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ELMONT, NY – Klaravich Stables’ New and Improved circled the field from last to first to get up for her first stakes score in Saturday’s $200,000 Sands Point Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park.
Breaking from post 5 under Joel Rosario as the 8/5 favorite, New and Improved took back as the field headed into the clubhouse turn. Up front, Souper Escape shot out to a comfortable opening lead while posting fractions of :24.28, :49.10, and 1:13.38.
Still trailing by open lengths as the field hit the far turn, New and Improved began gobbling up ground and tipped out to run five-wide by the top of the stretch. Set down for the final furlong, the Chad Brown trainee took over in mid-stretch and held sway to win the 1 1/8-mile event over the firm inner turf course in a final time of 1:48.44.
“Chad told me before the race to just keep her comfortable and let her relax,” Rosario said. “The pace was fine up front, so I just kept her going easy early. She was there for me when I asked her, and when we got to the turn, she hit that gear and kept going. She was very impressive. She made the job easy. She’s a very talented horse to be able to finish with a kick that strong. I have to thank Chad and the owners for the opportunity to be aboard today.”
Feel Glorious attempted to make a similar rear-to-head move and briefly led at one point, but she was unable to hold off the eventual winner, finishing second by a 1/2-length. Romantic Pursuit was third by a 1/2-length over the other Brown runner Olendon. Behind them came Dyna Passer, a yielding Souper Escape, and a weakened Ledecka to complete the order of finish.
New and Improved’s win was her second in just three career starts, having broken her maiden over Saratoga’s inner turf track on July 28 before finishing a close fourth in the Riskaverse Stakes over the same course. The 3-year-old daughter of Cairo Prince, purchased for $320,000 as a yearling, has now earned $165,000.
New and Improved returned $5.20 to win, $3 to place, and $2.50 to show. Feel Glorious brought back $4.40 to place and $3.20 to show, while Romantic Pursuit paid $3.90 to show.
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