Brown looks to extend dominance in Plenty of Grace by sending out grading stakes-winning pair
by Ryan Martin
Trainer Chad Brown has saddled the last four winners of the $100,000 Plenty of Grace and will look to extend his own record, sending out graded stakes-winners Counterparty Risk and Regal Glory for the sixth running of the one-mile event for older fillies and mares over the inner turf on Sunday at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Brown has won the Plenty of Grace with Mrs. McDougal , Light in Paris , Uni  and Fifty Five . The Plenty of Grace was not contested last year.
Klaravich Stables’ Counterparty Risk finished a close sixth last out in the nine-furlong Grade 2 Hillsborough on March 6 at Tampa Bay Downs. The bay 4-year-old daughter of Australia was victorious in her 2021 bow over the Tampa Bay turf in the Grade 3 Endeavor on February 6 when tracking a close fourth, saving ground from the rail and running home a one length winner as the heavy favorite in the 1 1/16-mile event.
Counterparty Risk utilized similar tactics in the next-out Hillsborough, riding the rail from fourth before launching an upper stretch bid from the inside. She could not fend off an influx of late-closers finishing sixth, beaten 1 ½ lengths to winner Micheline.
Counterparty Risk logged her most recent breeze over the Belmont Park training track, posting an easy half-mile in 50.26 seconds in company with two-time winning stable mate Capital Structure.
“We worked her once up here and she looked great doing it,” said Brown’s Belmont Park-based assistant Dan Stupp. “It was just a nice, straightforward, maintenance half-mile. I’m very optimistic about her chances. She shipped up here very well and looks great.”
Winter meet leading jockey Eric Cancel will be aboard Counterparty Risk for the first time from post 4.
While Counterparty Risk looks to get back on winning track, Regal Glory will pick up where she left off in her last-out victory in the Grade 3 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf on September 12.
The 5-year-old chestnut Animal Kingdom mare has not raced since besting stakes winners Mitchell Road and stable mate Tapit Today in the one-mile event, where she stalked a close second from the outside and didn’t get busy until mid-stretch, battling a game Mitchell Road and prevailing by a neck.
Regal Glory struck stakes gold for the first time in November 2018 when taking the Stewart Manor over the Big A outer turf. During her sophomore campaign, she added two graded stakes triumphs at Saratoga to her ledger when leading a Brown-trained trifecta to victory in the Grade 3 Lake George, followed by a win in the Grade 2 Lake Placid, where she dead-heated with Varenka.
“It was a great race for her,” Stupp said of her last out performance. “She’s a quality filly. She’s another year older and she’s got a lot of good experience. The layoff should not be an issue and we expect another good run from her. She worked a great half-mile [in 48.80 seconds over the Belmont training track] just the other day.”
Formerly owned by the late Paul Pompa, Jr., Regal Glory was purchased by Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm for $925,000 at the Keeneland January Sale. She is out of the dual graded stakes-winning More Than Ready mare Mary’s Follies.
Boasting a consistent 11-6-3-0 record, Regal Glory also brags the highest amount of lifetime earnings with $773,884 in the bank.
Jockey Jose Ortiz will guide Regal Glory from post 5.
Trainer Christophe Clement, who won the inaugural Plenty of Grace with Stellar Path, will send out R Unicorn Stable’s Call Me Love for her first start since fifth as the lukewarm favorite in the Grade 3 Athenia on October 25 at Belmont Park.
The 5-year-old chestnut daughter of Sea the Stars started her career in Italy, where she never finished worse than third in eight starts, including two group stakes wins going ten furlongs. Call Me Love has made five starts for Clement with her best finish taking place in last year’s Grade 2 Ballston Spa on June 27 at Saratoga, where she finished second a neck behind Starship Jubilee.
“She’s been training forwardly down in Florida and we’re looking forward to seeing her return to New York,” Clement said.
Jockey Junior Alvarado will seek his third stakes triumph of the 11-day spring meet when he pilots Call Me Love from post 7.
Trainer Jorge Abreu will saddle Lawrence Goichman’s New York homebred Myhartblongstodady. The 6-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy is a two-tiume stakes winner against her Empire State bred counterparts, leading at every point of call on both occasions. After a victorious stakes debut in the Yaddo on September 4 at Saratoga, she displayed the same frontrunning dimensions in the Ticonderoga on October 24 at Belmont Park, which she won by three lengths.
Myhartblongstodady saw both a jump in class and distance in her last out 2021 debut in the Grade 2 Hillsborough. She commanded easy fractions early on in the nine-furlong test but relinquished in mid-stretch finishing tenth, beaten five lengths.
“I think it was too far off the layoff and a mile and an eighth wasn’t what she wanted to do,” Abreu said. “She ran a good mile and a sixteenth on the lead and then at the sixteenth pole, she just gave it up. She’s training well coming off her last race.”
Jockey Trevor McCarthy will be aboard Myhartblongstodady from post 9.
Rounding out the field are Kilkea [post 1, Kendrick Carmouche], Sweet Turn [post 3, Mike Luzzi], Platinum Paynter [post 6, Luis Rodriguez-Castro], and Xanthique [post 8, Manny Franco]. Daria’s Angel [post 2, Luis Rodriguez-Castro] and Flashndynamite [post 10, Trevor McCarthy] entered for main track only.
The Plenty of Grace is slated as Race 4 on Aqueduct’s nine-race Sunday program. First post of 1:20 p.m. Eastern.
NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Aqueduct Racetrack, and the best way to bet every race of the winter meet. Available to horseplayers nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at www.NYRABets.com.