SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Kennesaw Mountain Racing’s Picco Uno used a perfect stalking trip to her advantage to win her first career stakes victory in Thursday’s $100,000 Union Avenue Stakes.
Breaking cleanly from post 9, Picco Uno and jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., settled in a length behind early leader She’s All Ready, who set initial fractions of :22.05 and :45.25. Exiting the turn, Picco Uno drew along the outside of the leader and kicked clear at the 3/16 pole, completing the 6 1/2-furlong main track event in 1:16.57.
“I had a perfect trip,” said Ortiz, Jr. “I broke the way I wanted. I broke running out of there and the horse beside me cleared me. She does better when she’s alone outside of horses, and that worked out better for me. I sat there, waited, and when I asked her, she was there for me.”
The Jason Servis-trained filly now has six wins in 12 starts, including four in five this year. She had previously won four straight New York-bred allowance races before finishing sixth last out in the ungraded, mile-long Critical Eye at Belmont, which was her first attempt both in a stakes race and going longer than 7 furlongs.
“She definitely benefited from the time off since her last start,” said Servis, who continued his redhot Saratoga summer (19-8-4-2 record) with the win. “In that race, it looked like she took a step back, so we gave her some time. She was able to regroup and run great today. She had a terrific breeze coming into this the other day. She ran like we were hoping she would. She drew off pretty good. She’s an average-looking filly, but she gets over the ground pretty good. I just told Irad she tries and hoped we got a good trip, and it worked out.”
Though they weren’t close to the winner, Quezon and Absatootly managed to get up late for second and third, respectively. Wonderment finished a head in front of Clipthecouponannie, with Myfourchix, She’s All Ready, Court Dancer, and Frosty Margarita completing the order of finish. Hot City Girl was scratched before the race, at which point her connections announced that she would be retired sound.
With the $60,000 winner’s share of the purse, the 4-year-old daughter of Macho Uno increased her career earnings to $299,667.
Picco Uno returned $9.70 to win, $4.10 to place, and $3.20 to show. Quezon brought back $3.10 to place and $2.60 to show, while Absatootly paid $6.80 to show.