El Duque Wins Again at Mountaineer, Three Years Later

    When El Duque broke his maiden as a 3-year-old at Mountaineer Resort and Casino on Nov. 2 of 2020, the First Dude gelding was listed on the official chart with Patrick Rhodes as his owner and Cally Herrington as his trainer. On Sunday, some 38 races later, the gelding bred by Donald Dizney and named after the former New York Yankees pitcher finally won again, at Mountaineer, only now Herrington is listed as owner and Tara Reffner as trainer.

    Marco Ccamaque was in the irons in the race at a flat mile, and El Duque, now six, romped in the rain by nearly four lengths in 1:41.27, carrying high-weight of 123 pounds. He paid $11.40 and earned a check for $4,524, which raised his career total to $69,822 on a stunning record of 2-8-17 in 68 starts. His first victory of 2023 is number 40 for First Dude, and his Equibase ‘E’ speed figure of 67 is his highest since June 16 of 2021, when he also recorded a 67, preceded by a 69 15 days earlier.