Brown: Time is right for Regal Glory to take on the boys

Brown: Time is right for Regal Glory to take on the boys
Photo: Sue Kawczynski / Eclipse Sportswire

Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

All she does is win. Just check out the resume of the more-than-classy 6-year-old mare named Regal Glory and you can figure that out. Especially look at her record since 2021.

Eight starts. Six wins. Three Grade 1s.

The daughter of Animal Kingdom has had a field day against her own kind, so now comes a new challenge. Trainer Chad Brown will run Regal Glory against the boys for the first time in the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday.

Four males are signed up to take on Regal Glory, the 6-5 morning line favorite in the one-mile race on the Mellon Turf course. Included in that group is the 2-1 second choice on the morning line, Masen (GB), also trained by Brown.

“I’ve been pointing to this race for awhile,” Brown said, sitting in his office at his barn on the Oklahoma Training Track. “I think, giving her new challenges to face at this stage of her career seems like the appropriate thing to do. Trying against the boys in a very prestigious race … I just think she deserves the opportunity.”

Regal Glory last raced on June 11 – Belmont Stakes Day – when she won the Just A Game Stakes (G1) by 3 1/2 lengths. Before that, on April 16 at Keeneland, Regal Glory took down another Grade 1, the Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland, by a length.

In her first start this year, she won the Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf Invitational (G3) at Gulfstream Park. There can be debate, but there is no question, she is the leader of her division.

So, why not take on the boys?

“Scheduling. Distance of the race. The kind of form she is in,” Brown said. “It was a careful decision and I just think the time is right. She is doing great. She has never looked better or trained better.”

Before the year is out, Brown hopes that Regal Glory will find her way into the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland on November 5. The final piece of what Brown hopes is a championship season would culminate with an Eclipse Award.

Yes, Regal Glory has been that good. The Fourstradave is a Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” qualifier. The winner is offered an automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Regal Glory, who will be ridden by regular rider Jose Ortiz, is familiar with Saratoga as she is unbeaten in three starts on the Spa lawn. She won a pair of Grade 3 races, the Lake George and Lake Placid, in 2019 and the De La Rose last summer.

Brown has trained the marvelous mare for all 19 of her career starts, 12 of which have been wins.

Originally, Regal Glory was owned by Paul P. Pompa Jr., who also bred her. Pompa passed away suddenly at the age of October 2020.

The following January, the Keeneland sale included 39 horses – among them, Regal Glory – in the complete dispersal of Pompa’s stable.

One of Brown’s biggest owners, Peter Brant, stepped in and paid $925,000 for Regal Glory, who, at that time, had not won a Grade 1.

“It was his idea,” Brown said. “He had gotten to know Mr. Pompa and formed a bit of a friendship with him around my barn and the races. Mr. Brant admired his program. It was not large in numbers, but it was always quality and Paul managed it himself. When he sadly passed, Mr. Brant indicated to me that he really wanted to buy something out of his dispersal to sort of keep his legacy going and have a piece of this great stable that he built.”

Brant had his eyes fixed on Regal Glory.

“He raced against her a lot with his horses and he always admired her and thought she was a great racehorse who had even further potential to develop as years went on,” Brown said. “I wasn’t so sure. I knew she was talented, but he loved her pedigree and he loved everything about her. Mr. Brant is an outstanding horseman. He was adamant about trying to buy this horse and keep her racing, and he was right.”

2022 Fourstardave Handicap (G1)

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