Mechanicville, N.Y. native Chad Brown will saddle a pair of talented
runners in the Grade 2, $300,000 Knob Creek Lake Placid on Saturday at
Saratoga Race Course.
Knob Creek Lake Placid, for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf,
is part of an 11-race program that also features the Grade 1, $600,000
a Coolmore-owned daughter of Smart Strike, heads the Brown tandem. The
chestnut filly captured the inaugural Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Oaks
Invitational in her latest outing on July 5 at Belmont Park, when she
tracked a modest pace over "good" ground and drew off to win by two
by Aidan O'Brien during her 2-year-old campaign, Minorette had modest
success racing in Ireland before arriving in the United States for her
sophomore season. The Brown trainee began the year with a third-place
finish in a first-level allowance race at Keeneland and finished second,
beaten a half-length, in the Wonder Again Stakes - the local prep for
the Belmont Oaks.
difference between the Belmont Oaks and the Wonder Again was the trip
she got," said Brown. "Joel [Rosario] moved too soon and too wide [in
the Wonder Again] and he knew it. He told me, 'Keep me on the horse and
we'll win the Belmont Oaks.'"
Rosario will be back aboard Minorette and the pair will leave from post 6.
French-bred Xcellence will be making her first start in the Brown barn
and second stateside run. Her first outing in the country came in the
Belmont Oaks for previous trainer Francois Doumen, in which she finished
fourth as the 3-1 second choice.
began her year by winning the Group 3 Prix Imprudence at
Maisons-Laffitte in France, before finishing third in a pair of Group 1
races: the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and the Prix de Diane Longines.
After the Prix de Diane, the bay filly was purchased privately by owner
daughter of Canadian International winner Champs Elysees enters the
Lake Placid off a string of three consecutive bullet works over the
Oklahoma turf training course.
saw her training prior to the Belmont Oaks and she looked good," said
Brown. "She's a great addition to the barn. She's entering the race in
good shape and has been training very well. I think the Lake Placid is a
good fit for her."
Joe Bravo has the mount on Xcellence and the duo will depart from post 4.
regally bred Crown Queen, a half-sister to champion mare Royal Delta
who fetched $1.6 million as a yearling, will make her stakes debut on
Saturday for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. Great expectations have
always surrounded the daughter of Smart Strike, but she failed to live
up to the hype in her 2-year-old season, finishing the year with a pair
of third-place finishes.
racing prospects changed in a hurry in her 3-year-old debut. The Besilu
Stables-owned filly tracked a moderate pace over "good" ground at
Belmont and drew off to a commanding 2 ½-length victory. Her next start
came on July 20 at the Spa, and was every bit as convincing as her
maiden breaker. The Mott trainee settled in midpack in the 1 3/16-mile
turf affair and pulled away in the stretch to win by four lengths,
completing the distance in a sparkling 1:52.19.
Hall of Famer John Velazquez has the mount on Crown Queen and the pair will break from post 5.
out the field are Duff One, sixth in the Grade 2 Lake George on July
23, and V V Goodnight, fourth-place finisher in an optional claimer at
Arlington Park in her most recent outing. My Miss Sophia is entered main