Maragh off the mark on holiday card
HALLANDALE BEACH, Florida (CMC):
Rajiv Maragh got off the mark this season at Gulfstream Park on Monday's 11-race card. The Jamaica-born jockey landed a double on the Boxing Day card, but remains way off the pace being set by Paco Lopez with 20 wins.
Maragh got the day's racing off to an exciting start with a one-length victory aboard the 10-1 chance Cold Blood in the US $15,000 first race contested over 1,400 metres on the dirt.
Cold Blood brushed a rival at the start before Maragh put the three-year-old, chestnut gelding to press the pace from the two-path into the stretch, where they finished determinedly to edge to victory in a time of one minute, 24.43 seconds.
Maragh was involved in another tight finish astride the 17-2 chance Bareeqa which won 1-1/2 lengths clear in the US $24,000 fifth race going 1,500m on the turf.
Bareeqa was taken in hand at the start, saved ground a couple paths off the inside and continued in a relaxed gallop near the back.
Maragh began to move up the three-year-old, bay filly midway through the far turn and swung her into action entering the top of the stretch, where she was set down eight wide, responding willingly and rallied under a strong hand ride to finish in a time of 1 minute 29.88 seconds.