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Jul 22, 2011 5:35 PM

Saratoga horse race named for Gabrielle Giffords

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The seventh race on opening day at Saratoga Race Course in New York was named in honor of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who's recovering after being shot at a constituent event Jan. 8.

"The Gabrielle Giffords," a maiden race for 2-year-old New York-bred fillies, went to post on Friday afternoon and drew a field of 11. Afterward, Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, made a presentation to the winning horse owner and trainer.

"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, came in first with jockey Alex O. Solis to upset the "The Gabrielle Giffords."

Image courtesy The New York Racing Association.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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