Don Alberto Stable, WinStar Farm and the first constitution of Twin Creeks Racing Stables made every pole a winner at Saturday’s $100,000 Jazil, a nine furlong test for older horses at Aqueduct Racecourse.
Coached by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, First Constitution, a Group 1 winner in his native Chile, earned their first victory in North America with the score at 6 3/4 under Jose Lezcano.
First Constitution pulled away well from post 2 and powered forward through intervals of 23.13 seconds and 46.78 seconds on the fast main track under pressure from Core Conviction. The duo continued their battle of pace into the final corner with Why Why Paul Why in third ahead of Twelve Volt Man and Forewarned.
The 5-year-old Constitution chestnut extended his advantage into the final corner as Kendrick Carmouche guided Paul Why into contention outside of a waning Core Conviction and Forewarned – an upset 42-1 winner from the last Queens County – launched its trademark late run.
Lezcano continued to demand more from his charge, opening up a 5 1/2 lead on the stretch call and never looked back en route to a smart score in a final time of 1:47.96. Why Why Paul Why completed the exacta by 10 lengths on Twelve Volt Man.
The important scoreline marked the first win of the 2022 stakes for Lezcano, who said he felt confident throughout despite the sharp splits.
“He broke hard enough to be there and he did it very comfortably and solidly,” Lezcano said. “He brought his race today. He broke while running and finished running. I know I was going pretty fast, but he did it with confidence.
“When we got to the back, [Core Conviction] gave me half a length in front of my horse and we really got comfortable,” added Lezcano. “When we got to the half mile he jumped into the bridle and I knew I had a lot of horsepower. He is a very good horse and he did everything to win the race today.
Forewarned and Core Conviction complete the order of arrival. Empty Tomb, who will play the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational next Saturday at Gulfstream Park, and Splicethemainbrace have been eliminated.
The win marked Jazil’s second victory for Pletcher, who won the inaugural race in 2015 with Micromanage. Byron Hughes, Pletcher’s New York-based assistant, said the Lezcano frontman paid dividends.
“Both speed horses scratched and we weren’t sure what Kendrick was going to do,” Hughes said. “I think Jose just took it into his own hands and was a bit aggressive in the first corner, but it paid off.”
First Constitution won the Group 1 Gran Criterium Mauricio Serrano Palma in his native Chile in October 2020. He transferred to Pletcher last season and kept good company through four starts, earning a career-best 98 Beyer with a second effort for the stakes- placed Speaker’s Corner in October at Belmont before a second-place finish in November at the Big A to Empty Tomb.
Hughes said the nine stages proved beneficial to the first posh constitution.
“He’s a Group 1 winner going a mile and three-sixteenths in South America, so you can imagine a mile and an eighth wouldn’t be a problem here,” Hughes said. “Todd will go with the owners group and decide what’s next for him.”
Bred in Chile by Haras Don Alberto, First Constitution pocketed $55,000 in victory while improving his record to 9-4-2-2. He returned $7.90 for a $2 winning bet.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at the Big A with a nine-race card, headlining in Race 8 by the $100,000 Busanda – a nine furlong test for second-year fillies offering 10 qualifying points -4-2-1 Kentucky Oaks to the top four. The first post is at 12:20 p.m. Eastern Time.
America’s Day at the Races will feature daily coverage and analysis of winter competition at Aqueduct Racetrack on the FOX Sports Networks. For the full broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
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