Brody’s Cause has finally come through, winning the 2016 Blue Grass Stakes after fending off a 14-horse field at his home track of Keeneland. The seldom run three-year old out of Albaugh Family Stables fought hard to cross the wire first, cashing in as a 4/1 outside shot ahead of the two favorites. Cherry and My Man Sam – who each shared 9/2 odds – finished tightly behind.
Bettors held their breath for much of the race as Laoban led much of the way as the pace setter, while the majority of the favorites stayed well behind the pack. Laoban slotted in a 20/1 longshot and was able to keep upstarts like Twizz and Zulu from getting out in front of him early on.
The fight to the finish was a thriller as Laoban continued to press hard on the inside rail as Brody’s Cause came up through the middle of the pack and ate up the track like a wood chipper devouring an oversized log. Cherry Wine and My Man Sam were essentially glued to each other the entire way, and pressed vigilantly to overtake Brody’s Cause on the outside but came up just short by the time they all reached the wire.
Curiosity has always surrounded Brody’s Cause, a third place finisher at last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He made his much anticipated 2016 debut at the Tampa Bay Stakes, a race which was dominated by Destin who ended up setting a track record. The outing was crushing for Brody’s Cause, who finished in seventh.
So it was fair for the son of Giant’s Causeway to enter the 2016 Blue Grass Stakes as a 4/1 take. He hadn’t won a race since last October’s Breeders’ Futurity and his training times hadn’t blown anyone off the charts. That type of effort has to be a sign of relief for Dale Romans and his team as they point Brody’s Cause towards a Triple Crown berth.
This will be a dense field of competitors during the three legs, and only the toughest will survive. If Brody’s Cause can continue to string performances like this together, he will be a hard competitor to shake. He may not blaze, but he can grind. That’s sure to entice somebody looking for an under-the-radar play.