ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL -- Ezmosh began his career on the dirt, and always showed flashes of promise over the main track. He broke his maiden over the main track at Churchill Downs last September, finished a close second behind eventual Preakness 2nd-place finisher Bravazo earlier this year, and his connections thought enough of him to try graded stakes company in both the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1) last year and the Southwest Stakes (G3) this year. He had yet to break through at the graded level -- but after a solid allowance win on the grass at Fair Grounds in March, the Oklahoma-bred son of Tizway tried stakes company once again.
This time, it bent to his will. Sent off a prohibitive 1/2 favourite in the Grade 3 Arlington Classic, Ezmosh ran to those odds, scoring a two-and-a-half-length victory that was never in doubt once the real running began.
Longshot Cuestion De Tiempo, one of a pair trained by Ignacio Correas, sent to the lead along the rail. He ticked off a first quarter in 24.43 seconds as fellow longshot Papa Rizzo raced up to engage to his outside. Ezmosh, Wildscore, and Alternative Route tracked in the next flight as they hit the half in a contested 48.46.
Racing into the far turn, Papa Rizzo began to wilt; Ezmosh, on the other hand, began to advance while still appearing well within himself. Heading to the five sixteenths, Ezmosh switched off the rail and engaged Cuestion De Tiempo to the outside. The longshot leader dug in gamely, and tried to keep up into the lane, but past the three sixteenths pole Ezmosh put him away for good. He kicked clear, crossing the wire two and a half lengths to the good.
Pont Du Gard, the other representative from the Correas barn, settled half a dozen lengths off the pace through the early stages of the race, had advanced smartly up the rail through the far turn. He continued to make gritty headway into the lane, and ran down his stablemate by a neck for second. It was another head from Cuestion De Tiempo back to Alternative Route, who made a mild rally in the lane but could not get past the Correas pair. Kitten a Gettin, Wildscore, The Money Dance, and Papa Rizzo completed the order of finish.
Ezmosh is a three-year-old colt by Tizway out of the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Eagle Island. Bred in Oklahoma by Scott and Lanae Pierce, he is now owned by Madaket Stables, LLC of Jason Monteleone and Sol Kumin, Ten Strike Racing of Marshall Gramm, and Zayat Stables. A $70,000 RNA at the Ocala Breeders' Sales March auction last year, his connections acquired him privately. He is trained by Brad Cox, and leading local rider Jose Valdivia had the call. Ezmosh's win in the Arlington Classic was his third lifetime, and brings him to a perfect two-for-two on the grass. The $58,200 winner's share of the purse brought his lifetime earnings to $154,480.
Trainer Brad Cox gave jockey Jose Valdivia was given room to judge where to place Ezmosh during the Arlington Classic. Said Valdivia after the race, “He just left it up to me, just said [doesn’t matter] wherever he is as long as he’s comfortable. We spoke about it with Ricky [Giannini, assistant trainer] and whether he was on the lead, second, third – as long as he was comfortable he shut it off, and when I called on him he was there for me." Further noted Valdivia, “I’m very thankful for the opportunity Brad Cox gave me to ride a graded race."
Ezmosh stopped the clock in 1:45.52 for a mile and a sixteenth over yielding turf, and returned his backers $3.00 to win. The $1 exacta over Pont Du Gard (4-6) paid $8.50. The trifecta with Cuestion De Tiempo third (4-6-5) came back with $39.50. A dime superfecta with Alternative Route in the lowest rung (4-6-5-3) returned $30.18.
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