‘Piggybank’ Horse Big Engine Set To Re-Enter Stakes Competition For Rudy Rodriguez

McCourt Racing’s recent allowance winner Big Engine may step back up to stakes company after returning to winning form in an optional claiming sprint on Feb.  19 at Aqueduct racetrack in Ozone Park, N.Y.
Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, the son of Not For Love earned a pair of stakes placings in 2021 for former trainer Linda Rice, finishing second to My Boy Tate in the Hollie Hughes and third to Bank On Shea and eventual 2022 Hollie Hughes winner Wudda U Think Now in the Affirmed Success.
In his second start for Rodriguez, Big Engine was held off the pace by Trevor McCarthy throughout the six furlongs, allowing pacesetter Smooth B to cruise through an opening quarter-mile in 22.99 seconds and a half-mile in 46.34 as he and Cost Basis went head-to-head down the backstretch. Big Engine was coaxed by McCarthy rounding the turn and made steady progress down the stretch, passing the tiring frontrunners and taking command around the sixteenth pole to win by one length.
Big Engine’s latest win was his ninth in 25 lifetime starts, amassing $397,565 in earnings over five seasons of racing with ten other in-the-money finishes.
“He’s a nice, solid horse – he’s been like a piggybank for everyone who has had him. He’s made money for everyone,” Rodriguez said. “He came back good and hopefully he’ll continue improving.”
Rodriguez said a step back up to stakes company makes sense for Big Engine, who already has three stakes placings on his resume.
“I will talk to the owners and see about it. I know they really want to try,” said Rodriguez. “I don’t want to say no; the horse looked like he improved big time. The next logical spot would be to run him with New York-breds in a stake. We’ll see what comes up.”
Big Engine is the sixth foal from the multiple stakes winning Lord Avie mare Lady Bi Bi, who won the 2003 Ticonderoga Handicap and 2005 Mount Vernon at Belmont Park.

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