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.

View Gallery 19 Photos

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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