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What you need to know for 01/16/2017

Saratoga: Selenite pulls off upset in Statue of Liberty

Saratoga: Selenite pulls off upset in Statue of Liberty

Long shot Selenite outran favored Old Harbor in the final furlong to win the $100,000 New York Stall

Long shot Selenite outran favored Old Harbor in the final furlong to win the $100,000 New York Stallion Series Statue of Liberty by 1 1⁄2 lengths at Saratoga Race Course.

Trained by David Donk for owners William Punk and Phil DiLeo, the 3-year-old Cosmonaut filly ran one mile on a firm inner turf course in 1:36.64, and paid $22.60, $8.30 and $6. Old Harbor returned $3.70 and $2.90, and Henry’s Gal paid $6.40.

“The day I broke her maiden, she was way back,” said winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. “She didn’t break that good that day. Today, we wanted to make sure she breaks and got a good trip. We wanted to get the best trip we can and that worked for us today. She won. It was a very good trip, I guess. She was ready today.”

In Monday’s co-feature, Mark My Way took the lead on the outside to win the NYSS Cab Calloway by 2 3⁄4 lengths over Free Mugatu.

Bred and owned by Chester and Mary Roman and trained by Linda Rice, the 3-year-old Noonmark gelding ran one mile in 1:37.57, and paid $5.20, $2.90 and $2.40 as the 8-5 favorite.

“He was in the best position; he stayed in the clear all the way,” said jockey Cornelio Velasquez, who rode Mark My Way. “I went away at the eighth pole when I asked. I had a lot of horse.”

“You know, I thought when he was laying third that there were slow fractions,” Rice told the New York Racing Association. “I thought that the strong­er horses were behind him, and I felt that there was a good chance we’d get home.

“I think he’s better at the mile than the seven-eighths. I think he’d run a mile and an eighth very well. So I’m probably going to have to stretch him out to open company. I think he would improve with added distance.”

Dropping down

Winning Cause drops out of graded company to headline a 10-horse field entered for Wednesday’s $100,000 John’s Call on the Mellon Turf.

The 1 5⁄8-mile John’s Call is for 3-year-olds and up that have not won a graded stakes on the turf in 2014.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Winning Cause (2-1) heads into the race after finishing fourth, beaten 11⁄2 lengths, in the Grade I United Nations at Monmouth Park on July 6.

The 4-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway is winless in five starts this year, also having finished third in the Grade II Monmouth and second in the Grade III Red Bank.

Last year, he was second in the Grade II Fayette and the Grade III Ontario Derby after winning the one-mile Sir Cat at Saratoga.

John Velazquez will break Winning Cause, the co-topweight of 123 pounds, from post 8.

Tricky Hat (5-1), trained by Shug McGaughey III, won a 1 3/16-mile allowance at Saratoga last summer, and stretches out after a dull effort, running last of 14 in the Grade II Monmouth. Rosie Napravnik will ride from post 1.

Micromanage is listed as a 3-1 second choice, but Pletcher said Micromanage will race in Thursday’s $100,000 Birdstone on the main track.

Getting acclimated

After a three-week stay at Belmont Park last month, Cozmic One is continuing his education in Saratoga.

The 2-year-old son of champion Bernardini is the first foal by four-time Eclipse Award winner and 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta. Like the superstar mare, who lost once in her 20-race career, Cozmic One is trained by John Shirreffs.

“We couldn’t wait to bring him up here,” said Shirreffs. “He’s doing really well. Each day, he gets better.”

Accompanied by Shirreffs on a pony, Cozmic One and exercise rider Kevlan Henry took a spin around Clare Court, the half-mile gallop track situated behind the main track along Nelson Avenue.

“We started going over there about three days ago,” said Shirreffs. “I wanted to take him someplace where it’s a little quieter, and give him a little exposure walking through the barn area and down the road and everything. The track’s a little more narrow, so if he wants to turn one way or another, it’s a little easier for him.”

Shirreffs said Cozmic One’s debut will draw a lot of interest.

“It’s probably not as highly anticipated for us as it is for the fans,” said Shirreffs. “Cozmic One is just learning how to become a racehorse. You feel like the sky’s the limit, right? There’s no limitation on the possibilities.”

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