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Civil Union makes the grade in Glens Falls Stakes

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Allen Stable’s Civil Union secured a stalking position along the rail and made a winning move at the quarter pole, holding off a late charge from My Sister Nat to take the 25th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Glens Falls for older fillies and mares going 1 3/8 miles over the firm inner turf at Saratoga Race Course.

Breaking from the inside post in the seven-horse field under Joel Rosario, the 5-year-old War Front bay stayed along the rail in third while the Tom Albertrani-trained Beau Belle and Lovely Lucky were one-two around the first turn through a leisurely opening quarter-mile in 26.76 seconds.

Positions were unchanged as the field entered the clubhouse turn, with Beau Belle completing the half-mile in 53.22 while Civil Union remained tucked along the rail just a half-length off the front runner.

Around the far turn, Rosario asked Civil Union for more and tipped his charge three-wide at the top of the stretch as the two Albertrani runners remained in top flight.

In pursuit, Civil Union asserted herself to the front and took command just past the sixteenth pole, defeating the deep closing post-time favorite My Sister Nat by one length in a final time of 2:19.80.

My Sister Nat finished a nose ahead of Beau Belle for second. Lovely Lucky, Eliade, Pallas Athene and Complict completed the order of finish.

Rosario picked up a meet-leading 12th stakes win aboard Civil Union, whom he piloted for the first time.

“She was moving really well but she took a little time coming out of the last turn and getting a hold of the turf. But as soon as I straightened her out, she was moving forward and from that point I was really confident,” said Rosario, who became the first jockey to score back-to-back Glens Falls triumphs after piloting last year’s winner Mrs. Sippy. “It was a slow pace, but I was right there and just trying to keep my position. I knew the horses in front were going very easy and I thought with the slow pace they might keep going, but I was there. My horse was right there, and she made everything easy for me.”

Patience paid off for Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, who bypassed the Grade 3 Waya, which was won by My Sister Nat, in favor of giving his mare more time in between races. Civil Union arrived at her first graded stakes engagement off a triumph in the 1 ½-mile River Memories on July 12 at Belmont Park, which was her first appearance against stakes company.

“I think she can run all day,” said McGaughey, who also conditioned 2012 Glens Falls winner Hit It Rich. “When she won the River Memories, she really punched hard from the eighth pole to the wire and she did the same thing today. It looks like when you ask her to go on and finish, she has it in her. 

“I liked where we were behind the slow pace,” he added. “I have a lot of confidence in Joel and I knew he knew where he was.”

Off at 2-1, Civil Union returned $6.50 and banked $110,000 in victory while upping her lifetime earnings to $451,672. Her record now stands at 7-4-1-1.

A Kentucky homebred, Civil Union is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Photograph and is closely related to Grade 1-winner War Flag, who also was conditioned by McGaughey.

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