Trainer Chad Brown has had trifectas in major turf races, notably in last Saturday’s Diana (G1), but Friday’s $130,500 Lake George (G3) marked a novel twist. Brown was the only one left with runners after the withdrawals of The Mackem Bullet, Stillwater Cove, Winter Sunset, and main-track-only Espresso Shot.
Thus the Saratoga feature turned into an intramural skirmish, and Regal Glory won bragging rights over Blowout and Dogtag. In this case, sweeping the top three wasn’t synonymous with a trifecta, since betting on the 9TH race proper was limited to win wagering.
A homebred campaigned by Paul Pompa Jr., Regal Glory was the least fancied at 2-1, despite bringing respectable form. The daughter of Animal Kingdom and Grade 2 vixen Mary’s Follies (second in the 2009 Lake George) was coming off a comprehensive victory in the Penn Oaks, and earlier, she’d finished runner-up in both the Sweetest Chant (G3) and the Appalachian (G2).
Blowout was slightly favored over Dogtag, each going off at 6-5, and the fillies ran in order of their odds much of the way. With Dogtag tracking, and Regal Glory in a close third, Blowout carved out splits of :24.99, :48.66, and 1:12.82 on the firm inner turf.
Dogtag made a brief bid on the inside down the lane, but Blowout rebuffed her. Then Regal Glory was unleashed wider out by Luis Saez, and Blowout could not resist. Regal Glory collared her by a half-length while finishing the mile in 1:36.23.
The Lake George field was expected to lose two entrants, with Wesley Ward’s Stillwater Cove at Del Mar for Saturday’s San Clemente (G2) and Espresso Shot needing the race to be rained off. The surprise was Ward’s also scratching The Mackem Bullet (with a foot issue according to Daily Racing Form’s David Grening) and Wayne Catalano opting to withdraw Winter Sunset.
By going one better than her dam, Regal Glory improved her scorecard to 6-4-2-0, $356,750. The chestnut captured her first two in turf sprints as a juvenile, a Belmont Park maiden and Aqueduct’s Stewart Manor S. Regal Glory stretched out at Gulfstream Park, where she was best of the rest behind A Little Bit Special in the Sweetest Chant. She also found one too good in the Appalachian, The Mackem Bullet. But she made a statement in the Penn Oaks and continued her progress here.
The Kentucky-bred becomes the second graded winner produced by Mary’s Follies. The More Than Ready mare is also responsible multiple Grade 3 scorer Night Prowler.
Quotes from NYRA
Trainer Chad Brown on sending out all three runners: “It’s never happened before and it’ll probably never happen again, so it was definitely unusual, but we’re happy. All three fillies seemed to run well, and Regal Glory just had a little more today.
“This time around, what I did was I told all the jockeys, ‘Look, just try to ride your own race and do the best you can to win. Outside of that, if you want to talk to your individual clients or representatives that are here today, please do so and draw up a plan.’ I didn’t give any instructions other than that. I thought that was the fairest way to do it, only because it was my horses in the race. As it turns out, I thought all three fillies ran pretty well.
“I thought these horses were so close. Maybe the odds were a little off, but these horses are so close, that’s why they were all in this race. I do my best to really treat the horses individually and give them the best chance to run in the races they’re supposed to run in individually, and these three horses really fit the Lake George well. That’s why they were here today.”
Winning rider Luis Saez: “I just wanted to move her out a little bit because she has a big turn of foot in the stretch and everything was perfect. She always tries hard. Last time was an impressive win, and I really liked her today. I knew that I would have horse in the stretch.”
Jose Ortiz on runner-up Blowout: “She broke really well, and we went on and she relaxed well. I asked her to go and she gave me a great run, but Regal Glory ran her down.”
Hall of Famer Javier Castellano on Dogtag’s third: “Everyone in the race had a pretty clear trip. Unfortunately for my horse, I don’t think she liked being that loose. She needs more pace in the race. She broke so well out of the gate, and I didn’t want to take anything away from her. We were tracking well, but she didn’t kick on in the end. Unfortunately, the race didn’t set up for me well today.”