Bank Audit, guided by Richard Migliore, tracked a quick pace from midpack before storming to the front and drawing off to a 1 1/4-length win in the $148,900 Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Aqueduct Saturday.
Frank LaBoccetta Jr. earned his first stakes win as a trainer.
Even-money favorite Cativa faded out of contention early after trying to keep up with the hot pace from her rail starting position. Bank Audit took advantage of the set-up and won the seven-furlong event in 1:22.
Bank Audit moved up on the turn, kept Cativa to her inside and kicked in strongly when angled clear by Migliore.
"I got to move up in behind Sensibly Chic and had Cativa inside of me, so I pretty much felt like I was in command of the situation," said winning jockey Richard Migliore. "I had some horse, but my mare wasn't running through the kickback well. I didn't want to put her in the clear too soon and give Cativa a chance to get in the clear. When I got her in the clear, she kicked hard."
In registering her first graded stakes win, Bank Audit, a 4-year-old Virginia-bred daughter of Wild Rush, won for the fifth time in her last six starts. She also won for the third time in six tries at Aqueduct, where she won a seven-furlong race by nine lengths in November.
Travelator, ridden by Mike Luzzi, fought for the lead while carving fractions of :22 3/5 and :45 1/5 while leading Lovethatlegend and Cativa early. Sensibly Chic, never far off the leaders, moved up on the turn for Ramon Dominguez and led in mid-stretch before giving way to Bank Audit. Sensibly Chic held on to the place spot by a nose over Travelator.
Laboccetta, a former jockey whose father was a trainer, took over conditioning duties for Bank Audit this winter. Since then, the dark bay ran second ias the 1-2 choice n the Feb. 5 Correction Handicap before coming back with a 2 1/2-length romp while again favored in an optional claiming race March 9. Both races were on the Aqueduct inner track.
"It's hard when you're claiming horses to get something like this," LaBoccetta said. "I was just in the right place at the right time. I wound up getting a nice filly."
The victory, worth $95,040 to owner Robert Amendola, was Bank Audit's eighth in 20 career starts. She has earned $349,500.
She paid $10.60, $4.70 and 4.20. Sensibly Chic returned $3.90 and $3.5. Travelator was $7 to show.
Silmaril, Cativa, Lovethatlegend and Miss Park Place followed.
Edgar Prado, the jockey on favored Cativa, knew he was in trouble early.
"I definitely don't think she liked being down inside," Prado said. "She broke well, but everyone came running out of there, so she got behind the front pack early. I could tell she wasn't comfortable at all."