There were significant differences in the final times of two one-mile graded stakes on the dirt at Aqueduct on Saturday: the G3 Go For Wand was timed in 1:38.35 (Marley's Freedom), while the G1 Cigar Mile was completed in 1:34.98 (Patternrecognition). Though the track did seem to get faster over the final three races on the card, it turns out there was another factor which affected the discrepancy in final times.
According to drf.com, during the earlier races on the card, the auxiliary gate was parked in the path of the first timing beam that is supposed to start the clock. Since the timer could not be started automatically, the teletimer operator pressed the button to start the clock when the gate opened. A 54-foot run-up from the gate to the timing beam was hence counted in the Go For Wand, in which Marley's Freedom ran the first quarter in :25.27.
The auxiliary gate was moved prior to the Cigar Mile so that the timer could be started as intended, and Patternrecognition ran his opening quarter in :22.88.
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