Undefeated champion Awesome Feather returned from her victory
in Thursday’s Nasty Storm overnight stakes in fine fettle, reported
trainer Chad Brown, and will train up to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup
Ladies’ Classic on November 2 at Santa Anita.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
“She was good this morning,” said Brown of the 4-year-old
filly, who earned a 108 Beyer Speed Figure for her 11 ¼-length victory in the
Nasty Storm. “She was definitely sharp off a layoff, but switched off
nicely. They were rolling up front; the pace was fast enough where she
wouldn’t necessarily be pulling.”
Brown said that owner Frank Stronach obviously was very happy at Thursday’s
“He said, ‘Great job, just do whatever you think is right
with the horse. It would be wonderful if you could make Santa Anita, but put
the filly first,’” said Brown. “So I’m going to
continue to do that. Hopefully, she keeps herself in good order and is nice and
healthy and sound and we’ll bring her to Santa Anita.”
The 2010 juvenile filly champion had been training at Saratoga Race
Course but will remain at Belmont
to prepare for the 1 1/8-mile Ladies’ Classic, said Brown.
“She’s trained well here – she trained for the [Grade
1] Gazelle here – so she knows her way around,” he said.
“With the weather, I’m going to leave her here. It’s a little
Looking ahead to the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational on Super
Saturday, September 29, Brown will run both Dream
Peace, second in her American debut behind Winter Memories in the
Grade 1 Diana for trainer Robert Collet, and Zagora,
who rebounded from a third in the Diana to set a Saratoga course record in the
Grade 2 Ballston Spa presented by Jose Cuervo.
“Zagora came out of the race really well,” he said.
“She ran fast, which always concerns you, but she’s had plenty of
time. She’s moving so smooth. I brought her down to Belmont and I’m very impressed with the
way she’s been galloping down here. She’s a filly that’s been
pretty consistent since I’ve had her, but with all these horses, as
consistent as they look in their races, in their training they have good
stretches and so-so stretches. Right now, she’s moving as good as
I’ve ever seen her move. You get a feel whether they’re doing good,
or doing real good, and she’s doing real good.”
Unlike Dream Peace, who ran in five straight races at the Flower Bowl
distance prior to the Diana, Zagora will be making her first start beyond 1 1/8
miles since a second-place finish in the Grade 2 New York in June, 2011.
“She can go 1 ¼ miles,” said Brown. “She’s done
it over in Europe, she’s done it here.
The question is, can she run her best race at 1 ¼ miles? Is she a Grade 1 horse
at 1 ¼ miles? After the [Ballston Spa] I was leaning towards the Spinster
[Grade 1, 1 1/8 miles, Keeneland]. But when I watch her moving, I think
she’s absolutely in career form right now, physically, so that I’m
willing to try 1 ¼ miles again because she is doing so well. The distance of
the Spinster looks appealing, but I’d rather take my chances on the turf
and go a little farther than she wants to go than go for the unknown on the
Brown added that Center Divider,
the Grade 1 Man o’ War runner-up who most recently was seventh in the
Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational, will skip the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf
Classic Invitational to await the Grade 3 Knickerbocker on Saturday, October