Lopez rated Arson Squad in fourth place early about three lengths off the pace set by Friesan Fire, who was followed by Enriched and Cool Coal Man through fractions of :24.86, :48.95 and 1:12.54. Entering the far turn, Arson Squad moved three wide and by the time the field hit the top of the stretch, Arson Squad had taken the lead and never was serious challenged.
Trained by Rick Dutrow, Arson Squad ran the 1 1/16 miles on a “fast” track in 1:43.28. The victory was worth $100,976 and increased Arson Squad’s earnings to $1,107,164 with his eighth victory in 27 starts.
Arson Squad is a 7-year-old Pennsylvania-bred son of Brahms out of the Green Dancer mare Majestic Fire.
Arson Squad paid $9.80, $5.40 and $4.20. Flying Private, ridden by Terry Thompson paid $9.80 and $6.60 with Enriched, ridden by Joel Rosario, returning $8.20 to show.
PACO LOPEZ (jockey, Arson Squad, winner): “It was an easy race. (Trainer Rick Dutrow) said, ‘Paco, you know how to ride this horse. You won on this horse at Gulfstream. He won easy.’ ”
RICK DUTROW (trainer, Arson Squad, winner): “This jockey must get along great with this horse. Arson Squad usually comes from way off of it and with this rider – I don’t know if the horse puts him there or the jock puts him there and I’m going to try to find out -- but he’s just run so big these last two times with this rider when he’s been close to the pace.
“We’re going to keep him here and run him in the Stephen Foster. I told Sam (Samantha Siegel) that if does run big in here, we’ll just keep him here and run him in the Stephen Foster because the horse does get along good with this track. And it is very good timing for his next race. We expect him to show up. It looks like he’s turning the tables. He’s run big twice and this jock really gets along with him.
Why use Lopez? “I didn’t have anybody that I wanted to ride. All the jocks were gone that day. I had (Joe) Bravo that I wanted to put on Helsinki because he had won on him before. There just wasn’t anybody else left and we got lucky to get him. And it was luck that these two got along so good. I love Paco Lopez.”
TERRY THOMPSON (Jockey, Flying Private, second): “I had a great trip. I was following the winner all the way, about a length off him. When he made his run I went with him. At first, we were there. But then he just kept on going and we couldn’t keep up with him. No real complaints, though. My horse ran good.”
JOEL ROSARIO (Jockey, Enriched, third): “I had a lot of horse today. I was cruising up there. When I asked him, he went on. But those two that went past me went on better. We just got outrun in the lane.”
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