December 6, 2022

Complexity turns back Code of Honor in Kelso; Frank’s Rockette spectacular in Gallant Bloom

Complexity wins the Kelso Handicap (Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand)

In Saturday’s dirt stakes at Belmont Park, Complexity proved best in the $150,000 Kelso H. (G2), and Frank’s Rockette dominated the $150,000 Gallant Bloom H. (G2).

Complexity could be headed to Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) or Dirt Mile (G1), according to trainer Chad Brown, following his 2 1/4-length score in the Kelso. Owned by Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stables, the 4-year-old left the starting gate as the 9-10 favorite.

He improved to 3-for-3 over a one-turn mile at Belmont, winning the 2018 Champagne (G1) and a July allowance in his 2020 comebacker.

Many expected to see Complexity setting the pace in the Kelso with Jose Ortiz, but the speedy colt spotted the early advantage to Endorsed, tracking the pace in second through opening splits in :23.30 and :46.61. The son Maclean’s Music took over on the far turn, but Code of Honor was advancing into contention on the far turn.

Complexity entered the stretch four-wide with a one-length lead. Code of Honor appeared poised to make a serious bid after straightening for home, but he could never get even as Complexity had more in reserve. The winner drew off in deep stretch, scoring by a 2 1/4-length margin, and finished the mile in 1:33.82.

“He was very relaxed and Jose rode him terrific,” Brown said. “It worked out well. I thought Javier (Castellano) rode a smart race with Code of Honor. He didn’t let us get too far away and he was up next to us in the stretch and I was actually a little worried. I have a lot of respect for Code of Honor. They threw it down in the stretch and we just had a little bit more today.”

Complexity was exiting a fine second in the Aug. 29 Forego (G1) at Saratoga, getting nailed on the wire over a sloppy track, and he’s now earned $566,350 from a 9-5-1-0 record.

“He was wonderful today,” Ortiz said. “In the Forego, he broke a step behind, and I decided to take position and ended up going a little quicker than I wanted to. Here, going a mile, I didn’t have to rush him. He loved the track here. He’s doing amazing.”

Code of Honor, the 13-10 second choice, held second by 7 1/4 lengths over Stan the Man. Endorsed completed the four-horse field.

Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet, Complexity sold for $375,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September sale. He’s out of the unraced Yes It’s True mare Goldfield, the dam of Grade 3 winner and 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) runner-up Valadorna, and this is the immediate female family of Grade 2 winner Springside.


Frank's Rockette
Frank’s Rockette wins the Gallant Bloom (Coglianese Photos/Joe Labozzetta)

Frank’s Rockette confirmed herself as a serious contender for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) recording an impressive 7 1/4-length win in the 6 1/2-furlong Gallant Bloom.

Favored at 1-5 among five rivals, the 3-year-old filly showed her tractability after several wire-to-wire scores this season, stalking the pace in second before advancing to seize control entering the stretch. Frank’s Rockette quickly opened up by more than five lengths and cruised through the latter stages as Junior Alvarado eased her up before the wire.

Bill Mott trains the Frank Fletcher homebred daughter of Into Mischief. The bay filly rated kindly as Pacific Gale showed the way through opening splits in :22.76 and :45.60, and she stopped the teletimer in 1:16.12.

Honor Way rallied for second at 6-1, and she was followed under the wire by Royal Charlotte, Bertranda, and Pacific Gale.

Frank’s Rockette, who was a three-time stakes runner-up at age 2, improved to 5-for-6 this year, her lone setback coming over a sloppy track, and she’s never finished worse than second. Now a four-time stakes winner, the Kentucky-bred is out of the Grade 3-winning Indian Charlie mare Rocket Twentyone, making her a half-sister to stakes-placed siblings Firewater Rocket and Rocknroll Rocket.

Frank’s Rockette has earned $606,103 from a 10-6-4-0 career line.