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John Velazquez rides 4 winners at Belmont, takes both stakes

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NEW YORK —¬†Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez won four races, including both $100,000 stakes on the Independence Day card at Belmont Park.

Velazquez was aboard as Comfort, the 2-1 second choice took the State Dinner by 3 1/4 lengths over 6-5 favorite Touchofstarquality.

Comfort, a 4-year-old trained by Todd Pletcher, ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.76 for his fourth win in the past five starts.

He paid $6.40 to win.

Velazquez scored a 7-1 upset with Giant Run in the Manila for 3-year-olds on the turf.

The chestnut colt trained by Tom Albertrani improved to 3 for 10 with the 1 1/2-length victory over Strike Midnight.

Giant Run covered the mile in 1:32.85, paying $16 to win.

Green Gratto by a head in Aqueduct’s Toboggan Stakes

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NEW YORK — Green Gratto held on to win the $125,000 Toboggan Stakes by a head on Monday at Aqueduct.

The 7-year-old set the pace under persistent pressure from Story to Tell. Green Gratto finally put away that rival in deep stretch, and had enough in reserve to fend off a final challenge from All Star Red.

The victory capped a big weekend at Aqueduct for jockey Kendrick Carmouche, who got three stakes wins in a four-day span.

The New Jersey-bred Green Gratto, owned and trained by Gaston Grant, earned his eighth win in 51 starts. The time was 1:10.74 for the six furlongs.

Green Gratto paid $7.30, $4.50 and $2.40 as the 5-2 second choice.

All Star Red returned $11 and $3.40, and Stallwalkin’ Dude, the 4-5 favorite, paid $2.10 to show.

Lockdown wins by 2 1/2 lengths in Aqueduct’s Busanda Stakes

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NEW YORK (AP) Lockdown won her stakes debut Sunday, beating Libby’s Tail by 2+ lengths in the $100,000 Busanda for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.

Libby’s Tail, the 3-5 favorite, set the pace with Lockdown right behind before taking charge and turning for home.

Kendrick Carmouche rode for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott as Lockdown got her second win in three starts.

“She has such a long stride, you just have to time her run and she’ll take you home from there,” Carmouche said.

The time was 1:44.75 for the one mile, 70 yards.

Lockdown, the 2-1 second choice, paid $6.60, $2.50 and $2.10. Libby’s Tail returned $2.30 and $2.10 and No Sweat paid $3.20 to show.