NEW YORK (AP) — Nefertini dug in to hold off Willet by a neck in the $196,000 Go For Wand Handicap for fillies and mares on Friday at Aqueduct.
The 4-year-old, trained by Alan Goldberg and ridden by Alan Garcia, raced to her fifth win in 10 career starts. Nefertini closely tracked Fantasy of Flight, the pacesetting 3-5 favorite, before taking charge at the top of the lane. Willet ranged up to challenge in midstretch, but could not overtake the game winner.
The time was 1:35.80 for the mile on the fast track.
Nefertini paid $20, $5.30 and $6.90. Willet returned $3.40 and $4.50, and Hard Life paid $7.90 to show.
R Gypsy Gold was fourth, 9 1/2 lengths clear of the trailing Fantasy of Flight.
One race earlier, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. sustained a bruised lower back but no fractures in a spill. He was hospitalized overnight for observation and will be off his mounts over the weekend. Ortiz has won 122 races this year, including the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on Handsome Mike.
Ortiz was unseated by Irish Lion, who ran on with the field and was apparently uninjured.