Regal Glory provides Chad Brown fifth straight $100K Plenty of Grace score
by Keith McCalmont
Peter Brant’s Regal Glory, patiently piloted by Jose Ortiz, overtook pacesetter Platinum Paynter in deep stretch to secure a half-length score in Sunday’s sixth edition of the $100,000 Plenty of Grace, a one-mile turf test for older fillies and mares at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The 5-year-old Animal Kingdom chestnut is trained by Chad Brown, who has now won the last five renewals of the Plenty of Grace, including scores with Mrs. McDougal , Light in Paris , Uni  and Fifty Five . The Plenty of Grace was not contested last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Platinum Paynter, with Luis Rodriguez Castro up, broke alertly to set the pace through an opening quarter-mile in 24.71 seconds over the good inner turf with the Trevor McCarthy-piloted Myhartblongstodady tracking outside in second. The Brown-trained Counterparty Risk was angled into third along the rail and on heels into the turn under Eric Cancel, while Regal Glory, in tight between horses, took back to the outside of her stablemate.
Platinum Paynter dictated terms down the backstretch with Myhartblongstodady continuing to stalk from second and Regal Glory waiting for her cue as the half-mile ticked by in 49.14.
Regal Glory angled outside of Myhartblongstodady and accelerated into contention through the final turn, but a stubborn Platinum Paynter dug in and found more. A half-length in arrears at the stretch call, Ortiz kept to task on the 3-5 mutuel favorite to hit the wire in 1:36.49.
Platinum Paynter stayed on strong to complete the exacta by two lengths over Myhartblongstodady, who nosed out Counterparty Risk in a show photo. Call Me Love completed the field.
Kilkea, Sweet Turn, and Xanthique were scratched, along with main-track only entrants Daria’s Angel and Flashndynamite.
Regal Glory was making her seasonal debut from a neck score in the Grade 3 Ladies Turf in September at Kentucky Downs.
“I think she can run over just about any kind of turf, but she definitely doesn’t mind some cut in the ground. It was a nice return for this season,” said Brown’s assistant Dan Stupp. “She ran a great race today. Jose gave her a good ride and rode her with some confidence. She did what she had to do first time off the bench. She showed her class today.”
Ortiz said Regal Glory came to hand after traffic trouble into the first turn.
“I had to take a hold of her and she doesn’t like when you take that hold,” said Ortiz, who guided Mrs. McDougal to a Plenty of Grace score in 2016 for Brown. “As soon as I put her in the clear, she relaxed a little. From the backside on, it was a beautiful trip.”
The veteran rider credited the pacesetting Platinum Paynter for putting up a fight against Regal Glory, who has notched six of her seven career scores on less than firm footing.
“I got to her pretty easily but when Luis asked her to go, she gave Luis a nice-turn-of-foot,” said Ortiz. “But I knew I had her. My filly loves the soft ground and always runs well on it. When I ride her, I love to see some rain in the forecast.”
Rodriguez Castro had no complaints on his prominent trip.
“I was excited today when I saw a lot of scratches and I said, ‘we have a shot today,’” said Rodriguez Castro. “I just put her on the lead and she relaxed really good. I was just second-best. She got beat by the favorite, but I’m really happy with the way she ran.”
Regal Glory, who was purchased for $925,000 in January at the Keeneland Horse of All Ages Sale, is now a four time graded stakes winner, adding to past success in 2019 at Saratoga Race Course in the Grade 3 Lake George and Grade 2 Lake Placid.
Stupp said Regal Glory could target the Grade 1, $500,000 Longines Just a Game on Belmont Stakes Day, June 5. Bred in Kentucky by the late Paul Pompa, Regal Glory banked $55,000 in victory while improving her record to 12-7-3-0. She returned $3.40 for a $2 win ticket.
Live racing resumes Thursday at the Big A with an eight-race card. First post is 1:20 p.m.