Picco Uno hoofs it in Dancin Renee

Saturday, June 16th, 2018

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Kennesaw Mountain Racing’s Picco Uno (Macho Uno), a sharp, successful runner in 2017, regained her winning form at Belmont Park on Saturday with a frontrunning victory in the fifth renewal of the 6-furlong, $125,000 Dancin Renee Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares. The race honors the 1997 New York-bred horse of the year who was named by owner/breeder Sanford Bacon after his mother-in-law – a “Ziegfeld girl” in her youth.

From December 16, 2016 to August 17, 2017, Picco Uno, won five of six starts for trainer Jason Servis, culminating in her first stakes score in the 6 1/2-furlong Union Avenue Stakes at Saratoga. Since then, albeit racing in tough stakes company, her form had tailed off, particularly in the first two starts of her 5-year-old campaign. In the Dancin Renee, however, she could look forward to some class relief after the Grade 3 Distaff on April 6 where she finished fifth.

Partnered with jockey Manny Franco, aboard for her last two starts, Picco Uno was the first to show the lead, establishing a one-length advantage over Cozzy Spring to her inside from post three. Holiday Disguise, the 4-5 favorite, settled in third as the quarter went in 22.25.

Continuing to be pressed along by Cozzy Spring along the backstretch run and around the far turn, Picco Uno was shaken up by Franco around the quarter pole.

The gray obliged, opened up a comfortable margin in the lane and cruised across the finish line to win with ease. Four lengths back Cozzy Spring and Holiday Disguise finished second and third a half-length apart, followed by Absatootly, Bluegrass Flag and Bobby’s Song. Still There was scratched. After a 45.23 half mile, the final time for the Dancin Renee was 1:09.60. Picco Uno paid $12.40 to win. [VIDEO REPLAY]

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

“Coming into the race, the plan was to break out of there and get involved early,” said Manny Franco. “The other horse with speed [Cozzy Spring] was inside of me but I broke better than him and took advantage. My last two races aboard, we tried different tactics but today, [Jason Servis] wanted to be right there up front in the lead or second, nothing further than that. Thankfully, it worked out getting on the lead early and she did everything from there easy.”

Servis added, “We told Manny not to take anything away from her. She always breaks sharp and he was able to go on with it. She ran a really great race and we’re just thrilled”

The trainer explained how Picco Uno’s form began to turn around. “Two months ago, [this race] wasn’t even on the radar. She had some issues this winter and it took a long time to get her going. But she really started to turn around the last couple of weeks and she had a really good breeze the other day, so we thought we’d take a shot.”

Picco Uno is under consideration to defend her title in the Union Avenue at Saratoga.

Bred by Topsmeade LLC and Adena Springs and foaled at Irish Hill Century Farm, Picco Uno is one of two winners from two foals to start out of Piccola Isola, a winning New York-bred daughter of Western Expression. She has earned $413,667 from seven wins, four seconds and two thirds in 17 starts.

A $35,000 short yearling at Keeneland in January 2014, Picco Uno was purchased by Kennesaw Mountain Racing at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale for $27,000. From


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