Friday at Aqueduct
Big money. Big money. Six-hundred thousand dead presidents were on the line in the nine-furlong Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. IIT) on March 25 and there were plenty of takers. Top grass horses from each corner of the map swarmed into Fair Grounds like moths attracted to a porch light. Five invaders came from the East Coast and six shipped in from California. The biggest name on the marquee was Centennial Farms' King Cugat, a multiple graded stakes winner, who was making his 4-year-old debut. However, trainer Niall O'Callaghan came to bury Caesar, not to praise him, and he did it with Gary Tanaka's Tijiyr. The Irish-bred, under Robby Albarado, put in a determined finish to cap off a ground-saving trip and seal the upset ($21.40) victory.
Xtra Heat beat Erin Moor by 1 3/4 lengths in Sunday's Aqueduct feature, the $103,100 Cicada Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies. Xtra Heat, carrying 122 pounds and jockey Rick Wilson, won for the 11th time in 12 career starts.
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