OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Jockey Dylan Davis secured his fourth win on the card as Stronach Stables homebred Green Light Go made every pole a winning one in Saturday’s $125,000 Stymie, a one-turn mile for older horses, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Jimmy Jerkens, the 5-year-old Hard Spun bay notched his first stakes score since capturing the 2019 Grade 2 Saratoga Special.
Green Light Go broke alertly from the inside post to mark off opening splits of 22.99 seconds and 45.16 under pressure from Parx invader Milton the Monster. Green Light Go persevered through the turn with Milton the Monster continuing to press in front of the Manny Franco-piloted Doubly Blessed, who raced to the inside of Our Last Buck.
The pacesetter opened up a three-length advantage at the stretch call as Doubly Blessed surged into contention with Pirate’s Punch launching a late run, but there was no denying Green Light Go, who notched the 3 1/4-length win in a final time of 1:35.43.
Doubly Blessed completed the exacta by 3/4-lengths over Milton the Monster. Pirate’s Punch, Waxman and Our Last Buck completed the order of finish. Hanalei’s Houdini was scratched.
“The one hole is really tough and our plan was to come out running, so we did that and they didn’t make it easy for him to relax. He had a lot of company early and he was able to pull off,” said Davis, who now leads the Big A winter meet with 45 wins, following earlier triumphs on the card with Bells On Her Toes [Race 4], Rocco Strong [Race 6], and Zoomer [Race 7].
Davis, who picked up his fifth stakes win of the Big A winter meet, said he has his eye on the rider’s title.
“I always try my best and it’s been working out,” Davis said. “I’ve got a lot of people behind me who have supported me and good horses. I can’t forget about them. I want to win the title; it would mean a lot. We’ve got a month to go, so we’ll see what happens.”
Green Light Go won once in six starts last year, taking an optional-claiming event in April at Oaklawn Park while campaigned by Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
Since rejoining the Jerkens barn last summer at Saratoga, Green Light Go has won 2-of-3 starts, all at the Big A, including a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight in November ahead of a romping nine-length optional-claiming score on January 13.
“I know he ran well last time, but when the track is that super-fast it’s hard to really gauge how good it was,” Jerkens said. “It wasn’t the greatest field in the world. It was good to see him duplicate it today, that’s for sure. The track was very fast today. Maybe not quite as fast as last time, but close to it.
“He had been training well going into it – I would have been disappointed if he got real weak there at the end,” Jerkens added. “He wasn’t exactly accelerating, but he was holding his own. I didn’t think he was stopping at all.”
Jerkens said Green Light Go, who finished second to Tiz the Law in the 2019 Grade 1 Champagne, could target the seven-furlong Grade 1, $300,000 Carter Handicap at the Big A on April 9.
“For him to take a shot at a Grade 1 would help him go to stud and stuff like that,” Jerkens said. “He’s Grade 1-placed from the Champagne. If you’re thinking of Grade 1s anywhere along the line, that would be the most logical one.”
The Kentucky homebred banked $68,750 in victory while improving his record to 13-5-3-1. Sent to post as the 1-2 mutuel favorite, he returned $3.10 for a $2 win bet.
Live racing resumes Sunday at the Big A with a nine-race card. First post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the winter 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 Press Release
Photo: Green Light Go (Susie Raisher)