New York’s “Ezzy” named Claimer of the Week

Claimer of the Week at AGameofSkill.comEzzy disposed of the goose eggs in his 2011 earnings box (5-0-0-0, $4,126) with an impressive performance in the sixth race at Aqueduct on Saturday, December 10th. Ezzy was ready to roll in his second race after a layoff, and the drop from $15,000 to a mixed condition race for $7,500 was just what the doctor ordered. Ezzy wasn’t the only class dropper in the field. His early speed proved an advantage over others as he captured the lead from the gate. Midway in the turn Ezzy disposed of a Monmouth shipper and opened up at the quarter pole when asked by apprentice Irad Ortiz, Jr. The 5 year old gelding dashed to the wire in a professional manner and was never threatened by the heavily backed favorite. Ezzy finished the six panels in 1:11 3/5.

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez sharpened Ezzy and prepared him to run on the Inner Dirt at Big A with a solid half-mile breeze on that surface ten days before race day.  The dark bay or brown gelding by Rizzi is owned by Linda S. Hayes. The winner paid $10.00 to win. A runner with a ton of back class, Ezzy’s career earnings now exceed $150,000 with five victories from 20 starts.

Ezzy is the first ever recipient of the Claimer of the Week.

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Rich Nilsen is an 18-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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