Special Envoy chases down Rose Brier in Edward Evans

June 24, 2017 01:22pm
Special Envoy wins 2017 Edward Evans
Photo: Maryland Jockey Club

Chasing heavy favorite Rose Brier from the outset, Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone’s Special Envoy reeled in the defending champion after a stretch-long duel and got his nose down on the wire to win Saturday’s $75,000 Edward Evans at Laurel Park.
The one-mile Edward Evans for 3-year-olds and up was the first of four stakes restricted to Virginia-bred/sired horses on the 11-race ‘Class on the Grass’ program, joined by the $75,000 Nellie Mae Cox at one mile and the $75,0000 White Oak Farm and $75,000 M. Tyson Gilpin, each at 5 ½ furlongs.
Also run over Laurel’s world-class turf course Saturday were the $75,000 Mister Diz for 3-year-olds and up and the $75,000 Jameela for fillies and mares 3 and older, both at six furlongs for Maryland-bred/sired horses.
Special Envoy ($5.80), under jockey Daniel Centeno, completed the distance in 1:34.38 over a firm All Along Turf Course to earn his first stakes victory in 20 career starts. He had finished behind Rose Brier in their last four stakes meetings, including a length loss in last year’s Evans.
“Not to take anything away from Rose Brier. He’s a nice horse and he’s very accomplished; it was just a great performance today,” winning trainer Arnaud Delacour said. “I didn’t tell much to Centeno. He knows the horse and he knows that if you let Rose Brier have an easy lead and don’t challenge, you can’t catch him. He did a great job, and the horse was game today. He was sharp enough to get position and the rest played out perfect.”
Rose Brier, an 8-year-old gelding with four previous stakes wins at Laurel, was sent off as the 1-5 favorite in a field of six with Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado aboard. They broke from Post 3 and raced on the rail through fractions of 24.03 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 47.86 for a half and six furlongs in 1:10.58 with Special Envoy just off his right flank.
The top two continued to separate from their rivals around the far turn and straightened for home a length apart. Rose Brier began to inch away in mid-stretch until Special Envoy responded to Centeno’s steady encouragement and kept driving to the finish.
“The only speed in the race was the favorite so we just had to break and stay close to him and not let him go too easy. We went pretty easy the first quarter and after the half-mile pole he started to pick it up and I had to chase him, and I think he just got a little tired at the end. Both horses were fighting all the way to the wire,” Centeno said. “It looked like I was going to go by him and then the other horse kind of re-broke a little bit and got away by like a half-length. Every time I tried to get there he was moving away from me until the end.”
It was 5 ¼ lengths back to Speed Gracer in third followed by Jump Ship, Officer’s Oath and Irsaal. Galaxy Express was scratched.
“I thought he was going to get there. He’s a little tricky because he always lays in a little bit, so it took a while for Danny to straighten him out,” Delcour said. “But once he was in the clear, he was really running for sure.”
Queen Caroline Reigns Again in $75,000 Nellie Mae Cox
Amy Moore’s multiple stakes winner Queen Caroline set a leisurely pace before sprinting away from her competition in the lane to defend her title with a front-running 1 ¼-length victory in the $75,000 Nellie Mae Cox.
Queen Caroline ($3.60), favored at 4-5 over her eight rivals, won for the first time since having her four-race win streak snapped in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) last fall. She opened this year with a pair of off-the-board finishes, most recently running fourth in the Gallorette (G3) May 20 at historic Pimlico Race Course.
“This was the third race after we gave her a layoff, and it was good race to give her a lot of confidence,” winning trainer Michael Matz said. “We ran against some pretty good fillies so far, so hopefully she can continue on.”
Regular rider Alex Cintron sent Queen Caroline to the front from Post 8 and they cruised through the opening quarter in 25.16 seconds and a half in 49.75. Long shot Andrasta gave early chase before fading and Armoire split horses to launch a mild bid in the stretch but was no match for the winner, who hit the wire in 1:36.24 on the All Along layout.        
Armoire stayed up for second, with Complete St. third and Secret Or Not, the 2016 Nellie Mae Cox runner-up, fourth.
Tiz Our Time Goes the Distance $75,000 White Oak Farm
Sam E English II’s Tiz Our Time, the lone female in a field of eight, inherited a lead none of her rivals seemed to want and had plenty left to put them away in the stretch for a four-length upset in the $75,000 White Oak Farm.
It was the first time in 15 races Tiz Our Time ($23.80), a 5-year-old daughter of Tiz Wonderful, crossed the wire first, completing the distance in 1:02.09 over the Fort Marcy layout. Her only previous victory came two starts back when she finished second but was elevated to the win via disqualification in a Feb. 1 maiden special weight at Charles Town.
Jockey Jevian Toledo, given the mount for the first time by trainer Pete Twisdale, was able to relax Tiz Our Time on the front end despite going 22.98 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and a half in 45.08. Two Notch Road, the 10-year-old defending champion, took a stalking position to her outside with Available, third in last year’s White Oak Farm, right behind.
“The strategy was to try to be close, but I didn’t see anybody want to go to the lead so I took it,” Toledo said. “As soon as I asked her in the stretch she responded right away, and she tried really hard.”
Lawyer Dave, at 14-1, closed late to be second with Lime House Louie, winner of the 2016 Jamestown against state-breds last fall at Laurel, third. Two Notch Road, favored at 6-5, finished fifth.
Do What I Say Rolls Late in $75,000 M. Tyson Gilpin
R Larry Johnson homebred Do What I Say powered down the center of the track to catch front-running Awake the Day and edge clear late to win the $75,000 M. Tyson Gilpin in 1:01.80 over the firm All Along layout.
It was the second stakes win of the day for jockey Alex Cintron following Queen Caroline’s victory in the Nellie Mae Cox, and the first for 4-year-old Street Magician filly Do What I Say ($27) in just her seventh lifetime start.
“In her last two starts everything that could have gone wrong, did,” winning trainer Mike Trombetta said. “Today she caught a break.”
Do What I Say raced in between horses down the backstretch and Cintron needed to check slightly when 30-1 long shot Kloonie hit the brakes in front of him. They angled to the fence and then swung wide for a stretch run, rallying to win by a length.
Sister Says closed stoutly on the far outside to get second at 35-1, with Ring Knocker third. Multiple stakes winner and 3-5 favorite Rapid Rhythm was never in contention and finished seventh.

Source: Maryland Jockey Club


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