New York-bred Send It In wore down Chilean import Tu Brutus in deep stretch to win Saturday’s Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct, giving the Paul Pompa Jr. homebred son of Big Brown his first stakes win outside of the state-bred ranks. The Todd Pletcher trainee, ridden by John Velazquez, covered 1 1/4 miles on a fast track in 2:02.07. Doyouknowsomething was third and Hereditary fourth in the field of seven older male runners.
Tu Brutus, a Scat Daddy 5-year-old making his U.S. debut for trainer Gary Contessa after compiling a record of eight wins from 17 starts in Chile, set all the fractions under Irad Ortiz Jr. He went the opening quarter mile in :23.40, the half in :47.20 and six furlongs in 1:11.19 with a comfortable two- to three-length advantage. Bellamy Way and Send It in were his closest pursuers, but turning into the stretch – the mile in 1:36.35 – it came down to a two-horse race between Tu Brutus and Send It In.
Tu Brutus kept to his task down the lane, but Send It In gradually cut into the lead, catching the Chilean horse in the final sixteenth to win by about a half-length.
Send It In, a 5-year-old gelding produced from the Awesome Again mare Sharp Instinct (who is out of an Argentine-bred mare, Forty Paulina, a Group 1 winner in her native country), was winning for the ninth time in 17 starts. He came into the Excelsior off a fast-finishing third-place finish in the March 12 Stymie. Prior to that, Send It In won a pair of New York-bred stakes, the Alex M. Robb Dec. 31 and the Haynesfield on Feb. 11.
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