We had three Breeders’ Cup Challenge races on Saturday and the winners came away looking like prime contenders for the year-end championship event which will be held at Santa Anita on Nov. 1-2.
Trainer Chad Brown capped off an unbelievable day by sending out Bricks and Mortar to win the $1 million Arlington Million, the trainer sweeping the three Grade 1 races on the Arlington Park card.
Bricks and Mortar was sent off as the short-priced favorite in the field of nine and did not disappoint, winning by three-quarters of a length and returning his backers $3.00. The colt earned a fee-expenses trip to the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). He earned a 103 Beyer Speed Figure according to The Daily Racing Form.
The five-year-old is now perfect in five starts in 2019, and the victory was his fourth Grade 1 win on the year. He kicked off his year by winning the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), followed by the Muniz Memorial Handicap (G2) at Fair Grounds, the Old Forrester (G1) at Churchill Downs, the Manhattan (G1) at Belmont Park, and the Million on Saturday.
“The first time I got on him we won by a neck, but I knew how much he had left and how special he was,” said his jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. “The rest has been history. I never worry about anyone else in the race with this horse, I just concentrate on him and let him take me where he wants. When I ask for him he’s there for me every time.”
Arlington Million Replay
Bricks and Mortar is currently listed at 7-1 in early wagering for the Breeders’ Cup Turf at USRacing. Enable is the current favorite at 2-1.
Sistercharlie gave Brown his fifth consecutive victory in the $600,000 Beverly D. (G1). The filly came with a good late rally to win by three lengths and return $2.80 while defending her title. She earned a 105 Beyer Speed Figure.
Her stablemate Thais opened up a big lead and headed for home in front but got leg weary and weakened to finish fifth.
“I wasn’t worried at all [about Thais],” winning jockey John Velazquez said. “I was a little worried about the fillies from Europe. We had one in front and one behind me, but I had all the confidence in the world in [Sistercharlie]. She always takes care of business.”
Beverly D. Replay
The outing was just her second start in 2019. She won the Diana (G1) at Saratoga on July 13 in her first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) last November at Churchill Downs.
The victory stamped her free ticket to this year’s Filly & Mare Turf where she will attempt to defend her title. She won last year’s Diana and Beverly D. in route to her Breeders’ Cup victory. She is the current favorite in future wagering for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at USRacing at 3-1.
Chad Brown also saddled Valid Point to win the $500,000 Secretariat (G1) and Café Americano to win the $100,000 Pucker Up (G3) to close out the Arlington Park card. The All-Brown Pick 4 paid $55.00 for a $1 ticket.
At Saratoga on Saturday, Brown saddled three runners in the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap (G1) and did not win, running second, third and fifth behind the Mark Casse trained Got Stormy.
Got Stormy saved ground early, came with a three wide bid and finished strongly to win by 2 ½ lengths and produce a course record. The filly beat the boys and returned $12.00 with Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard for the win.
The filly was coming back off just a week rest, winning the De La Rose on Aug. 3.
“She’s a monster,” said Santana, Jr. “I had plenty of horse at the sixteenth pole. I wanted to make sure she opened up so when I passed first, I made sure she was on her game. She really ran a big race.”
She earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure for her win. She gained a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) bit could end up in the Filly & Mare Turf.
There are two Breeders’ Cup Challenge races coming up next Saturday—The $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (G2) and the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (G1).