Maragh maintains form with double at Aqueduct
QUEENS, New York (CMC):
Jamaican rider Rajiv Maragh produced contrasting rides as he won twice on Thursday's nine-race card at Aqueduct.
The 31-year-old captured race one aboard favourite Shimmering Moon in a gate-to-wire effort and returned to win race five with 2-1 bet Breeze Burner in a stalking ride.
Maragh lies third in the standings on 18 wins from 97 wins, eight adrift of leader Irad Ortiz, with Kendrick Carmouche second on 20.
Into the second of the three-month meet at the east coast racetrack, Maragh wasted little time in opening his account when he paired with four-year-old bay filly Shimmering Moon to trounce the four-year-old and upward maidens by a whopping 17-1/2 lengths.
Going six furlongs, Maragh broke the filly sharply and quickly pulled away from Sliding Stones and Town Fair to establish a clear lead.
In the stretch, the pair had no challengers, but Maragh still drove Shimmering Moon through the lane strongly before easing up at the wire.
Maragh's second victory came in another six-furlong trip when he steered the bay gelding Breeze Burner to a 3-1/4 length score over the three-year-olds.
Lenny and favourite Margarita Sunrise made the running through the first quarter before Breeze Burner came to challenge near the half as Margarita Sunrise took sole possession of the lead.
Once in the stretch, Breeze Burner had little trouble disposing of his rival to get to the front and had an uncontested run up the wire.