After Junior Alvarado's shoulder injury on Saturday, his mounts for the next couple days became available, and Joe Rocco Jr. picked up a fine one.
Rocco inherited the ride on Bigger Is Bettor for Monday's $100,000 Evan Shipman at Saratoga Race Course, and he rode him to his first stakes win at the track.
Readthebyline and Groomedforvictory got out front to lead the field through the first three-quarters of a mile, then Bigger Is Bettor and Awesome Vision made their moves on the far turn, Bigger Is Bettor to the inside and Awesome Vision to the outside.
Rocco guided Bigger Is Bettor to the line a head ahead of Awesome Vision, and it was a neck back to Readthebyline. Another neck back, Groomedforvictory was fourth.
“The two horses I thought had speed went out in front of me, and I was able to get over to the rail,” Rocco said. “The only hairy part, more or less, was when the 2 horse came up outside of me, and I kind of had to fight for my position, but the horse had no problem being in tight down inside. When I came off the fence turning for home, he had a clear path and he kicked in for me.”