Criticism repeats in the Long Island Handicap over a yielding turf course at Aqueduct.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Criticism repeats in the Long Island Handicap over a yielding turf course at Aqueduct.
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Criticism Earns Cheers in Long Island Repeat

Darley Stable mare is to be sent to breeding shed after winning fifth graded stakes.

In charge most of the way for jockey Javier Castellano, odds-on choice Criticism scored an authoritative repeat victory in the $150,000 Long Island Handicap (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) over a yielding turf course at cloudy Aqueduct in her final start for Darley Stable Nov. 1.

Five-year-old Criticism, a multiple graded stakes winner for trainer Tom Albertrani, is being sent to the breeding shed by owner Sheikh Mohammed. The Great Britain homebred daughter of Machiavelian--Innuendo (by Caerleon) goes out with her fifth graded win in 10 starts since being transferred to the U.S. just more than a year ago.

"She was a pleasure to have in the barn," Albertrani said. "It’s nice having those kind around.”

In the 1 1/2-mile Long Island for fillies and mares, Criticism dueled with Queen of Hearts for the early lead before taking control after three furlongs and leading the six-horse field through plodding half-mile fractions of :50.16 and 1:44.14. Bubbly Jane, who rallied into contention after leaping into the air at the start for John Velazquez, launched her bid on the final turn. Criticism, though, repelled that challenge without being asked until approaching mid-stretch, when she drew away under urging to score by 2 1/4 lengths at the wire. The final time was 2:34.98

"(Queen of Hearts) broke on top, and I wanted to just lay right off of her, but my filly was feeling so good today," Castellano said. "She wanted to run, and I didn’t want to fight her. I just let her go on the lead and she really enjoyed the trip. The pace was very slow and that’s why she won today.”

“I was very pleased with her race today," Albertrani added. "It looked like they were going a pretty honest pace over the course and I was a little concerned when I saw the first three-eighths of a mile because it looked like it was a little cat and mouse there for awhile. I was glad Javier got her to settle off the bridle – it looked like she was maybe on the bit too much the first three-eighths or so -- and then when he made the lead with her it looked like he was able to really start controlling the race and he had plenty left."

The late-running Lemonette, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, rallied three-wide in the homestretch to gain the runner-up spot by a half-length while never challenging the winner. The Brazilian-bred Bubbly Jane settled for third, with the stalking Dance Pass, Borrowing Base and Queen of Hearts following.

Second to Pure Clan in Belmont Park's Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) in her previous start Oct. 3, Criticism ended a three-race tailspin after beginning the year with graded wins at Gulfstream Park, Calder Race Course, and Belmont. She won last year's Long Island by one length over J'ray.

Criticism earned $90,000 for the victory, improving her career mark to 9-7-3 in 22 races with earnings of $815,367.

Carrying top weight of 122 pounds, the winner paid $3.30, $2.40, and $2.10 as the 3-5 favorite. Lemonette ($4.50, $2.80), coming off a seventh-place finish in the Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT), completed a $13.20 exacta. Bubbly Jane, two-time grade I winner in Brazil who won a minor turf stakes at Belmont Oct. 9, was $2.60 to show.

Tidal Dance was scratched.