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EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

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EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-10_Web

Not That Brady reared up in the paddock in front of the photographer. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-11_Web

Not That Brady reared up in the paddock in front of the photographer. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-13_Web

Eventual third-place finisher, Instagrand. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-14_Web

Eventual third-place finisher, Instagrand. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-15_Web

The eventual winner, Haikal, being led to the gate. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-16_Web

Eventual fourth-place finisher, Much Better. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-17_Web

Eventual second-place finisher, Mind Control. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-18_Web

Eventual seventh-place finisher, Knicks Go. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-19_Web

Saratoga Springs' own Dylan Davis, who rode Tikhvin Flew in the Gotham and finished out of the money. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-20_Web

The starting gate at Aqueduct. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-1_Web

...and they're off! (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-9_Web

Racing toward the finish line. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-7_Web

Racing toward the finish line. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-8_Web

Haikal nearing his one-length win. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-6_Web

Haikal post race approaching the Winner's Circle. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-3_Web

Gotham winner Haikal. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-5_Web

Jockey Rajiv Maragh aboard Haikal, post win. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-4_Web

Jockey Rajiv Maragh covered in mud but smiling following his win aboard Haikal in the Gotham Stakes. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

EXCLUSIVE Photo Gallery: Scenes From Haikal’s One-Length Victory At Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes

'saratoga living' Photographer Billy Francis LeRoux stopped at the Queens track for this past weekend's latest Derby prep race.

Gotham-2_Web

Jockey Rajiv Maragh being interviewed by Fox Sports reporter Maggie Wolfendale. (Billy Francis LeRoux)

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has run a horse in the Kentucky Derby in three of the last four years. If he was going to be represented in this year’s Run for the Roses, he needed Haikal to step up in Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham Stakes.

“We were only able to nominate one horse to the Derby, and that’s him,” McLaughlin said.

Haikal may have punched his ticket to the Derby with a furious late stretch run that carried him from last down the backside and past a trio of horses in the last sixteenth of a mile to a one-length victory in the Gotham at Aqueduct. Mind Control fought off favored Instagrand to get second by a half-length. It was a nose back to the pace-setting Much Better.

Family Biz, who was at the back of the pack with Haikal early, finished fifth followed by Tikhvin Flew, Knicks Go, and Not That Brady.

saratoga living‘s own Billy Francis LeRoux was at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday, March 9, for the Gotham. Check out his exclusive photo gallery above.

A longer version of this story originally appeared on DRF.com


Visit DRF.com for additional news, notes, wagering information, and more.

David Grening, Daily Racing Form

David Grening covers the New York Racing Association circuit of Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga plus such national events as the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup. He is a contributing author to "Champions" and joined Daily Racing Form in 1998.

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