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The Chad Brown-trained Marketsegmentation won the 2023 New York Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, leading every step of the way en route to her 1st top-level victory. After finishing off the board as the heavy favorite, is War Like Goddess a bet against next time out? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
Klaravich Stables’ Marketsegmentation broke through at the top flight with a gate-to-wire score in Friday’s Grade 1, $600,000 New York, a 10-furong inner turf test for older fillies and mares, at Belmont Park.
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Owner Seth Klarman, who also sent out third-place finisher McKulick, said he was thrilled with the result for the 4-year-old American Pharoah filly, who entered from a prominent score in the 1 1/16-mile Grade 3 Beaugay on May 7 here.
“She’s improved every race. She’s solid,” said Klarman. “She always tries. We thought she might be the only speed and it set up, and sometimes that’s dangerous. To win a race like this, a Grade 1, and to have a filly advance like that and another filly that ran third, it’s an exciting time.”
Trainer Chad Brown, who now boasts a standalone record five New York wins, won the Grade 1 Just a Game earlier on the card with Peter Brant’s In Italian and noted the stablemates could meet up in the nine-furlong Grade 1, $500,000 Diana on July 15 at Saratoga Race Course.
“She has gotten better every single race and you love to see horses like that. You have to think about the Diana next,” said the four-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner. “I think a cut [back] to a mile and an eighth wouldn’t bother her at all. She’s got a big grizzly bear to run against. But I’m not afraid to run multiple horses like this and let them settle it on the track.”
Marketsegmentation exited post 4 under Jose Ortiz and quickly took command with stablemate Shantisara tracking in second position through an opening quarter-mile in 24.56 seconds over the firm footing.
War Like Goddess, the 3-5 mutuel favorite under Joel Rosario, was last-of-7 down the backstretch as Marketsegmentation dictated the tempo through splits of 50.26 and 1:15.29.
Marketsegmentation led the field into the final turn with the streaking Didia looming a threat from third position as War Like Goddess was given her cue from the back of the pack by Rosario. But when Ortiz asked Marketsegmentation for more as the field straightened away, his filly responded in kind and kicked clear as Didia dug in to try and make a race of it and reluctantly settled for second as the winner scored by three-quarters-of-a-length in a final time of 2:02.12.
It was a further 1 3/4-lengths back to McKulick, who got the better of a five-horse photo by nosing out Flirting Bridge for third. It was a head back to Virginia Joy in fifth, who was a nose better than War Like Goddess. Shantisara landed another neck back to round out the order of finish. With The Moonlight was scratched.
“She relaxed very well, she set some slow fractions in the half and down the backside, I felt very comfortable,” said Ortiz.
Brown credited Ortiz for engineering a perfect trip.
“We put her in here and it was Jose’s first time on her, but he rode her like he’s always ridden her her whole life. He got along with her beautifully and carved out the fractions just right,” said Brown, who previously won this event with Dacita , Fourstar Crook , Homerique , and Bleecker Street .
Marketsegmentation finished a close third in her stakes debut in February in the Grade 3 Endeavour at Tampa Bay Downs and followed with a rallying neck score in the Sand Springs on April 1 at Gulfstream Park ahead of her Beaugay coup.
The Argentinian-bred Didia saw her seven-race win streak come to an end for trainer Ignacio Correas, IV. The 5-year-old Orpen bay was a multiple Group 1-winner in her native country before arriving in the U.S. last year and notching a win in the Old Nelson at Colonial Downs. She won the Tom Benson Memorial in March at Fair Grounds ahead of a score in the Grade 3 Modesty in May at Churchill Downs en route to the New York.
“My filly ran very well. The winner was in front and was very relaxed. We had a good travel, too,” said jockey Vincent Cheminaud. “The winner was the best today, but my filly finished very well. I finished second and obviously I prefer to win, but I’m very happy.”
Correas, IV. said he would likely point Didia to the Grade 1 Beverly D. on August 12 at Colonial Downs, a race he finished second in with Dona Bruja in 2017.
“She ran great. I can’t take nothing away from that,” said Correas, IV. “There was no pace and you can’t do everything, you have to run your horses. You cannot ride the other horses. She ran great and I think she showed she belongs with this bunch of fillies.
“The year is long and we are going to look for more somewhere. I think we will leave the Diana to In Italian,” he continued. “My goal for the summer is the Beverly D. and after that we’ll figure it out. I do have unfinished business there.”
Bred in Kentucky by Marcus Stables, Marketsegmentation banked $330,000 in victory while improving her record to 7-5-1-1. She returned $14.20 for a $2 win ticket.
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