Selena Lobell got an excellent drive by Mickey McNichol to upset last year's horse of the year, Fancy Crown, in a $40,000 invitational trot at Rosecroft Raceway last night.
The 4-year-old mare was clocked in 1:59 for the mile, a Rosecroft track record, improving upon the 1:59 2/5 mark by Fancy Crown last October in the Breeders Crown.
Last night, Fancy Crown finished fourth after she broke stride in midstretch while she was gaining on the leaders.
At the start of the race, three trotters made a move for the lead. Wholly Arnie, with Tommy Haughton driving, won out over Quick Trip and Selena Lobell in that early battle. Fancy Crown, the 1-5 race favorite, sat fourth in the early going.
Shortly after passing the three-eighths pole, Bill O'Donnell started his move with Fancy Crown. McNichol, not wanting to be boxed in along the rail, responded by tipping Selena Lobell to the outside at the half-mile pole.
The next confrontation came when Wholly Arnie refused to let Selena Lobell get the lead.
Selena Lobell, despite traveling the toughest mile in the race, proved to be the best in the race by gaining the lead at the three-quarters and going on to win by 1 1/2 lengths.
Quick Trip, driven John Hogan, closed to take second, and Wholly Arnie hung on for third.
After the race, McNichol said Selena Lobell benefited from already having raced five times this year. Fancy Crown was making her first start this season.
In February at Pompano Park, Selena Lobell set a world record for her age and sex on a five-eighths mile track when she was timed in 1:57 2/5.