Society Selection wins comeback

Updated: May 21, 2005, 7:27 PM ET
By Karen M. Johnson | Daily Racing Form

ELMONT, N.Y. -- Society Selection bounced back from a disastrous race in her last start and overcame a 111-day layoff with a professional-looking win in Saturday's Grade 2 Shuvee Handicap at Belmont Park.

Society Selection, who hadn't raced since finishing last in the Grade 2 Shirley Jones at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 19, won the Shuvee by 2 3/4 lengths over Daydreaming. Bohemian Lady checked in third, a neck behind Daydreaming. Traci Girl and Saintliness completed the order of finish in the mile dirt race.

Daydreaming at 8-5 was a slight favorite over Society Selection, who won the Grade 1 Frizette here as a 2-year-old in 2003.

Society Selection ($5.80) raced in last position down the backstretch under Eibar Coa, who moved the filly to the outside around the turn. With a furlong remaining, Society Selection drew away from Bohemian Lady, who had contested the pace with Traci Girl.

Society Selection covered the distance in 1:34.23, which equaled the stakes record set by Catinca in 1999.

Coa, who won Friday's Grade 1 Pimlico Special aboard Eddington, said he and Society Selection enjoyed an uneventful trip. "The only concern was whether she was going to show up today or not," he said.

Society Selection's win in the $196,000 Shuvee gave trainer Allen Jerkens his fourth victory in the race.

Jerkens said Society Selection cut her left hind leg when she stumbled leaving the starting gate in the Shirley Jones. A daughter of Coronado's Quest, Society Selection spent a week at Rood & Riddle Equine Clinic in Kentucky to ward off an infection.

"It might have been [serious] if we didn't send her to the hospital," said Jerkens, who trains Society Selection for Irving and Marjorie Cowan. "I wasn't planning on running in this race until she worked too fast one day when a horse [broke] off in front of her. We figured she must have been pretty fit."

Jerkens said he would like to target the Grade 1, $300,000 Ogden Phipps here on June 18 for Society Selection's next start.