Snake Mountain Wins 4th Straight in Aqueduct

Snake Mountain caught front-running stablemate Voodoo at the quarter pole and went on to a 7 ½-length victory over Ground Storm in the 84th running of the $107,400 Aqueduct Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/16 mile Saturday.

It was the fourth consecutive victory for the Jimmy Jerkens-trained Snake Mountain, a 5-year-old gelded son of A.P. Indy who has now won 8 of 15 starts.

Sent off with his entry mate as the 2-5 favorite of the frosted crowd of 4,985, Snake Mountain and jockey Mike Luzzi saved ground while trailing the five-horse field early on Aqueduct's fast inner dirt track.

Voodoo and jockey Richard Migliore set an uncontested pace of :23 2/5; and :47 4/5. Luzzi then moved his chestnut up the rail to challenge the tiring leader, and Snake Mountain surged away in the stretch to put the matter to rest in 1:44.

Voodoo faded to last, as Ground Storm rallied for second with Cat's At Home 2 1/4 lengths back in third.

"Voodoo was gurgling like he bled or something," Jerkens said. "He stopped to a walk. But Snake Mountain has been running like a good horse. He cruised up there down the backside as easily as a horse could."

Luzzi, who has been on a hot streak of late, was high on Snake Mountain as well.

"He was awesome," Luzzi said. "He was much the best. He had a great trip. The gray horse (Mr. Determined) rushed up inside and I decided to keep my position. When I put him down, he really finished strongly. I used him up a little at the end. He's a real nice horse."

Sanke Mountain paid $2.70 and $2.10. Ground Storm returned $2.10. With only four betting interests, there was no show wagering.

(Chart, Equibase)