Maragh lands morale-boosting stakes win

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ELMONT, New York, May 6, CMC – Rajiv Maragh warmed up for a big ride in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, when he won the US $200,000 Vagrancy Handicap on Friday at Belmont Park.
The Jamaica-born jockey drove the 2-to-1 favourite By the Moon to a 1 ¾ lengths victory in the race for fillies and mares four years old and upward, going 1,300 metres on the dirt track to collect his fourth stakes victory for the year.
By the Moon, a five-year-old, dark bay mare, stopped the clock at one minute, 17.44 seconds, a little under three seconds outside the track record.
Maragh ensured By the Moon came away from the stalls in good order and pressed the issue from the three path before urging the animal to start chiselling away at the deficit after the half had been reached.
They turned for home on nearly even terms with Pretty N Cool, under Martin Garcia, and Maragh settled By the Moon into upper before switching over to a drive, and left the eighth pole with a slight advantage which was gradually increased under good handling.
This was the only victory on the nine-race card for Maragh, whose record for the year includes 55 wins out of 343 rides, propelling him to earnings of US $3,405,677, ranking him 14th out of 1,057 jockeys in the United States.
Maragh, considered one of the top-20 jockeys in the United States, will ride one of the favourites in the Kentucky Derby, co-second choice Irish War Cry, at the famous Churchill Downs racetrack, almost two years after suffering a life-threatening spill here.

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