Returning to action for the first time in 2005, Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) hero Better Talk Now registered a confident win for jockey Ramon Dominguez by a neck over Remind in the $107,400 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Aqueduct turf Saturday.
Last for the opening half mile of the 1 1/16-mile event, the 4-5 choice Better Talk Now angled out for the stretch run, collaring the stubborn Remind and Cornelio Velasquez near the eighth pole and digging in to prevail. The time on a course rated good was 1:42 3/5.
Ecclesiastic, ridden by Edgar Prado, finished 1 1/2 lengths farther behind in third. He was followed by Chilly Rooster and L'Oiseau d'Argent at fog-shrouded Aqueduct.
The 6-year-old gelding Better Talk Now carried high weight of 123 pounds and spotted Remind six pounds in winning for the ninth time in 22 grass starts. The victory was his sixth on a turf course rated less than firm.
Chilly Rooster set the pace for the opening quarter mile, going a tepid :24 3/5 before Remind assumed command through fractions of :48 4/5, 1:12 2/5, and 1:36 2/5.
Graham Motion trains Better Talk Now - a Kentucky-bred son of Talkin Man - for owner Bushwood Stable. The bay was making his second start since winning last year's Breeders' Cup Turf on a yielding Lone Star Park course. He followed that effort with a sixth-place finish in the Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) Dec. 4.
Better Talk Now earned $65,640 for the victory, pushing his bankroll to $1,810,077. He paid $3.60, $2.70, and $2.30.
Remind, who ran fifth as the 6-5 favorite in last year's Fort Marcy – won by Chilly Rooster – returned $3.50 and $2.70. Ecclesiastic, the longest shot in the field at 12-1, was $3 to show.
Main track entries Aggadan, Bahama John, Bailero (ARG), Thunder Touch, and Chowder's First were scratched, as was turf entrant Say Cousin Lenny.