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Cozze Up Lady Pulls Off Mild Upset in Grade III Chicago 'Cap
The Bret Calhoun-trained filly Cozze Up Miss notched her first stakes victory when coming from off the pace to win the Grade III Chicago Handicap by three-quarters of a length on Saturday at Arlington International Racecourse.
With Miguel Mena in the irons, Cozze Up Lady was content to sit off the pace early as Flower Spell sped through early splits 22.64 seconds for the opening quarter, 45.04 for a half-mile and three-quarters in 1:10.07.
“We had a really good trip,” Mena said. “This filly has been doing really good. She ran a couple of big races in Kentucky. She broke good and there was a really good pace in front of us. We just had to wait to get through and we did that at the three-sixteenths pole. She was home free.”
The 4-year-old daughter of Cozzene picked up her second straight tally and third in four starts this year for owners Martin Racing, Morgan Thoroughbred, Westwind Property and Farefellow Farms. She earned $86,400 from the $150,000 purse to boost her career bankroll to $250,431 while improving her overall record to five wins from 11 starts.
“We had a lot of confidence and we were pointing for this race for a while,” added Calhoun. “She’s in very good form and we thought she’d like the synthetic surface. We thought seven-eighths would be a real good distance for her. It’s has been a goal for us to get some graded stakes wins under her. We got this one done and hopefully there will be more in the future.”
Queen’s Award, who raced closer to the pace than the winner early on, rallied to get the place money.
“The only issue I had was that the horse in front of me didn't corner well, so I had to go out around her and that forced me to move probably about 50 yards earlier than I wanted to,” said her jockey Kent Desormeaux. “But the winner came around me, so she had the same problem.”
Grade I stakes winner Aubby K, the 17-10 post time favorite, could not finish better than third in the nine-horse race.
“I don't think she handled (the Polytrack) really well,” said Eddie Castro, who rode the beaten favorite. “She gave me a bunch, but not enough.”
Maude S finished fourth, followed by pacesetter Flower Spell who broke through the gate just prior to the start, Drama Drama, Dr. Diamonds Prize, La Song and Lady Chesterfield.
“She broke good,” said jockey James Graham of his trip on Flower Spell. “I let her bounce along. The horses came and got her in the last half-furlong. That’s what it looked like on TV, too. I think when she passed through (the gate) it might have taken a little bit of out of her. I think she might have relaxed a little bit more (if she had not broken through). But, it didn’t upset her too much. She’s so quick by herself. She’s a huge filly and all she does is keep improving. She wasn’t beaten that far today.”
Sent off as third choice in the wagering, Cozze Up Lady paid $10.40, $5.80 and $3.80. Queen’s Award returned $8.40 and $4.80. Aubby K paid $2.80.