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Marriedtothemusic earns first stakes win in Affirmed Success

By Sean Morris | 05/02/2014 06:18 PM ET
Marriedtothemusic_Inside
Marriedtothemusic
PHOTO/Chelsea Durand

Marriedtothemusic overcame a troubled beginning to take the Affirmed Success - the first stakes win of his career - on Friday at Belmont Park.

Trained by Linda Rice for Dutchess Views Farm, Marriedtothemusic lunged at the break and was away last in the field of six. The son of Disco Rico's eventful start also caused jockey Cornelio Velasquez to lose a stirrup, which the rider deftly recovered from while simultaneously coaxing his mount into the race.

Two furlongs in, the chestnut colt had advanced to fourth through an opening quarter-mile in 23.23 seconds set by Night Maneuver. After a half in 46.18, he sat in third, just a length and a half from the pacesetter. Running four wide into the stretch, the 4-year-old ranged up to the leaders and inched away from a determined Night Maneuver in the lane to prevail by a head.

"My horse was a little nervous and he jumped at the start," said Velasquez. "He broke last and I lost my stirrup. I had no choice but to come from behind horses. It was the first time he broke like this. If he broke good, then I think he would have galloped."

Rice was equally impressed with the way her trainee was able to overcome the adversity he encountered at the break.

"It's very rare for a horse to win after the trouble he had at the start," said Rice. "We're thrilled with his performance."

The win, though seemingly just another stakes victory for Rice, was of much greater significance than it might appear. It was Marriedtothemusic's second start in her barn after being transferred to her following the death of Dominic Galluscio, the colt's former trainer.

"This win is definitely extra special for us," said Rice. "Dominic was a good friend of mine. As far as I'm concerned, he's still running for Dominic."

The odds-on favorite, Marriedtothemusic covered the six furlongs in 1:10.54 and returned $3 on a $2 win wager. His career bankroll now sits at $300,966.

It was another head back to Weekend Hideaway in third, who finished 2 ¾ lengths in front of fourth-place finisher Half Nelson. Be Bullish and Bug Juice completed the order of finish.

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