The Steve Asmussen-trained Megascape, shouldering top weight of 122 pounds, went gate to wire to easily upset odds-on favorite Alfonsina in the $106,500 Valley Stream (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies Sunday at Aqueduct.
Ridden by John Velazquez, the New York-bred daughter of Cape Canaveral
completed the six-furlong event in 1:10 1/5 on good going and won by about 2 1/4 lengths after drawing off in the final furlong.
Making her graded stakes debut, Megascape was shortening up for Asmussen after tiring in the one-mile Maid Of the Mist for state breds at Belmont Park Oct. 23 and finishing sixth. The victory was number 498 this year for Asmussen, who broke the single-season training victory record Nov. 20.
"It was a very nice weekend for us," said Asmussen's assistant Toby Sheets. "She worked super a few days ago. She may stay up here this winter because she is a New York bred, but I am not positive. It was very nice getting a stakes win against open company with her. She has done very well."
"Going three quarters she was on her game," Velazquez said. " She was comfortable the whole time. She was the best she has ever been today."
Alfonsina, who went to the post at 3-5 with Cornelio Velasquez aboard, rallied belatedly to edge More Moonlight and Shawn Elliott by three-quarters of a length. Alfonsina, who was never a threat to the winner, carried 118 pounds.
Megascape broke on top from the inside post position in the field of five and established control through an opening quarter mile of :22 with More Moonlight and Galactic Cat tracking closely. More Moonlight pressured on the turn and continued the chase into the stretch but lost ground through the lane as the unhurried Alfonsina came on gradually to take second. Winsome finished fourth. Galactic Cat, who pressured the frontrunner into the turn, pulled up and did not finish the race for Aaron Gryder.
An $80,000 Ocala sale in March, Megascape has won three of five starts for owner Robert L. Beck after beginning her career with a five-length maiden win at Saratoga in August. Megascape also won the seven-furlong Joe A. Gimma for state breds Oct. 3 at Belmont. She increased her earnings to $161,740
Sez Who Thoroughbreds bred Megascape, who is out of the Megaturn mare Bigger Half.
She paid $11.60, $3.40 and $2.10. Alfonsina, who was seeking her third straight win to begin her career for trainer Nick Zito, returned $2.50 and $2.10. More Moonlight was $2.10 to show.