Brown battalion dominates at Arlington; Travers and Alabama contenders on the work tab
by NYRA Press Office
- All calm after Got Stormy's G1 score
- Green Light Go in good order; on schedule for G1 Champagne
- Code of Honor gearing up for G1 Runhappy Travers assignment
- Rowayton aiming for cutback in G1 H. Allen Jerkens; Instagrand back on the work tab
- Bon Raison possible for G1 Forego; Come Dancing 'sensational' in breeze for G1 Ballerina
- Promises Fulfilled works for G1 Forego
- Impressive maiden winner Decorated Invader possible for G3 With Anticipation or G1 Summer
- Fly Fly Away soars in maiden win
Trainer Chad Brown enjoyed a remarkable day of racing on Saturday at Arlington Park, sweeping the final four races on the card, including Grade 1 scores in the Arlington Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat as well as a win in the Grade 3 Pucker Up, with Bricks and Mortar, Sistercharlie, Valid Point, and Cafe Americano respectively.
Brown said the impressive sweep is a moment he'll cherish.
"It was a great moment. My oldest daughter Ava came with me yesterday, so it was a great day for us and I'm so happy she was able to be a part of an historic day," said Brown. "There's a sense of relief, because me and my team put in a lot of time - months - preparing for it, and I'm just so proud of everyone on my team, and of course the horses, for how well it was executed."
Peter Brant's Sistercharlie kicked off the successful string of results with a rousing three-length score in the Grade 1 Beverly D. under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. Racing near the back of the seven-horse field, Sistercharlie rallied three-wide down the lane overtaking pacesetter, and stablemate Thais under Irad Ortiz, Jr., covering 1 3/16-miles on firm turf in 1:52.43. The result garnered a career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure.
The 5-year-old Sistercharlie, last year's Eclipse Award winner as Champion Turf Female, now boasts a record of nine wins and three seconds from thirteen starts.
The Beverly D. offered a 'Win and You're In' berth to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, a race in which Sistercharlie is the defending champion.
"Johnny knows Sistercharlie so well," said Brown. "She got a nice, clean trip and Johnny timed it perfect once again. She delivered."
The lightly-raced Valid Point, owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Michael Ryan, earned his first Grade 1 win with a last-to-first one-length score in the one-mile Secretariat for 3-year-olds, besting Aidan O'Brien's Group 2-winner Van Beethoven. With Hall of Famer Javier Castellano up, Valid Point rallied four-wide down the lane drawing clear of The Last Zip while fending off the late bid of Van Beethoven. Valid Point matched his career-best 90 Beyer with the win while remaining perfect through three starts.
Valid Point entered the Secretariat off a well-rated optional-claiming score and Brown said he was impressed with the Scat Daddy colt's first stakes performance.
"He's lightly raced and never in a stake. To jump him into a Grade 1 was a lot to ask, but he delivered," said Brown. "I'm just so proud of his effort. He's an exciting horse moving forward."
Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence's Bricks and Mortar is perfect through six starts since returning to the races in December 2018 at Gulfstream Park.
The 5-year-old son of Giant's Causeway, a 10-time winner from 12 starts with more than $4.8 million in purse earnings, was sent to post as the prohibitive favorite in the Grade 1 Arlington Million under Ortiz, Jr. Settled in sixth position early in the 10-furlong turf test, Bricks and Mortar rallied into contention three wide and overtook pacesetter Bandua, while digging in gamely to fend off Magic Wand for a three-quarter length win that earned a 103 Beyer.
"He's had a remarkable year. Flawless," said Brown. "He's a very rare horse and we're lucky to have him. He's had an outstanding career."
The victory in the "Win and You're In" event earned Bricks and Mortar a spot in the Breeders' Cup Turf, a 12-furlong turf challenge at Santa Anita Park.
Brown said he is not sure at this point if Bricks and Mortar will tackle the Breeders' Cup Turf.
"I have to think about that. I'm not sure which direction we're going to go with him distance wise. We'll get him back home and evaluate him and go from there," said Brown.
In the Arlington nitecap, Brant's Cafe Americano rallied from 10th, some seven lengths off the pace, to score a going away 2 1/4-length score in the Grade 3 Pucker Up at nine furlongs on the turf. The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro and Canadian champion Roxy Gap earned a career-best 88 Beyer, while securing her first stakes win.
Cafe Americano endured a rough trip in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational on July 6 when sixth, and Brown said the filly showed good determination to overcome the outside post in an 11-horse field on Saturday.
"She's lightly raced and we threw her into the deep end of the pool a little bit in the Belmont Oaks. It didn't work out, so we regrouped into this race with a little distance cutback to a mile and an eighth," said Brown. "She had a difficult post and was out of position early, but she came with a really strong kick down the lane. I'm proud of her. She's another exciting horse moving forward with a big career ahead of her."
On Saturday morning at Saratoga, Brown's Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers contenders Highest Honors and Looking At Bikinis were on the work tab.
Long Lake Stable, Madaket Stables, Thomas Coleman and Doheny Racing Stable's Looking At Bikinis won his first two starts impressively at Belmont Park earning a 95 Beyer in an optional-claiming mile score over Not That Brady in June. Last out, sent to post as the even-money favorite in the nine-furlong Curlin over a muddy Saratoga main, Looking At Bikinis set the early pace but faded to third as Highest Honors rallied from last-of-six for a 1 1/2-length score.
Highest Honors, a Tapit grey owned and bred by W.S. Farish, earned a 94 Beyer for the Curlin win after a promising maiden victory at Belmont on June 1.
Looking At Bikinis worked four furlongs in 48.85 seconds on Saturday morning on the Saratoga main track, while Highest Honors, a half-brother to multiple Grade 1-winner Diamondrella, went a half-mile in 49.98.
Brown said both horses worked well in preparation for the Travers.
"It was just a maintenance work and he galloped out very strong," said Brown regarding Highest Honors. "I'm happy with how both horses are moving."
The three-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer said a muddy track may have been Looking At Bikinis undoing last out.
"Going into that race, I thought the distance would be his friend," said Brown. "I guess he didn't fire. The track was really wet and he was on a bad rail that day, so it's hard to evaluate him. I'll see how he works next week before making a decision on that horse."
Brant's Dunbar Road, a leading contender for Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama, breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 on Saturday. The Quality Road bay scored a 2 1/2-length win in the Grade 2 Mother Goose last out on June 29 at Belmont Park and will try 10 furlongs for the first time in the Alabama.
"She's doing fine and is on target for the Alabama. I couldn't be happier with her," said Brown. "She's training as good now as she has all year."
Three Chimneys homebred Guarana, undefeated in three starts, was a one-length winner of the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks last out when stretched to nine furlongs for the first time.
Brown said Guarana is on target to turn back in distance to 1 1/16-miles for the Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion on September 21 at Parx, and a possible re-match with Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress, who she defeated in the Grade 1 Acorn by a widening six lengths.
Guarana breezed five furlongs on the Saratoga main on Sunday in company with 5-year-old Grade 1-winner Wow Cat, with both covering the distance in 1:01.88.
"They both worked great. Guarana is pointed to the Cotillion," said Brown.
* * *
All calm after Got Stormy's G1 score
Gary Barber and Southern Equine Stables' Got Stormy had her connections in positive spirits after the 4-year-old Get Stormy filly bested the boys in a 2 ½-length win in the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap on Saturday.
The Mark Casse trainee, who won the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose on August 3 at Saratoga, stormed back a week later to set a course record at one mile on the inner turf, stopping the clock in 1:32 flat (besting the previous mark of 1:33.13 set on August 2) and automatically qualifying for the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile in November at Santa Anita Park.
With encouragement from Barber to race again off a quick turnaround, Got Stormy rewarded that faith by earning a career-best 108 Beyer Speed Figure. Her sire, Get Stormy, had won the 2010 edition of the Fourstardave.
"She came back good and was real happy this morning," Casse assistant Jamie Begg said. "I thought it was a big ask, but her numbers said it was good enough. That's the first time she's done it. There was every reason there to do it. People just don't do it. If you do it and goes badly, you look dumb. But when it works out, it's great."
After the win, Casse was quick to credit Barber for having faith in Got Stormy, who became the first filly in 35 runnings of the Fourstardave to earn a trip to the winner's circle.
"Mark's not one to take credit. He said Gary was the one who made the decision," Begg said. "[Mark] conditions the horse and got her in a position to succeed, but he said, 'I'm not making that decision on my own.'"
Got Stormy is likely to make her next start against the boys once again in the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile on September 14. Casse won the Woodbine Mile in 2016 with Tepin, who went on to finish second in that year's Breeders' Cup Mile; and again in 2017 with World Approval, who bested a field of 14 to win the Breeders' Cup Mile.
Begg said another Barber-owned Grade 1-winner is doing well in Preakness-victor War of Will, who continues to train forwardly to the Grade 1, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on September 21 at Parx.
War of Will is getting some extra time between races after running fifth in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 27 at the Spa. The War Front sophomore has undergone and extensive campaign in running in all three legs of the Triple Crown, placing seventh in the Kentucky Derby before besting Everfast by 1 ¼ lengths to capture the middle jewel. He ran ninth in the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets in his last start before the Jim Dandy and will now look to benefit from a longer break instead of running back in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on August 24.
"He's doing good. He's had a tough campaign, so I think the reason for the Pennsylvania Derby, besides the fact it could come up easier than the Travers, is giving him that extra time between starts to get him back up," Begg said. "He's just such a bear of a workhorse that you can't tell that he's run down, because he shows up in the morning to put in those works. When he races, it's a different animal, and that's when you see it. So, we're trying to get him back up to where he was."
* * *
Green Light Go in good order; on schedule for G1 Champagne
After recording an 84 Beyer Speed Figure for his 3 ¾ length triumph in Saturday's Grade 2 Saratoga Special, conditioner Jimmy Jerkens reported Stronach Stables' 2-year-old Green Light Go, now unbeaten in two starts, exited his victory in good order.
The Stronach Stables homebred successfully won his debut wire-to-wire on July 4 at Belmont Park and showed a new dimension on Saturday, coming from off the pace and pulling away late to win comfortably.
"He looks good this morning," said Jerkens. "He ate up all his feed and he's in good order, so it's exciting."
Jerkens, who picked up his first victory of the Saratoga meet from 12 starts, said he was thrilled with the exciting performance of the Hard Spun colt.
"Things hadn't been too good up to yesterday, so it was nice to get that victory the way we did," said Jerkens. "Hopefully, we can keep it going."
Jerkens said he would nominate Green Light Go for the Grade 1, $350,000 Runhappy Hopeful on closing day, Labor Day September 2, but that it's more likely the colt would make his next start in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne on October 5 at Belmont.
"We'll nominate for the Hopeful and take a look at the field, but it's more likely we run in the Champagne," said Jerkens. "We'll let the horse tell us and we'll see which spot works for him best. We'll see how he goes on."
Jerkens also reported Centennial Farms 6-year-old Preservationist,who finished fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney last out following an impressive 4 ½ length win in the Grade 2 Suburban at Belmont, would remain under consideration for the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on Saturday, August 17.
The veteran conditioner said Candygram, who finished a disappointing ninth in the $100,000 Alydar on August 2, came out of that race sick and would be sidelined.
Talented 3-year-old Mihos,who finished sixth in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 27, breezed four furlongs in 50.59 seconds on the Oklahoma training track turf course Sunday morning in preparation for a potential start in the future on the grass.
Jerkens also said Meet Me in L A, a recent maiden winner for Stronach Stables, would target a start in an allowance race during Travers week.
* * *
Code of Honor gearing up for G1 Runhappy Travers assignment
Code of Honor posted his third workout since winning the Grade 3 Dwyer at Belmont Park on July 6, and Hall of Fame conditioner Shug McGaughey said W. S. Farish's Code of Honor is looking good two weeks away from his next expected assignment in the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on August 24.
The Noble Mission colt breezed four furlongs in 47.85 seconds in company on Sunday on the Oklahoma training track, leaving his trainer in good spirits.
"He looked really good this morning," said McGaughey. "We opted to skip the Jim Dandy following the Dwyer because he tends to like having more time between races. We're 13 days away now and we're on target."
The Dwyer was a second graded stakes victory for Code of Honor, who took the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park on March 2 before finishing third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby to Maximum Security.
McGaughey is in search of his fourth Travers win after has previously winning the race with Easy Goer in 1989, Rhythm in 1990 and Coronado's Quest in 1998.
* * *
Rowayton aiming for cutback in G1 H. Allen Jerkens; Instagrand back on the work tab
OXO Equine's Rowayton breezed five furlongs in 1:00.98 seconds on the Saratoga main track Saturday morning, with conditioner Don Chatlos reporting the multiple graded-stakes placed 3-year-old would point towards a start in the Grade 1, $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens on Travers Day.
"He looked good," said Chatlos. "As of right now, all systems are a go pointing for the [Grade 1] Jerkens."
The Into Mischief colt last out ran fourth in the $100,000 Curlin going 1 1/8 miles over a muddy track on July 26, leading Chatlos to target a cutback in the H. Allen Jerkens.
"He came out of the Curlin in good order," said Chatlos. "We think he'd appreciate going back to one-turn. He's had success in his career sprinting and his last race at 6 ½ furlongs [June 6] at Belmont was a success, so we're not saying we're going to stay at sprint distances, but for now it seems most beneficial to him."
Rowayton, who finished second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity as a sophomore, recorded a career best 97 Beyer in that June 6 allowance win triumph.
Chatlos also reported that Brill is currently being turned out and would target a return sometime in the fall at Belmont park. The Medaglia d'Oro filly raced three times as a sophomore, including a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Chandelier at Santa Anita.
In her most recent start, she finished fourth in the Grade 3 Victory Ride at Belmont.
"She's doing well, we just decided to give her a break," said Chatlos. "If you look at her past performances, we really put some frequent flyer miles on her this year going from Oaklawn to Pimlico to Belmont. So, we just turned her out for a break and we'll target a return for her at Belmont when I'm back down there in September."
Graded stakes winner Instagrand also returned to the work tab Sunday morning breezing three furlongs in 40.29, marking his first breeze since recovering from a sesamoid fracture in his left hind leg in the Grade 3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs in his last start.
The 3-year-old Into Mischief colt, who ended his sophomore year undefeated after impressively winning the Grade 2 Best Pal, kicked off his 3-year-old campaign on the Kentucky Derby trail with a pair of third-place finishes in the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct Racetrack and Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.
Chatlos said Instagrand will next target a start sometime in the fall at Belmont.
"It was his first work back and it was more of an open gallop," said Chatlos. "Following his surgery, initially Dr. Bramlage said he would probably be ready to return in 30 days but owner Larry Best, who always does right by his horses, opted to take our time and it's been almost 60 days now. He first got back to the track for a work today. We're going to take our time with him and work to weekly breezes with a target for a race sometime during the Belmont fall meet."
* * *
Bon Raison possible for G1 Forego; Come Dancing 'sensational' in breeze for G1 Ballerina
Following an impressive victory in Friday's Tale of the Cat, trainer Carlos Martin is considering the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego for Bon Raison, who registered a 100 Beyer from his victory in the six-furlong sprint.
"He's a real deal horse," Martin said of the son of Raison d'Etat. "We're going to nominate to the Forego. It's back a little quick but Imperial Hint won't be there so it's going to be Mitole and a few others. For that type of purse, we'll at least take a look at it."
The Tale of the Cat was a second stakes victory for Bon Raison, who won the Peeping Tom at Aqueduct Racetrack in March.
Two-time graded stakes winner Come Dancing breezed from the starting gate on Sunday morning and drilled through five furlongs in 59.60 under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano - the fastest of 40 recorded works at the distance.
Second in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps last out, the Blue Devil Racing-owned Malibu Moon mare won the Grade 3 Distaff at Aqueduct, registering a 114 Beyer, and subsequently won the Grade 2 Ruffian at Belmont Park. She will cut back in distance for her next start, which is slated to take place in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One Ballerina.
"She came out of the gate with Javier and worked beautiful," Martin said. "She won the seven-eighths Distaff impressively and last time everything didn't work out with stumbling at the start and having to go 1:09 and change with that beast Midnight Bisou behind us. Cutting back, the way she's been training, is ideal."
Come Dancing, a 5-year-old homebred, is out of the graded stakes-winning Tiznow broodmare Tizahit.
* * *
Promises Fulfilled works for G1 Forego
Robert Baron's Promises Fulfilled remains on target for the Grade 1, $600,000 Forego presented by Encore Boston Harbor following a Saturday morning breeze over the main track at Saratoga.
Trained by Dale Romans, the Shackleford chestnut drilled through five furlongs over a fast main track in 58.85 the fastest of 36 recorded works at the distance.
"He worked very well, it wasn't quite as fast as I wanted but it was a good work. I would have liked to have had another fifth or two off, but it was close enough," Romans said.
Unbeaten in both starts at the Spa, Promises Fulfilled will look to build on his resume, including a victory in last year's Grade 1 Allen Jerkens and the Grade 3 Amsterdam, as well as a last-out win in the Grade 2 John Nerud at Belmont Park.
An earner of over $1.4 million, Promises Fulfilled was purchased for $37,000 from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2016.
* * *
Impressive maiden winner Decorated Invader possible for G3 With Anticipation or G1 Summer
West Point Thoroughbreds William Freeman and William Sandbrook's impressive maiden winner Decorated Invader is slated for stakes action following a 3 ¼-length maiden victory over the Mellon turf course on Saturday afternoon.
Trained by Christophe Clement and guided to victory by Junior Alvarado, the Declaration of War bay tracked the pace and responded when asked, gliding away to an in-hand victory.
Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds said Decorated Invader would either target the Grade 3, $150,000 With Anticipation on August 28 at Saratoga Race Course or wait for the Grade 1, $250,000 Summer on September 15 at Woodbine.
"Junior came out and worked him and I thought we were in good shape," Finley said. "This is the way they're supposed to look and so all options are open."
Decorated Invader was purchased for $200,000 from last year's Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
"[Bloodstock agent] David Ingordo is our man on the grounds and he just struck us as a horse that might be good," Finley said. "We're moving towards grass horses a little bit more and obviously he's by Declaration of War, but he moves well on the dirt, too. He's just a horse that struck us as an athletic type of horse, which is exactly the type we try to get."
Decorated Invader is out of the Arch broodmare Gamely Girl who produced turf stakes winner Jubilant Girl.
* * *
Fly Fly Away soars in maiden win
Patricia Generazio's Fly Fly Away, a half-brother to multiple graded-stakes winner Disco Partner, graduated at second asking on Saturday at Saratoga.
Sent to post as the mutuel favorite in the 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint, the Christophe Clement trainee settled in fourth position, just off the pace of Love Me Tomorrow and Shandian through a half-mile in 44.47 seconds. Angled three-wide down the lane by jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., Fly Fly Away bumped with First Deputy at the sixteenth pole and dueled that rival to the wire, winning by a nose in a final time of 1:02.50.
A lengthy stewards' inquiry ensued with the result allowed to stand to the delight of the connections.
"He's very well related. He's Disco Partner's brother. I'm very happy with him, he ran well," said Clement. "We had to sweat it a little bit, but I'm happy. He's a nice horse and should just get better."
His brother, Disco Partner, has banked just shy of $1.5 million in a special career that includes wins in the 2017 Grade 3 Jaipur and a successful 2018 Jaipur title defense when a Grade 2 tilt.
Both Disco Partner and Fly Fly Away are New York homebreds for Generazio. Fly Fly Away debuted on July 18 at the Spa in an off-turf maiden event, but proved a more formidable opponent on the green.
Clement said the spirited Fly Fly Away has room to improve.
"He's still learning. He's still green, as you saw," said Clement. "But, he's a big horse with a bright future. It's very exciting."