By Michael Johnson —-
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The fourth running of the $100,000 Bay Ridge was worth the wait. After being rescheduled twice from its original date on December 29 because of live racing cancellations, fans witnessed an exciting prolonged stretch duel as Frost Wise benefitted from a favorable head bob to beat Riot Worthy by a nose in the 1 1/8-mile contest for older fillies and mares in a final time of 1:53.89 on Thursday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
George and Stephanie Autry’s Frost Wise settled into second position on the rail behind frontrunner Frostie Anne, who led the field of four through fractions of 23.47 seconds for the quarter-mile and 47.72 for the half. The Michael Dilger-trained Frost Wise moved up to challenge Frostie Anne around the final turn, with Riot Worthy following her on the outside, creating a three-way duel. At the eighth pole, jockey Kendrick Carmouche urged Frost Wise to a slim lead, battling with Riot Worthy and trading bobs several times in the stretch before getting up just in time for the win
“It got a little tight, but that’s race riding. That’s what the game is for. Mike told me to break good because we were breaking from the inside. We hustled a little and Junior [Alvarado, aboard No. 3, Frostie Anne] wanted it more than me, so I let Junior go and let him sit on the [lead],” said Carmouche, who celebrated his 34th birthday on Thursday.
“Mike said she doesn’t close too much, but she did today because they bumped her a little at the quarter pole and squeezed her and she wanted to fight more. I just put my head down and rode her to the wire and we got the head bob today.”
Off as the 7-5 favorite, Frost Wise paid $4.80 on a $2 win bet. This was her second straight win, and third in her 10-race career, bringing her career earnings to $187,738.
“I was surprised with this filly. On the turn she battled in-between horses; a hard-fought win on the rail and she ran very well. She’s starting to show a new level of maturity,” Dilger said. “These are all good things for her. We’re going to enjoy this, for owners George and Stephanie Autry.”
Frostie Anne finished third followed by Frosty Margarita. Might Be was scratched.