Off L and N's big weekend, Tone Broke aims at Jockey Club Derby

August 20, 2019 04:38pm
Off L and N's big weekend, Tone Broke aims at Jockey Club Derby
Photo: Julia Ferreira/HRN

After sweeping the final two legs of Canada’s Triple Crown series, Tone Broke will look to finish another high-profile series of races on a winning note, this time in the United States.

Michael Levinson, manager for owner L and N Racing, said the 3-year-old son of Broken Vow — if invited — will target the finale for New York’s new Turf Trinity, the $1 million Jockey Club Derby on Sept. 7 at Belmont Park.

“I think the turf race, just because of the money, would be No. 1 on our list,” Levinson said.

Tone Broke began his roll in Canada by returning from a third in the Queen’s Plate to win Fort Erie’s July 23 Prince of Wales on the dirt. The Steve Asmussen trainee then made his debut on grass a successful one, winning Woodbine’s Breeders’ Stakes last Saturday at the same 12-furlong distance as the Jockey Club Derby.

“It was pretty surprising,” Levinson said. “Obviously it was restricted to Ontario-breds, but I think the way in which he won the race was very, very impressive — getting caught in on the rail, having to shift out about five paths and re-rallying the last eighth of the mile.”

Tone Broke defeated He’s a Macho Man and Avie’s Flatter, the latter having earlier this season captured Keeneland’s Transylvania (G3) in more open company, evidencing some class in this year’s Triple Crown fields.

The first big turf winner from L and N — which campaigns the 2017 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee — has a dirt option in his future as well. Remington Park hosts its Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sept. 29.

Tone Broke’s Breeders’ Stakes score began a big weekend for the family ownership group capped with a wire-to-wire score in Sunday’s Ellis Park Juvenile by 2-year-old Rowdy Yates.

“I think that’s probably the best edition of the Ellis Park Juvenile in the three of four years we’ve won it,” Levinson said.

“The (Kentucky) Derby, obviously, would be incredible to go back to. Right now I want to visually see him go around the two turns and see if he can get 8 1/2 furlongs.”

Churchill Downs hosts the Grade 3, $200,000 Iroquois Stakes — regularly the kickoff to the Derby points series of races — on Sept. 14. Rowdy Yates, a son of Morning Line, could appear next in that spot or head to Remington Park for its series of 2-year-old races.

Bringing things full circle, Tone Broke ran three times at the Oklahoma track as a juvenile, culminating with a fourth in the Springboard Mile, another Derby points prep.


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