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Haystack Needle Wins at Big A

February 03, 2012 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share
Apprentice jockey Juan Rodriguez followed directions perfectly aboard Haystack Needle in the sixth race at Aqueduct on Feb. 3, resulting in a wire-to-wire victory for the black and gold.

“That was a great example of riding the horse the way he needed to be ridden,” said trainer Mike Hushion, who is winning at a 30% clip at the New York oval’s current meeting. “He relaxed great for Juan in the early part of the race and benefited from a strong ride to the wire once they hit mid-stretch. It was just the ticket to get the job done.”
 

In a fortunate set of circumstances for the 4-year-old son of Flatter, 6-5 favorite Sensational Slam unseated rider David Cohen and jumped the outside fence to the barn area moments before the race was run. The scratching of that formidable foe cleared the way for Haystack Needle to take the “non winners of two” claiming race. He drifted out in the stretch but repelled a challenge from his closest pursuer to get six furlongs on the inner track in 1:10.80, holding sway by 1 ¼ lengths.

Haystack Needle earned $21,600 for the victory - a great payday due to recent purse hikes at NYRA tracks. He was claimed out of the race for $25,000 by trainer Rudy Rodriguez for owner Anil Poyah. We wish his new connections the best of luck for the future.

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