SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Maryland-based Grab the Green pulled clear through the stretch to win the second division of yesterday's Nijana Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Saratoga.
The daughter of Cozzene, with Angel Cordero Jr. aboard, set a stakes record in her five-length victory, completing the 1 1/16-mile run over a firm course in 1 minute, 40 1/5 seconds.
The win was Grab the Green's fifth in eight starts this year. The Texas-bred filly, based at Laurel Race Course, earned $59,280 and returned $6.40, $3.60 and $3.20. Shareefa paid $5.20 and $3.60, and Irish Linnet paid $3.60.
Cordero picked up the mount after regular rider Edgar Prado had to take off because he had not recovered from bruises suffered in a spill earlier this week at Laurel.
"She's a good filly, and she's much, much better on the turf," said winning trainer Barclay Tagg. "I wanted her to get away better, but Angel's so good, he makes up for anything."
The first and slower division of the Nijana went to Jinski's World, who gave trainer Leo O'Brien his second stakes win at the meet. She won by a neck over Belleofbasinstreet and completed the race in 1:41.
Verbasle, the 3-1 choice, was pinched at the start and closed with a rush to finish third. She was probably best.