Aces Mark, the 6-year-old gelding named in honor of two National Hockey League scouts killed during the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length in the eighth race.
Aces Mark made the lead in upper stretch under John Velazquez, but couldn’t hold off Hear the Footsteps. Aces Mark is named for Ace Bailey and Mark Bavis, who were on United Airlines flight 175 from Boston, which crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Congratulations to the horse’s owner Lew Mongelluzzo and the family and friends of those two fallen scouts. Naturally, this doesn’t make up for the loss of Bavis and Bailey, but it’s nice that the horse named in their honor is a success.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.