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Aqueduct (Dec 19): Queens County Stakes (Listed) $100,000, 1m1f, dirt, 3yo+
Trainer: Rudy Rodriguez
Jockey: Jose Lezcano
Owner: Repole Stable
Pedigree: 8yo bg Malibu Moon – Ballado’s Thunder (Saint Ballado)
Not the most obvious candidate for a big three-digit Beyer at this stage of his career, eight-year-old gelding Backsideofthemoon was landing his first stakes win for three years as he went wire-to-wire at Aqueduct.
Although he was pressed by eventual runner-up Musical Heart, this seasoned veteran set an easy tempo before kicking clear under Jose Lezcano to record his second victory in as many starts for Rudy Rodriguez, for whom he had won an optional claimer over course and distance five weeks previously.
Six of Backsideofthemoon’s eight career wins have come on the Aqueduct main track and he’s been doing the rounds of barn complex, having initially been claimed by Rodriguez from Leo O’Brien in August 2019.
Rodriguez gelded him and duly won a one-turn mile at Aqueduct before he was claimed again a couple of runs later by Robert Klesaris before Rodriguez claimed him back in September after a second-place finish at Belmont.
“He’s a cool horse to be around – he likes his job,” Rodriguez said. “When I claimed him before he was good and Bobby did a good job of keeping everything together. There aren’t too many horses his age that run the way he runs.”
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