By Mary LaRue BloodHorse
Repole Stable and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Moretti outran Motagally and Stilts to post a 3 1/4-length win in his second start, taking a $68,000 maiden special weight for 2-year-olds Dec. 20 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Off as the 4-5 favorite, Todd Pletcher-trained Moretti raced in second outside of Erlich, who set fractions of :24.86 and :50.80 in the first half-mile of the 1 1/8-mile test. Motagally remained tucked in at the rail in third.
As Stilts made a rallying move deep into the second turn to take third, John Velazquez waited patiently aboard Moretti and didn’t find the lead until the field came off the turn. Motagally stayed with Stilts as the three opened on the rest. With a couple of taps from a left-handed whip, Moretti drifted out slightly but corrected course and had no challengers as he completed the distance in 1:54.86.