Aqueduct-based Rudy Rodriguez was back at work Sunday morning after enjoying his best day as a trainer on Saturday at Belmont Park.
The 42-year-old ex-jockey, who went out on his own in 2010 after working for Rick Dutrow, Sr., Rick Dutrow, Jr. and late Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, won the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame with Belle Gallantey and the Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso Handicap with Vyjack, and was second in the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh with Dads Caps.
“It was a great day,” Rodriguez said. “Just to compete in those kinds of races is amazing, and to win two and run second, that's unbelievable, you know?”
Winner of the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap in July, Belle Gallantey rebounded from a disappointing finish in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign, run in the Saratoga mud last month, to romp by 8 ¼ lengths in the Beldame.
Owned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables and Gary Aisquith, 5-year-old Belle Gallantey is now 5-for-7 with purse earnings of $851,400 in 2014.
“She looks like she came back pretty good,” Rodriguez said. “She ate up good last night and had a lot of energy this morning. She looked the same to us. We're going to wait a couple days and see how she is and take it from there. Right now, we don't have any plans for her. We're going to watch and see how she is and then see what we want to do.”
Vyjack had lost eight straight graded stakes attempts and showed one victory in nine starts after opening his career with four consecutive wins, including the Grade 2 Jerome and Grade 3 Gotham. He rallied from midpack to win the one-mile Kelso by a length.
“He's one of our favorite horses,” Rodriguez said. “To see him run the way he did, it was amazing. All along, we've thought he had some talent and he can compete with those horses. The horse is not easy to train, and thank God he came back good, too. The plan was to run him in the [Grade 1] Cigar Mile [November 29 at Aqueduct], that's why we put him in the mile race. I have to talk to the owner and figure out what he wants to do.”
Grade 1 Carter Handicap victor Dads Caps was beaten a neck by repeat winner Private Zone in the Vosburgh, and now has three wins and four seconds in eight lifetime tries at six furlongs.
“He ran great. We were very proud of him,” Rodriguez said. “He ran a winning race. The winner is a very game horse. We went by him in the stretch and he came back and beat us. He still ran great. I haven't talked to the owner yet, but we'll make a plan and take it from there. The horse ran big and came back good.”
Rodriguez has five graded stakes wins this year, including four Grade 1s: the Carter, Delaware Handicap, Spinaway with Condo Commando, and Beldame. He also won five graded stakes in 2013.
“It was a great day,” he said. “The horses were all training very good. For them to perform the way they did was unbelievable.”
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