Lady Rizzi Eclipses Mellon Turf Mark

(From a Saratoga release)

Lady Rizzi set the 5 1/2-furlong Mellon Turf Course record of 1:00.66 at Saratoga Race Course in winning the seventh race Aug. 24.

The mark came in an allowance/optional claiming event for New York-bred fillies and mares in which Lady Rizzi defeated entrymate Myakka by three lengths. Linda Rice trains the 5-year-old daughter of Rizzi.

The previous record of 1:01.11 was set by Second in Command—who was once trained by Rice—in the Troy Stakes Aug. 14, 2006.

“I set the course record? Are you sure the gate was set in the right spot?” Rice quipped.

With the portable rails down, Sort of Trick exploded to the lead with a :21.07 first quarter-mile. She went the half-mile in :43.24, setting up Lady Rizzi’s finish.

“I didn’t expect the pace to be as quick as it was,” Rice said. “We were going to put Myakka on the pace and have Lady Rizzi sit behind the speed. When the first fraction was put up, I thought we were in pretty good shape.”

Owned by John Donato and ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, the Lady Rizzi entry paid $9.30 as the lukewarm favorite.

This has been a week of milestones for Rice. On Aug. 18, she saddled the first four finishers of the Mechanicville Stakes—Ahvee’s Destiny, Canadian Ballet, Silver Timber, and Karakorum Elektra.

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