February 26, 2024

Marketsegmentation in control throughout in New York

Marketsegmentation wired her Grade 1 debut in the New York (Photo by Coglianese Photos)

Klaravich Stables’ Marketsegmentation seized the opportunity as controlling speed in Friday’s $600,000 New York (G1) at Belmont Park, giving trainer Chad Brown his fifth win in the turf feature. Odds-on favorite War Like Goddess, who needed more pace support on the cutback in trip to 1 1/4 miles, wound up sixth.

Marketsegmentation had tipped her hand in the May 7 Beaugay (G3), where she closely attended a moderate tempo before kicking clear. The daughter of American Pharoah had yet to race beyond 1 1/16 miles, or Grade 3 level. But her pedigree was all in favor of the added distance. With the presumptive advantage of a paceless race, connections opted to give her a chance against an accomplished field.

Jose Ortiz picked up the mount from brother Irad Ortiz Jr., who stayed aboard Klaravich Stables’ McKulick, a course-and-distance Grade 1 winner last summer. That Belmont Oaks (G1) offered a more solid pace than she received on Friday. The runner-up from the Belmont Oaks, Godolphin’s With the Moonlight, was scratched from the New York. Might she have kept the pacesetter a bit more honest?

The 6.10-1 Marketsegmentation got away with fractions of :24.56, :50.26, 1:15.29, and 1:38.97 on the firm inner course. Stablemate Shantisara was tracking a couple of lengths back in second, with Didia, the 4.40-1 second choice back in third. The rest had a much bigger mountain to climb, especially 3-4 favorite War Like Goddess lagging at the rear.

The handwriting was on the wall as Marketsegmentation was still under a snug hold turning for home, and her pursuers had given her too much rope. By ripping a final quarter in :23.15, Marketsegmentation was uncatchable in a final time of 2:02.12.

As Shantisara retreated inside the final furlong, Didia was the only one able to pick up and try to make a race of it. The Argentine champion did well to reduce the winner’s margin to three-quarters of a length.

A blanket finish ensued in her wake, another 1 3/4 lengths back. McKulick nipped Flirting Bridge for third, followed at narrow intervals by Virginia Joy; War Like Goddess, who made valiant headway in the hottest part of the race; and Shantisara.

“She was impressive today,” Brown said of Marketsegmentation. “Jose rode an excellent race. She’s been training super. With this particular race after her last win, we nominated her and kept her eligible depending on the pace of the race.

“I felt getting her out to a mile and a quarter she’d be very forward, most likely on the lead, so she was a last-minute entry. We put her in here and it was Jose’s first time on her, but he rode her like he’s always ridden her her whole life. He got along with her beautifully and carved out the fractions just right.”

Ortiz felt that the race unfolded as easily as it looked.

“She always shows speed, and there was no pace in the race on paper,” Ortiz said. “I knew everybody was going to be afraid that we (the Klaravich/Brown tandem) have two horses (Marketsegmentation and McKulick), so I went out there took the lead and took command of the race early. She relaxed very well, she set some slow fractions in the half, and down the backside, I felt very comfortable.” 

Marketsegmentation’s new career high advanced her record to 7-5-1-1, $638,730. Third in her stakes debut in the Feb. 4 Endeavour (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs, the four-year-old broke through promptly in the Sand Springs S. at Gulfstream Park. The Beaugay and New York make it a hat trick.

“She has gotten better every single race,” Brown said, “and you love to see horses like that.”

Next on the agenda could be the July 15 Diana (G1) at Saratoga, but that would be a cauldron. Stablemate In Italian, who dominated the Just a Game (G1) earlier Friday, will allow no hiding places in her Diana title defense.

“You have to think about the Diana next,” the horseman said. “I think a cut (back) to a mile and an eighth wouldn’t bother her at all. She’s got a big grizzly bear to run against (In Italian). But I’m not afraid to run multiple horses like this and let them settle it on the track.”

Didia is not likely to try the Diana, with trainer Ignacio Correas IV preferring to plot a course to the Aug. 12 Beverly D. (G1) at Colonial Downs.

“The year is long, and we are going to look for more somewhere,” Correas said. “I think we will leave the Diana to In Italian. I’m trying to develop a good filly, not destroy one. My goal for the summer is the Beverly D., and after that we’ll figure it out. I do have unfinished business there (since his Dona Bruja was a dead-heat second in the 2017 running at Arlington Park).”

Marketsegmentation was bred by Marcus Stables in Kentucky. Initially sold for $200,000 as a Keeneland November weanling, the dark bay RNA’d for $120,000 as a September yearling at the same venue. She is out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Lonelily, from the family of the brilliant Fasliyev; Ballydoyle; and multiple highweight Misty for Me, dam of US Navy Flag and Roly Poly.