Sunday, May 03, 2009


COSMONAUT LANDS VICTORIOUS IN FORT MARCY


ELMONT, N.Y. – Flying Zee Stable’s Cosmonaut rebounded from an ankle fracture that had kept him out of action since last July and overcame Tam Lin (GB) to win Saturday’s 33rd running of the Grade 3 $106,500 Fort Marcy Stakes for three-year-olds and up at a mile and a sixteenth on Belmont Park’s Widener Turf Course.

The Fort Marcy, previously run at Aqueduct Racetrack, was the eighth victory of Cosmonaut’s 33-race career. The 7-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right front ankle last summer, shortly after he ran second to Stream Cat in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap on July 12.


Saturday, he showed that his recovery was complete.

“What a nice horse to ride!,” said jockey Jose Lezcano, “He broke good, settled in well, and when I asked him for run he gave me that big kick. It was pretty push-button for me.”

Cosmonaut paid $6.20 to win as the second choice of the crowd of 8,222, and delighted trainer Phil Serpe, although not before giving him an uneasy moment or two. He pressed a pace of 23.45, 46.67, 1:10.71 and 1:35.87 set by Tam Lin, and he worked hard with the portable rail out 27 feet.

“When I saw the fast fractions, I was a little concerned,” Serpe said. “The turf is a little soft and they were going pretty fast for soft turf, but he showed how great he really is today. He’s an unbelievable little horse. I don’t know what’s next – he’s been off for awhile, so I’ll talk to Mr. (Carl) Lizza (of Flying Zee Stable) and let him decide.”

Operation Red Dawn was a neck back in third, followed by Interpatation, Silver Tree and Museeb.

Dancing Forever, winner of last year’s Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap, was scratched, as were main-track only entrants Formal King and Mor Chances, who won last Sunday’s Kings Point at Aqueduct, then came back to run third in Wednesday’s Grade 3 Westchester.

FORT MARCY QUOTES

Winning trainer Phil Serpe of Cosmonaut (No. 5): “When I saw the fast fractions, I was a little concerned. The turf is a little soft and they were going pretty fast for soft turf, but he showed how great he really is today. He’s an unbelievable little horse. I don’t know what’s next – he’s been off for awhile, so I’ll talk to Mr. (Carl) Lizza (of Flying Zee Stable) and let him decide.”

Winning jockey Jose Lezcano: “What a nice horse to ride! He broke good, settled in well, and when I asked him for run, he gave me that big kick. It was pretty push-button for me.”


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