Bill Place Wins Duel With Wollaston Bay in Winkfield

Edited NYRA release
Mid-Atlantic invader Bill Place, making his first start on Aqueduct’s inner dirt track, turned away his only serious challenger, favored Wollaston Bay, and easily won Monday’s 23rd running of the $66,062 Jimmy Winkfield – Aqueduct’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day feature for 3-year-olds at six furlongs by 3 3/4 lengths.           
With the field reduced to three with the scratches of Holy Wonder and Place Your Bet, Bill Place went after Wollaston Bay, who broke from the rail to take a run at the lead. Bill Place, a Master Bill gelding owned by Michael Dubb, Sanford Goldfarb and Cast of Characters, quickly collared the front-runner as the first quarter went in :22.20 and the half in :44.89.
Bill Place was relentless and after five furlongs were completed in :57.26, jockey Shaun Bridgmohan went to the whip on Wollaston Bay. Meanwhile, jockey Ramon Dominguez remained calm on Bill Place, who went on to win in 1:10.44 on the fast track. B.B. Mancini never threatened and was another 6 1/4 lengths back in third.
“In a short field like this, you don’t really do a whole lot of handicapping,” said Dominguez, who notched the win for trainer Anthony Dutrow. “You try to adjust because you need to use totally different tactics. The one-horse (Wollaston Bay) was the only horse I thought could be in front of me and I got a better break than he did. Therefore, I ended up pushing him a little bit. My horse was happy dueling. In another race, you don’t want to be dueling because you worry about setting it up for the horses from behind. I was very pleased. I was hoping for the best at the quarter-pole; I didn’t know if I had horse or not. But he responded very well under encouragement.”
The winner, who has now won two in a row to improve his record to 3-2-0 from five starts, returned $4.80. Attendance was 3,105.

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