Nine-Day Turnaround No Problem For Royal Albert Hall In Bernardini Stakes

by | 03.02.2019 | 6:39pm
Royal Albert Hall wins the Bernardini Stakes

Making his 41st career start off only nine days rest, Royal Albert Hall earned his first stakes victory capturing the inaugural running of the $100,000 Bernardini on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Breaking from post 6 with Junior Alvarado aboard, Royal Albert Hall tracked comfortably from sixth-position as 24-1 longshot Hit It Once More led the field of seven through a half-mile in 49.49 seconds and a mile and three-eighths in 1:43.40 on a the fast main-track.

Alvarado began his winning move at the three-eighths pole, guiding Royal Albert Hall in prime position at the top of the stretch. Full of run, Royal Albert Hall overtook a valiant Hit It Once More in the final furlong and extended away to win by 1 ¾ lengths.

The 7-year-old gelding completed 1 5/16 miles in a final time of 2:18.99.

“It's such a long race. I didn't want to go wide the whole way around,” said Alvarado who earned his third victory of the day with the win. I wanted to give my horse a chance. By the three-eighths pole, I had to wade my way through it. He was there for me. I had to make him work for it, but he was there for me. After that, he carried me all the way to the wire.”

Returning $8.80 for a $2 win wager, the English-bred son of Royal Applause boosted his career earnings to $353,198 for owners Drawing Away Stable.

The victory provided trainer Rob Atras his first stakes win on the NYRA circuit.

“It's a great feeling,” said Atras. I thought the horse could do it. I thought he could get the distance but coming back in nine days he overcame a lot. I left it up to Junior, but everything has been closing today. He left a little bit sharp, a little keen out the gate, but Junior put him on the rail and got him to relax. He sifted through horses and picked up the pieces late. It was just a perfect trip.”

Following Hit It Once More in second was Shalako, Forewarned, Holiday Bonus, Leitone and Weather Wiz.

Live racing returns Sunday at the Big A with an eight-race card. First post time is 12:50 p.m. A single-day Pick 6 carryover of $29,905.02 will start with Race 3 with a post time of approximately 1:55 p.m.

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