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Mark Kelly Makes Winner's Presentation

Jockey Alex Solis and United States Naval Captain and NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, after the seventh race at Saratoga Race Course on opening day, Friday, July 22. The race was named “The Gabrielle Giffords”
United States Naval Captain and NASA astronaut Mark Kelly made the winner’s presentation after “The Gabrielle Giffords” on Friday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course, a race named in honor of his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords, a representative from Southern Arizona, is recuperating from injuries sustained when she was shot at a constituent event on January 8.


“It is great to be here in Saratoga today,” said Kelly. “I don’t get a lot of chances to come out to a races and this is certainly a beautiful place to be. It is very nice that The New York Racing Association decided to honor my wife here today and even though I was cheering for the Wildcat horse, which is the University of Arizona, [Pure Gossip] came in and that's great too. It’s really a spectacular day so thank you very much.”


Pure Gossip, a 37-1 longshot, upset the “The Gabrielle Giffords,” a 5 ½ furlong maiden race for 2-year-old New York-bred fillies.  She returned $76 to her backers in the opening day crowd as she posted a 3 ¾-length debut victory for Flying Zee Stables, the nom de course of the late owner, Carl Lizza.


Captain Kelly commanded the final flight of the space shuttle Endeavour, which landed on June 1 after a 16-day mission to the International Space Station.


Giffords’ Chief of Staff, Pia Carusone, is a Saratoga native and the daughter of John Carusone, an attorney at Carusone & Carusone, located on Broadway.

Photo courtesy of NYRA.


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