Louis Ferrari's Aunt Babe stayed off the pace and outkicked Pure Silver at the wire to win the 33rd running of the $150,000 Fifth Avenue for juvenile fillies on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Aunt Babe, a 39-1 longshot, won for the first time in three stakes starts to capture the Fifth Avenue, part of the New York Stallion Series, by a nose. She rallied from last to complete six furlongs in 1:12.92 on a main track labeled good for trainer Jimmy Ferraro.
Out of the gate, Velvet Trinni led the six-horse field through a quarter-mile in 22.34 seconds with the half in 46.18. Out of the turn, jockey Eric Cancel set the Desert Party filly down and overtook Miss Hot Stones from the outside. Pure Silver, ridden by Christopher DeCarlo, made a bid from the rail, but Aunt Babe got the edge in the final jumps.
Ferraro took over the training duties from Carlos Martin in November and won his first race saddling Aunt Babe, who had finished seventh in the Shesastnecoldfox on October 23 at Finger Lakes after running sixth in her stakes debut in the Joseph A. Gimma on September 20 at Belmont Park.
“We just took it easy on her. We thought she was over-trained a little bit,” Ferraro said. “We got the right spot. The race came up light. I told Eric to just get a position and make one run and he saw the same thing, too. So, we were all on the same page. Eric did a lot of riding to get there, that's for sure.”
Aunt Babe paid $81 on a $2 win bet. She nearly tripled her career earnings, brining her bankroll to $127,500.
“I just tried to give her a confident ride,” said Cancel, who piloted three big-priced winners on the day, including Bluegrass Prevails ($14.40) in Race 5 and Seeking the Blue ($35.40) in Race 6. “I didn't have to rush her to do anything. I put my hands down on her and I decided to make my move from the quarter pole. I knew I had horse at the end, so I just tried to go on the outside and get a little bit of an advantage. She kept on running and the trip worked out really well.”
Pure Silver, trained by Todd Pletcher, finished a half-length ahead of post-time favorite Miss Hot Stones for second.
Wegetsdamunnys, Velvet Trinni and Beaux Arts completed the order of finish.
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