Ozara (IRE) sparkles in Saratoga turf maiden special weight

Cheyenne Stables LLC’s Ozara came through a very narrow opening in upper stretch to beat Weigh the Risks to the wire by a neck in a $136,000 maiden special weight race Sunday at Saratoga.

The 2-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Lope de Vega (IRE) got the benefit of an ideal ride from Tyler Gaffalione. She was midpack around the first turn and onto the backstretch before making up several lengths on the leaders entering the final bend. Gaffalione was behind horses entering the stretch, and when an opening did appear, Ozara willing came between horses to take the lead. She dug in gamely to hold off Weigh the Risks at the finish.

“This was very much a team effort,” winning trainer Christophe Clement said. “Mike Ryan bought the filly for Mr. Dobson of Cheyenne Stable. This wasn’t an upset to us because we thought she was training well. We always liked her.”

Ryan purchased the filly out of the 2022 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale for 350,000 guineas.

Ozara is out of Cercle d’Or (IRE), who is a half-sister to Golden Horn, the 2015 European Horse of the Year, a four-time Group 1 winner who also finished second in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).