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Waiting pays off with Sands Point Score for Gozzip Girl

ELMONT, N.Y. – Having opened an early lead on the rest of the field, Farnsworth Stable’s Gozzip Girl was able to slow the pace in Saturday’s 15th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Sands Point for three-year-old fillies at nine furlongs on Belmont Park’s yielding inner turf course.

The only real problem was a pesky Bluegrass Princess and her jockey, John Velazquez, who broke from the rail and then switched to the outside to press the leader. She simply refused to go away.

Gozzip Girl, however, had a Hall of Fame jockey on her back in Kent Desormeaux, and he used his patience and his mount wisely. With the portable rail set out 18 feet, Gozzip Girl got the first quarter of a mile in 25.44 and the half in 50.61, and Desormeaux resisted temptation of cutting his mount loose too soon. The soft early fractions allowed Gozzip Girl to have plenty of energy for the stretch run, so when Desormeaux finally asked, she sprinted away to a 1 ˝-length victory in 1:39.58. The second choice of the crowd of 6,698, she returned $5 for her fourth win in seven starts

“[Trainer Tom Albertrani] likes a jockey to get out there and feel it,” Desormeaux said. “I worked her during the week, so I knew her and I knew she was doing very well. She was the best horse in the field and she got it done. It was an enjoyable ride, too. She leads a little sluggish because she’s so leggy – she’s a little leggy from the start – so I encouraged her to come away running and then see where we were going to be because I thought it was going to be a paceless race. I just let her find a rhythm and that rhythm was on the lead. She cornered for home full of run.”

It was Albertrani’s contention that a wide trip cost Gozzip Girl a victory in the Grade 1 Ashland on Keeneland’s PolyTrack on April 4, where she was beaten a neck. Saturday, Desormeaux kept her in the right place so he could ask her at the right time.

“We talked with Kent, and told him to just let her run where she was comfortable,” said Albertrani, who this month also won the Grade 3 Nassau County with Flashing and the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay with Criticism (GB) at Belmont Park. “She was just galloping along. Once she made the lead, she getting a little pressure back from John Velazquez and Bluegrass Princess, but Kent took the initiative. She’s got such a long stride and she wants a distance of ground. At the quarter-pole, I was confident she would finish well. Hopefully, we’ll get invited to the American Oaks on July 5.

The Grade 1, $750,000 American Oaks Invitational is for three-year-old fillies at 10 furlongs on the turf at Hollywood Park.

Warm Shower made a late run to get second, followed by Bluegrass Princess, favored Magical Affair, Fast Tigress, Hopeful Image and Sapphire Sky.


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