de Grace put his nose on the wire first to win a riveting edition of
the Grade 3, $300,000 Bay Shore over Oliver Zip on Saturday at Aqueduct
Photo: Chelsea Durand, NYRA
by Chad Brown for Fox Hill Farms, the son of Tapit broke a tad slowly
and settled near the back of the pack for jockey Javier Castellano
behind a torrid pace set by Favorite Tale. After an opening quarter-mile
in 22.55 seconds, Coup de Grace began his advance entering the far turn
and continued to build momentum through a half in 45.27. Spun five wide
into the stretch, the Brown trainee exchanged bumps with runner-up
Oliver Zip at the head of the lane, and the two continued to battle to
the finish while passing the languishing front-runners. On the wire,
Coup de Grace proved best by a nose over his determined rival, while it
was another half-length back to race favorite Kobe's Back in third.
way I handicapped the race, it was a lot of speed," said Castellano.
"Chad [Brown] and I talked about the race and we tried to take advantage
of a lot of speed in the race. We tried to come from behind, quicken up
a little bit. The distance, seven-eighths, I think he's a
come-from-behind horse. He didn't break sharply, and it worked out great
for me. I was able to relax behind horses. He finished very strongly
de Grace began his career in promising fashion on November 9 at the Big
A, defeating next-out winner Unknown Road at six furlongs. Stretched
out to a mile in his next start, the precocious colt responded to the
challenge, defeating the well-regarded Hy Kodiak Warrior by a length at
Gulfstream Park. The effort was good enough to land him a spot in the
Grade 2 Holy Bull on January 25 at Gulfstream, but mid-race trouble cost
him all chance of winning. Rather than forge ahead on the Triple Crown
trail, Brown and company regrouped and plotted a new campaign for their
talented colt. The two-month freshening and return to sprinting proved
to be the perfect combination, as he covered the seven furlongs in a
Coup de Grace boosted his career earnings to $248,100 for Fox Hill Farms and returned $16.20 on a $2 win bet.
a poor break left him at the back of the field, jockey Corey Nakatani
had little else but to pray for a fierce duel to unfold in front of him
aboard Kobe's Back. The blistering pace materialized, but Nakatani and
Kobe's Back ran out of ground late and had to settle for third.
slipped a little bit when he broke," said Nakatani. "He actually broke
kind of hard and it slipped away from him. He's a horse that obviously
has a lot of talent. He ran at Oaklawn, shipped back home, came back
here - he's done a lot of traveling, so he may not have run his best
race, but he gave a good effort. All the traveling that he's done had to
take a little wind out of his sails. We'll get 'em next time."
was another half-length back to The Admiral in fourth, with
Charleymillionaire, Financial Mogul, Favorite Tale, and Loki's Vengeance
completing the order of finish.