Castle Village Farm’s five-year-old NY-bred mare Victory at Last drew off in the stretch to take Aqueduct’s 9th race on January 11th, winning by almost five lengths.
Ridden by hot apprentice Jose Ortiz Jr. and trained by Bruce Brown, Victory at Last stalked the early pace-setter, Mollie’s Prize, through moderate early fractions, then took charge on the far turn and was never threatened. Victory at Last was sent off at 5-2, the 3rd betting choice in a 10-horse field.
The win follows a strong second-place finish for Victory at Last in the same N3L claiming condition on New Year’s day. She was feeling so good following that effort that Bruce Brown and racing Manager Steve Zorn decided to bring her right back on short rest, a decision that paid handsome dividends.
12-year-old Diligent Gambler, the winningest horse in Castle Village Farm’s history, and later a much-loved stable pony at Belmont, died suddenly of an apparent heart attack on January 3rd, 2013. Racing in our colors from 2004-07, Diligent Gambler had a record of 8-7-8 from 28 starts. After he was claimed away from us, we bought him back in order to retire him and then had him retrained for his new career as Leah’s pony, a role he truly enjoyed.
We’ll miss him.
Castle Village Farm’s five-year-old NY-bred mare, Victory at Last, finished a strong second in the 5th race at Aqueduct on New Year’s Day. Ridden by Jose Ortiz and trained by Bruce Brown, Victory at Last tracked the early pace of odds-on favorite Superstitious Love, then moved with 2nd choice Lily Lynn at the quarter pole, and both of those ran down Superstitious Love in the stretch. Victory at Last held off a late challenge from Mess in a Dress to preserve the place.