Stakes Recap
Jan 3, 2021
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Mrs. Orb draws away from heavy favorite Sharp Starr in stretch to win La Verdad

by Brian Bohl



Mrs. Orb’s persistence paid off with her first victory in more than a year when she made a move from the outside in the stretch and outkicked 2-5 favorite Sharp Starr to win Sunday’s $100,000 La Verdad for New York-bred fillies and mares 4-years-old and up at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Mrs. Orb, who was the runner-up in five consecutive stakes appearances, posted a one-length score, marking her first victory in seven starts dating to the Bay Ridge in December 2019.

Owned by Ruggeri Stable, Richard Coburn, Script R Farm and Michael Miceli, the trainer, Mrs. Orb broke last under jockey Dylan Davis but advanced to third as Prairie Fire led the four-horse field through the opening quarter-mile in 24.16 seconds and the half in 47.95 on the muddy and sealed main track.

All four horses stayed in contention out of the turn, with Davis tipping his charge outside of rivals for the stretch run. Mrs. Orb pressed on from the outside at the top of the stretch, dueling Sharp Starr to her immediate inside before gaining separation and completing the seven-furlong course in a final time of 1:24.54.

“She’s a hard-trying filly,” Davis said. “I’m just happy that I could get to win with her again. If that’s her last race, that’s very nice and Mike has done a good job with her throughout her career. I’m just happy to be aboard her and get the job done today.

“I think with the seven-eighths, she had a little more kick to finish to the wire than when she was stretching out,” he added.

Off at the longest shot on the board at 5-1, Mrs. Orb returned $12.20 on a $2 win wager. The 6-year-old Orb mare, bred by Rhapsody Farm, improved her career earnings to $439.520.

“She ran a big race,” Miceli said. “She sat off the pace nicely, dragged Dylan [Davis] up to the leaders and when he asked her to run, she delivered. “She got floated wide, but she dug in nicely. She’s tough and she always delivers. I was glad she got over the seconditis.”

The victory, which improved her career ledger to 6-8-3 in 23 starts, could be the finale to a career that started in 2018. Miceli said she is catalogued at Keeneland’s Horses of All Ages Sale on January 11.

“That’s still the intention. Things can always change, but right now that’s still on,” Miceli said.”

Sharp Starr, owned by Barry Schwartz and trained by Horacio DePaz, was three lengths clear of Espresso Shot for second. Prairie Fire was fourth.

“She handled the track fine,” said Sharp Starr jockey Trevor McCarthy. “She sat off the slow pace and was comfortable. She gave me a good kick, but we just got outrun today. She was the big favorite but I have no excuses. The other mare was just a little bit better today.”

Timely Tradition and Sadie Lady scratched.

Live racing resumes Thursday at Aqueduct with an eight-race card. First post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.


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