01/01/2016 5:01PM

King Kranz wins maiden in Lost in the Fog

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. – The start of a new year offers a clean slate. Few barns needed a new beginning more than the stable of trainer John Terranova.

Since Aug. 10, the Terranova barn had suffered through a 1-for-86 skid on the New York Racing Association circuit, including a 0-for-62 skein since Sept. 4.
But the stable kicked off 2016 on a high note Friday when King Kranz, the only maiden in the field, struck the front outside the eighth pole and held the favored Jan’s Reserve at bay to record a one-length victory in the $125,000 Lost in the Fog Stakes on New Year’s Day at Aqueduct.

Jan’s Reserve, the favorite by $3,177 over King Kranz, finished second by three lengths over Sallisaw. Zen Papa and Atizpan completed the order of finish. Condo King and Purcell scratched.

“Finally,” said Tonja Terranova, assistant to husband John. “At least we started the new year off right.”

King Kranz, a 3-year-old son of Munnings owned by Zayat Stables, also had been entered in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Jerome Stakes at a mile and 70 yards, but the decision was made Thursday to run in the sprint.

Part of the reason to run Friday was the outside post King Kranz had in the Lost in the Fog. After breaking on top, King Kranz, under Cornelio Velasquez, took up a stalking position, a length off of Zen Papa, who leapt at the break and hit the side of the gate and was then rushed to the front by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.

King Kranz tracked Zen Papa through a quarter in 23.13 seconds and a half-mile in 46.77.

King Kranz surged to the lead outside the eighth pole and maintained a safe margin over Jan’s Reserve, who had been last down the backstretch.

King Kranz covered the six furlongs in 1:11.84 and returned $5.40.

The win was the first from six starts for King Kranz, a son of Munnings owned by Zayat Stables. King Kranz was a beaten favorite in each of his last three starts, including a neck loss to Condo King in a maiden race at odds of 1-2.

Following that race, King Kranz started training in blinkers and wore them for the first time Friday.

Velasquez said the blinkers did have King Kranz focused a bit more, but he told Terranova the horse still idled a bit when he made the lead.

“A little bit,” Velasquez said. “I think he had cheater blinkers on. I think maybe a half-cup blinker would be much better for him.”

The Terranovas and Zayats will sit down to discuss whether to try to stretch King Kranz out in distance in a race like the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers at 1 1/16 miles Jan. 30 or keep him sprinting with the $100,000 Fred “Cappy” Capossela on Feb. 6 as a possibility.