be more pace but, everything changes when the gates open,” said Carmouche. “She was second best again today, but she ran her race.”
Dave Wagman, part of the Dream Maker Racing partnership that owns Yo Cuz, said the New York program offers great opportunity.
“I’ve been in on a few of their horses and she is clearly the best so far,” Wagman said. “The New York program is what they preach and it’s a lot of fun to get the chance to come out and run in a stakes race like this. She’s now won three of them. It’s a fabulous program and we love it.
“I enjoy it,” Wagman added. “There’s a lot more to learn from what you see on TV and being a fan is a tiny glimpse of it. I’ve enjoyed getting to see behind the curtain. She’s a really nice filly.”
Bred in New York by Seidman Stables, Yo Cuz was awarded $55,000 for her winning effort, bringing her total purse earnings to $387,800 and improving her record to 4-3-0-0. She returned $3.30 for a $2 win wager.
Live racing resumes Thursday at the Big A with an eight-race card to kick off the 2022 spring meet. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern. The meet runs until Sunday, April 24 and includes an April 9 card that will feature the Grade 2 Wood Memorial Presented by Resorts World Casino, the Grade 1 Carter Presented by NYRA Bets and four other stakes. In all, the 15-day meet will feature 13 graded stakes races worth a total of $2.7 million.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Aqueduct Racetrack, and the best way to bet every race of the winter meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.
By Mary Eddy/NYRA Press Office
Photo: A happy Jose Ortiz aboard Yo Cuz after their victory in the East View. (NYRA/Coglianese)