2017 Diana Stakes results

Lady Eli Scores in 2017 Diana Stakes

The 2017 Diana Stakes was never going to be a surefire play on Lady Eli. Antonoe and a slew of other stiff competitors were trying to upset the would-be champion, and the field pushed the eventual winner to her absolute limits. It was an absolute scorcher of a race which not only proved Lady Eli’s quality, but also legitimized two other turf females in the process.

Quidura led through much of the race as a 7/1 outside shot with 7/2 Dickinson stalking right behind. My Impression also tested the top ranks, sitting in third with heavily touted Antonoe sitting in fourth at 5/2. The lead pack hit fractions of :23.59, :47.51 and 1:11.46. Lady Eli was right behind as the 4/5 favorite…and wouldn’t dissapoint.

Stampeding around the outside to match the frenzied pace set by Quidura, Lady Eli broke around the edge and tried to pull away. Surprisingly, Quidura wasn’t having it, and matched the favorite stride for stride down a hellacious stretch. Antonoe attempted to break through on the rail but jockey Javier Castellano seemed to let up on the reigns as they approached the wire, knowing he didn’t have the room or the pace to win out. Lady Eli would stretch out to barely win as Quidura came in second.

Trainer Chad Brown was obviously elated that she not only rose to the challenge, but overcame the downright gritty efforts of Quidura. “Today was one of her greatest races to date. Maybe her best,” Brown told the media. “Giving eight pounds to the horse she ran down late in the stretch after breaking through the gate, going a little wide. She just overcame everything. Today she proved she’s one of the all-time greats. It was her determination. Proud she didn’t hang there in the end. She’s always drove past another horse, as long as she can see them.”

The news on Antonoe, a hopeful breakout star in the 2017 Diana Stakes, didn’t seem optimistic and even Brown said that seeing a competior let up is, “Never a good sign”. Recent news has confirmed that Antonoe was played safe by Castellano which will end up being a smart decision. It’s obvious she has the speed to compete. Whether she has the will remains to be seen.

With the 2017 Diana Stakes win, Lady Eli paid out $3.90, $2.70, and $2.10. Quidura was worth $5.10 and $3.10 and5-2 Antonoe brought $2.60.

This win is what Lady Eli needed after losing to Queens Trust in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. It’s a reminder that she is not in a league of her own. Quidura will most definitely have the attention of both the oddsmakers and horse players, while Antonoe will certainly be a keen horse to watch given her curious finish in the 2017 Diana Stakes. The top flight competition Europe will be bound for Del Mar and the world championships, but runs like these will have the American turf fillies (and mares) poised to make it a serious competition

Twisted Tom 2017 Belmont Stakes

New Shooter Twisted Tom Enters Belmont

The Belmont Stakes will entertain a new shooter by the name of Twisted Tom. This three-year-old gelding out of Giant’s Causeway is fresh off a three-race win streak where he was last out winning the Private Terms and Frederico Tesio. He’s also trained by Chad Brown, who saw Cloud Computing claim the Preakness Stakes just a couple weeks ago.

Brown has been lightly drilling Twisted Tom ahead of the final leg of the Triple Crown and seems very enthusiastic about the gelding’s chances. “This horse has continued to improve all year, and more of the same today. It was a nice, strong work from him.” Brown continued that the Belmont Stakes is a, “huge class test for this horse, but I love the way he’s developed. I do think he can stay a mile and a half, I think the longer the better for him, so I’m anxious to get him out to that distance, but it’ll be a tough field, a large field.”

With Always Dreaming and Cloud Computing withdrawn from contention, the door is wide open for any number of contenders to take the 1 1/2 mile challenge at Belmont Park. Amongst those vying for the title are J Boys Echo, Tapwrit, Irish War Cry and Gormley. Classic Empire is expected to be the favorite.

Cloud Computing won the Preakness thanks in large part to being a new shooter, which Brown admitted was part of the strategy. Could this be the same tale weaving with new talent? It appears to be that way. Twisted Tom is an upward trending contender.”He appreciated the time after the win in the Tesio and has had a nice string of works since then, so the horse seems to be sitting on a new top again,” Brown said.

Despite the fact that his owners at Cobra Farm will have to pay a small $75,000 fee to run him in the Belmont, Twisted Tom appears bound for the race on June 10th and is undeniably a consideration amongst a pretty tight field. Brown may be working the system a little bit to his advantage, but results are results. For him…and for you.

Cloud Computing

Preakness Stakes Aftermath Part 1

The day after winning the Preakness Stakes (G1) in an upset, Cloud Computing was set to leave Baltimore and the Pimlico Race Course and return to his Belmont Park home. Trainer Chad Brown left the night before, but before leaving his discussed the possibility of Cloud Computing running in the Belmont Stakes (G1), the third and final leg of the Triple Crown. Cloud Computing

“We haven’t ruled it [Belmont Stakes] out,” said Brown. “We’re just going to evaluate the horse this week and probably by next weekend we may have a decision.”

As for Belmont Stakes runner-up, Classic Empire, his trainer Mark Casse said running in the Belmont Stakes is a possibility.

“Right now I’d say there’s a very good shot he’s going to run in the Belmont,” said Casse. “But we won’t make that (decision yet). We’ll see how he acts and does everything.”

If Classic Empire does run in the Belmont Stakes, Casse mentioned an equipment change could be in order, saying the removal of blinkers could keep his charge engaged. Casse believes Classic Empire, who was leading after the final turn, might have been caught off guard by Cloud Computing’s late surge.

“If I could do it all over again, the only thing I would do differently is I would take the blinkers off him. I’m not so sure how much he saw that horse coming,” said Casse. “He dug back in, but the other horse had some momentum on him, and if you watch him going on out, he took off again.”

Cloud Computing 2017 Preakness

Cloud Computing Upsets 2017 Preakness

The dream of a Triple Crown winner is over for this year. Cloud Computing stormed the backstretch of the 2017 Preakness Stakes to beat Classic Empire in a staggering upset. The 12/1 underdog bested the 2/1 second choice to finish with a time of 1:55.98, which happens to be the fastest time in five years.

Always Dreaming took the field out with a fantastic break from the gate, and dragged Classic Empire with him in to the first corner. Cloud Computing sat in third with 45/1 longshot Term of Art trailing in fourth. Nothing changed as Always Dreaming, a 6/5 favorite, ran out in front with Classic Empire shadowing him on the outside. The top-four remain unchanged for almost the entire race.

Everything changed drastically in the 2017 Preakness at the top of the final turn when Always Dreaming faded out of nowhere. He’d eventually finish eighth, but leave the door wide open for a surging Classic Empire who looked to have regained his championship form. The 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner was well on pace, but Cloud Computing came on strong and managed to outwork his opponent to win by a neck.

At 12/1, Cloud Computing was worth a strong $28.80, $8.60 and $6.00 across the board. Classic Empire delivered $4.40 and $4.00 in second while Senior Investment was a big payday for whomever backed him at 30/1 with a $10.20 payout.

Trianer Chad Brown admitted that running Cloud Computing on a lengthy rest in the 2017 Preakness after he skipped the Kentucky Derby was part of the long-term strategy, despite the fact that this may upset racing fans. “I’m not going to dispute the fact that I brought in a fresh horse as part of our strategy,” Brown said. “Our horse is very talented, too. Classic Empire and Always Dreaming are two outstanding horses and our strategy was, if we were going to ever beat them, let’s take them on two weeks’ rest when we have six, and it worked.”

As for Always Dreaming, it simply wasn’t his day. The three weeks he has to regroup for the Belmont Stakes may very well give him the recovery he needs to be a winner. But we’ll see. The 2017 Preakness may be a tad disappointing, but the Belmont could very well be a revenge song for Always Dreaming. It’s also apparent that Chad Brown thinks that the 1 1/2 mile distance would be too much for Cloud Computing. So there’s that.

 

 

Anchor Down has Smoking Speed in Cigar Mile at Aqueduct

Anchor Down Tries to Speed Ahead of Connect, Economic Model and Divining Rod in Cigar Mile

Anchor Down is the speed of the speed as the favorite in Saturday’s $500,000 Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct. But the gorgeous gray son of Tapit will be challenged by Connect (5-2) and another Tapit colt, Divining Rod (8-1). Trainer Todd Pletcher saved Anchor Down for this race instead of running in the Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Mile. Anchor Down beat Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Tamarkuz in his last race, the Kelso Handicap Oct. 8 at Belmont, going wire-to-wire and just missing the track record with his 1:32.90 time.

Anchor Down
Anchor Down

“He’s got good tactical speed and it seems like he’s proven that a one-turn mile is his favorite trip,” Pletcher said. “Anytime you can run a solid 1:33 mile, you’re in rarefied territory,” Pletcher said.

Connect (5-2) is a very strong challenger for trainer Chad Brown, and has something to prove facing older horses in stakes company for the first time. He’ll try to chase after Anchor Down, but the Curlin colt showed his speed against this year’s top 3-year olds when he won the $1.25 million Pennsylvania Derby last time out September 24. His strong rail rally around the turn saw him sail past Cupid and favorite Nyquist and he outkicked Gun Runner in the stretch to win over a top-heavy field that also included Preakness winner Exaggerator.

Connect cuts back her from that 1 1/8 mile win and shoots for his 5th win in six starts this year for trainer Chad Brown.

“He’s fine to cut back,” Brown said. “He won on Belmont Day in a (1 1/16 mile) allowance race going one turn and he looked good doing it, so I don’t think the move to one turn will bother him.”

Brown will also saddle Economic Model and Threefiveindia, both 6-1 and contenders. Economic Model was 2nd behind Breeders’ Cup Spring winner Drefong in the Kings Bishop Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in August. He could benefit from the speed up front and showed a solid closing kick passing horses in the stretch in the Kings Bishop.

But a horse with value that will get overlooked a big in the field of 10 is Divining Rod (8-1), another Tapit Colt. Divining Rod chased Noble Bird around in the Fayette last out when Noble Bird set a track record at Keeneland going 1 1/8 miles. Divining Rod adds blinkers for trainer Arnaud Delacour, a strong conditioner who switches back to the jockey Daniel Centeno, who won both races aboard Divining Rod at Parx in September. Divining Rod also finished third to American Pharoah in the 2015 Preakness., and should be in your exotics as a solid speed horse in good form. He’s finished in the money in 11 of 12 starts and is 2-1-0 in three starts this year.

Cigar Mile H. (gr. I)

Aqueduct Racetrack, Saturday, November 26, 2016, Race 10 (4:20 ET)

 

 

PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1

Anchor Down (KY)

Jose L. Ortiz 121 Todd A. Pletcher 2/1
2 2

Economic Model (KY)

Joel Rosario 116 Chad C. Brown 6/1
3 3

Realm (VA)

Paco Lopez 114 Barclay Tagg 20/1
4 4

Mylute (KY)

Eric Cancel 114 Ralph E. Nicks 30/1
5 5

Ocean Knight (KY)

John R. Velazquez 119 Kiaran P. McLaughlin 10/1
6 6

Tale of S’avall (KY)

Manuel Franco 114 Barclay Tagg 20/1
7 7

Connect (KY)

Javier Castellano 118 Chad C. Brown 5/2
8 8

War Story (KY)

Antonio A. Gallardo 116 Mario Serey, Jr. 50/1
9 9

Threefiveindia (KY)

Irad Ortiz, Jr. 116 Chad C. Brown 6/1
10 10

Divining Rod (KY)

Daniel Centeno 119 Arnaud Delacour 8/1

 

Deeply Undervalued is Best in Commonwealth Derby

Deeply Undervalued and Commonwealth Derby Day Payoff at Laurel Park

Saturday’s Commonwealth Day at was a big success at Laurel Park. And the featured race saw Deeply Undervalued take the outside path down the lane and rally from eight lengths back to win the $200,000 Commonwealth Derby (G2) by a length. Isoterm was second in blanket finish, a head in front of He’ll Pay, who was a nose better than the 7/5 favorite, American Patriot in fourth. Revved, the co-second choice finished fifth.

Deeply Undervalued, off at 6-1, is a Kitten’s Joy colt. She ran 9 furlongs on the firm turf in 1:46.63 for jockey Manny Franco. Making improvement through six starts, Deeply Undervalued made a big jump in class for Saturday’s Derby and delivered a top effort.

“It was a nice win,” said winning trainer Chad Brown. “I’m really proud of Manny and the way he rode this horse. We’ve been really high on this horse and it’s nice to win this following up his summer campaign. He got a great trip and a patient ride.”

Deeply Undervalued settled into eighth place, behind fractions of :23.58, :47.69, and 1:11.94 through six furlongs set by Franklin Towers. After a three-wide move in the final turn, however, the colt found room on the outside and surged by the frontrunners.

“I just let him be comfortable after he stumbled a little bit,” Manuel said of the trip. “I tried to be covered up, but when it was time to move, I took him to the outside and he made a big run.”

The winner paid $15.40, $7.60, and $4.80 across the board. Isotherm brought $5 and $4.20, and He’ll Pay delivered $8 to show.

Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, Deeply Undervalued now has a 2-3-0 record from six starts with $213,132 in earnings.

Earlier in the card, Stuart Janney’s homebred My Impression put together one of the more impressive performances of the day with a 3 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 Commonwealth Oaks (G3).

Late-blooming 5-year-old Blacktype (FR) won his third race in a row and second straight graded stakes when he turned in a record-setting performance to beat longshot Top of Mine and favored Force the Pass by a half-length Saturday at Laurel Park in the Grade 2, $200,000 Commonwealth Turf Cup. Blacktype (7/2) rallied along the rail in the 1 mile race and hit the wire in 1:33.43 to break the 10-year old record by nearly one full second.

Following Pennsylvania Derby Win, Connect Has Eyes on Breeders’ Cup

Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) winner Connect came out of his upset winning race over Gun Runner fine and his trainer Chad Brown is of the mindset that the Breeders’ Cup is under consideration for his next race. Brown was thrilled with Connect’s win, which he watched from Belmont Park.

He should be thrilled, and impressed, as Connect, who is the son of Curlin, beat out a tough field that included Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist and Preakness Stakes champion Exaggerator.

“He has only run one bad race (the Travers) and he came out of it with a lung infection,” said Brown. “(Owner Paul Pompa Jr.) felt it was a legitimate excuse and he pushed to run in the Pennsylvania Derby. I’m glad he did.”

It was Connect’s first graded stakes win. He had won his first three races of 2016, one of which was the July 29 Curlin Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. In his last graded stakes event, the Travers Stakes (gr. I) on August 27, Connect finished sixth.

“We always thought a lot of Connect,” said Brown. “He’s a horse that took a while to come around. He had a couple of minor injuries along the way and he finally showed yesterday what we thought all along about him—that he could be a top 3-year-old dirt horse.

“We’re very excited about him. So far he looks OK and we’ll form a plan in the days to come. The Breeders’ Cup will be considered, but there are other races as well and other routes we can take with him. He’s definitely an exciting horse for the future.”

2016 Beverly D Stakes

Sea Calisi Peerless In Beverly D Stakes

Four-year old filly Sea Calisi was marvelous in capturing the 2016 Beverly D Stakes this past weekend. The trainee of Chad Brown, ridden by Florent Geroux, was pitch perfect on the turf track and earned entry to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. It was a giant win for owner Martin Schwartz as well.

Elusive Million was the surprise leader out of the gates, but at 97/1 it was only a matter of time before she faded in to obscurity. Pressuring her in second was Zipessa, a very promising 10/1 outside shot. Coolmore and Ballydore jockeyed for third and fourth at a nominal 5/1 mark in the Beverly D Stakes for much of the early phases.

Everything changed as the field burst around the final corner. Zipessa had made her move during the turn and overtaken the lead, but Sea Calisi began to erupt and found a gear that no other rival could match. Even more shockingly, Al’s Gal swept around the outside from dead last to finish second. The 2016 Beverly D Stakes is a must-see video (below) simply to witness the closing speed of Sea Calisi.

“They work well as a team,” Brown noted when speaking of Geroux and Sea Calisi. “We’re lucky to have Marty and lucky to have her.” The whole team was obviously ecstatic after watching such a thrilling race. It sets up the late-blooming four-year old to become an absolute killer in the mare category next year. Her connections know that she’s a truly special horse.

Martin Schwartz echoed this sentiment following the Beverly D Stakes win. “It’s a great race and great people. It’s a beautiful race track with a good surface. Other than being out in the parking lot to start (post 13)…but Florent came and we couldn’t be more overjoyed.”

With the victory at the 2016 Beverly D Stakes, Sea Calisi paid $4.20, $3.40, and $2.60 across the board. Al’s Gal was the cash cow of the day at $10.40 and $6.40 in second. Zipessa returned $7.20 in third place.

 

Lady Eli

Lady Eli Steadily Improving In Recovery

Undefeated four-year old filly, Lady Eli, returned to work at Belmont Park over the weekend as she makes her comeback from the laminitis that has held her out of competition for an entire year. The Sheep Pond Partners product covered four furlongs in :52 1/5. It was her first work since March 21 at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida. Thankfully, everything seemed to go well and it won’t be long before we see this legend back on the track.

Trainer Chad Brown was quick to pump the brakes on the excitement. “She went fine,” the trainer noted. ” It was a slow work—about :52 and change—but we just wanted to stretch her legs and see how she reacted. Next we we’ll start to pick it up with her. We’re being careful with her because we have a long way to go.”

There was buzz in the air back in the spring when reports emerged that the Lady Eli would participate in the Beaugay Stakes on May 14th, but Brown and his team noticed some immflamuation that caused them to rest the champion further. “We backed off and gave her some time walking. We took our time with her and then moved her to New York,” Brown recalled. “Since she arrived at Belmont, she has been jogging and walking, and her tendons have been good. We gave her a little extra galloping to make sure she had enough foundation.”

The plan for now is to get her back to Saratoga Racecourse and determine her next competition. “She will go to Saratoga,” Brown continued. “We kept her here last summer because she was battling laminitis. If we’re going to run her at Saratoga we’d like to get her settled in up there. Hopefully if everything goes well by end of July, she’ll have a handful of works under her belt.”

Since making her maiden special weight debut in August 2014, Lady Eli has gone on to win the Miss Grillo, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filles Turf, Appalachian, Wonder Again and the Belmont Oaks. With her recovery well on its way, it will only be a matter of time before we see her on the track doing what she does best.

 

Gulfstream Park hosts the Sunshine Millions Turf

Sunshine Millions Turf Continues At Gulfstream

The Sunshine Millions Turf will run at Gulfstream Park this season, meaning that only Florida-bred horses will be eligible. This ungraded stakes race is a 1 1/16 mile haul for 4+ year old males, and offers a rewarding purse of $150,000. It’s a great opportunity for handicappers to get a grip on some of the lesser known runners out there.

Leading the charge from the posts will be Chad C. Brown’s Fundamental, who is still searching for his first win. A second place finish at the Commonwealth Derby (GR2) showed promise for the now four-year old colt in the fall portion of the 2015 season, but he tapered off throughout the later parts of the year. Fundamental placed 5th at the Bryan Station Stakes and 4th at the Hollywood Derby (GR1).

Brown has already picked up two wins as a trainer this season at a pair of grade-three stakes races. Flexibility clobbered the field at the Jerome Stakes and Life Imitates Art won the Dania Beach Stakes. He’s hoping that Fundamental will start to show the promise he once did back in September.

Rizwan looks to be one of the main challengers to star in the winner’s circle this weekend, and his experience at this track will certainly play a factor. The Florida mainstay ran 11 races in Florida last season, and 10 of those were at Gulfstream Park. Rizwan picked up victories at a February allowance and The English Channel and his overall experience will draw some action his way, despite drawing the inside post.

Old Time Hockey will also run at the Sunshine Millions Turf. Now a seven-year old, the son of Smarty Jones has been a star within the lower tiers. He bested One Step Salsa and Rizwan at a turf allowance last November, and is a favourite amongst Florida bettors. He picked up a win at the Turf Classic Stakes in Tampa after placing second in the Tampa Bay Stakes and the Challenger Stakes.

Reporting Star, who is known to travel north of the border to compete at Woodbine, will snowbird down in Florida as well. He finished fourth in the aforementioned turf allowance that Old Time Hockey won, and will look to secure his first victory since last August when the Play The King (GR2). Reporting Star is more of a sprinter than a long distance challenger, so it might be best to stray away from him at the Sunshine Millions Turf.

There’s good reason to at least keep track of the Sunshine Millions Turf results when the race runs this Saturday, January 16th. It’s an easy way to get a lead on a class of older horses that run in a popular circuit of stakes races down in the Sunshine State.