BY NYRA PRESS OFFICE
SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY—Amanda Laderer and Dianette Rivas’ Kentucky homebred Lady Milagro zipped through swift splits en route to a 51-1 upset to provide apprentice jockey Luis Rivera Jr. his first career stakes win in Friday’s $150,000 Autumn Days, a six-furlong outer turf test for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and older, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Carlos Martin, the 4-year-old daughter of First Dude, who stands in Florida at Double Diamond Farm, also secured her own first stakes win after leaving the gate as the second longest shot on the board in her fourth stakes attempt in 24 career starts.
Rivera was aboard Lady Milagro for just the second time after piloting the speedy bay to a pacesetting fourth-place finish last out in a $62,500 optional claiming won by You Look Cold on Oct. 28 here over the main track.
“I’m so happy and happy for the owners for giving me the opportunity to ride her back after the last race,” Rivera, a 19-year-old native of Puerto Rico, said. “The past few months here in New York have been great. Everything is going awesome.”
Martin credited Rivera for a smart ride as Lady Milagro notched her first win since a nose allowance score in April here over graded stakes-placed Gal in a Rush traveling the same distance over firm turf.
“She had ran 1:07 and four when she beat that good filly Gal in a Rush, so [we were] hoping they would leave her alone out there,” Martin said. “[With] Luis, we had a leap of faith putting a bug in a stake—they figure, ‘oh, she’s just going to be pace fodder.’ But, the kid can ride. So I was confident. He had put in the time with her the last four or five weeks working her every week in the morning, so I thought he deserved an opportunity and it turned out well.”
Lady Milagro exited post two in the nine-horse field and rocketed through splits of :21.69 and :43.84 over the firm footing with Headland tracking from second to the outside of Salvaje with Florida-bred All That Magic in fourth.
Lady Milagro opened up by five lengths at the stretch call as Danse Macabre launched her bid from fifth position with All That Magic in hot pursuit. But there was no reeling in the runaway Lady Milagro, who scored by a length-and-a-half in a final time of 1:07.55.
Danse Macabre completed the exacta by a neck over All That Magic, who was a neck better than fourth-place Sterling Silver. It was another head back to Loon Cry in fifth with Poppy Flower, Itsakeyper, Salvaje and Headland rounding out the order of finish. Can’t Buy Love, Mail Order and main-track only entrants Unified Alliance and Hot Fudge were scratched.
Lady Milagro, who finished third in the 2022 Ruthless won by Shotgun Hottie here over the main track in February, returned to turf after a pair of fourth-place finishes on the main track here. She improved her turf record to three wins in seven starts with a second and a third with the stylish score.
Rivera said the scratch of potential pace presence Mail Order dictated his race strategy.
“I knew there was no speed but me. So I said, ‘we got to go to the lead’ and hope we just make it to the wire first,” Rivera said. “On the backstretch, I didn’t know we were going 21 [and change for the opening quarter-mile]. She was so comfortable on the lead, and when I asked her in the stretch, she just took off.”
Lady Milagro, out of the winning Saint Liam mare Tribecky, banked $82,500 in victory while improving her record to four wins with four seconds and four thirds in 24 career starts.
Milagro is spanish for Miracle and Lady Milagro was so named because she survived botulism as a young filly. She received her early training at Ocala Stud.
She returned $104.50 for a $2 win bet.
Return to the Nov. 17 Late Edition of Wire to Wire