Fit-again Maragh dominates
NEW YORK CITY, (CMC):
Rajiv Maragh sent the strongest signal yet that he was back to his best by reeling off four winners on the weekend's nine-race card at Aqueduct racetrack.
Since his return from injury last month after nearly 16 months on the sidelines, Maragh had managed to pick off only single wins on the weekly cards.
But the Jamaican rider sizzled on Saturday, winning race two with Cerretalto, race three with Core Portfolio, race five with Sol the Freud before wrapping up his haul with victory in race six aboard Ekhlaas.
Maragh now has nine wins from 82 rides since returning to the saddle on November 4 here. He notched his first success 19 days later.
The season wraps up on December 31.
The 31-year-old opened his account over six furlongs when he carried 10-1 chance Cerretalto to a one-length win over the two year-olds.
Cerretalto kept a close eye on front-runners Spotty Zealous and Blue Belt through the half mile before charging to the front with a furlong to run and getting home comfortably.
Maragh then logged his second victory, going a mile and 70 yards when he made virtually all the running with 2-1 bet Core Portfolio to beat the three-year-old and upwards.
He broke the three-year-old chestnut colt sharply to set the pace, repelled a challenge from Charming Indy before making his bid at the three-sixteenth pole and storming to the finish a length clear.
In race five over six furlongs, Maragh and 9-1 choice Sol the Freud won a race-long duel with favourite Commandante to beat the three-year-olds and upwards by a head.
And in race six over six furlongs, Maragh used a stalking ride to chase down favourite Little Popsie and get 3-1 chance Ekhlaas to a 11/2 length win over the three-year-old and upwards.
Maragh had suffered several broken vertebrae, a broken rib, and a punctured lung in a fall at Belmont Park in July last year.