Si Que Es Buena looks good taking G3 Long Island
by Sean Morris
OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Under a rail-skimming ride by Joel Rosario, race favorite Si Que Es Buena came out on top of a full field of 12 fillies and mares in the Grade 3, $400,000 Long Island on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack to cap off the day's stakes action.
The Long Island was joined on Saturday by the Grade 3, $200,000 Discovery, which was won by Performer in a thrilling finish with Tax, and the $125,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship, won in runaway fashion by Fully Vested.
Trained by Graham Motion for Shimakawa Takaya, Si Que Es Buena entered the Long Island off a non-threatening sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 E. P. Taylor at Woodbine, her first start in more than eight months. The 6-year-old Argentinian-bred mare made her first North American start in last year's Long Island before finding success in turf marathons at Gulfstream Park over the winter, where she won the Grade 3 La Prevoyante.
Sent off at odds of 6-5 from post 1, Si Que Es Buena sat near the back of the pack for much of the race as Decorating showed the way through reasonable splits of 25.53 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 51.05 for the half, 1:17.56 for three-quarters and 1:43.12 for a mile, with the Godolphin homebred Romantic Pursuit in close attendance in second. Positions remained unchanged until the field reached the last of three turns in the 1 ⅜-mile race, when the running began in earnest.
Still last as the field turned for home, a confident Rosario continued to hug the rail with Si Que Es Buena while awaiting a clear path. Their opportunity came at the gap in the Big A's inner turf course, which provided the daughter of Equal Stripes just enough room to launch her rally on the fence, and she made the most of it, easily sailing by the leader inside the eighth pole and comfortably holding off a late charge from My Sister Nat to prevail by a neck.
"She just put herself there and she was comfortable," said Rosario. "We tried to save some ground hopefully having enough run at the end and she did. She put in a nice run and came in really strong.
"I was a little concerned [that she was too far back] but she was comfortable," Rosario added. "I didn't want to get her into something she didn't want to do. We just tried to save ground and hopefully have something for the end."
Si Que Es Buena completed the distance in 2:19.68 and returned $4.60 on a $2 win wager.
Chad Brown trainee My Sister Nat, a half-sister to champion Sistercharlie, got caught up in traffic at the top of the stretch but came with a late rush to get second, finishing a neck in front of pacesetter Decorating in third. It was another neck back to Pivotal Connection in fourth.
"It was just the way the race set up," said Brown's assistant Dan Stupp. "You don't want to take away her closing kick; just get her into the clear and let her make her move. We were very pleased with the effort, being a sibling to Sistercharlie. It was great to see that explosion."
Empressof the Nile, Mercilla, Lift Up, Wegetsdamunnys, Romantic Pursuit, Homeland Security, Entropia and More Fun Again completed the order of finish.