One week after their Flightline dazzled the racing world in the Pacific Classic (G1), owner Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler celebrated another Breeders’ Cup qualifying success by another of their stable habitués, the French-bred Bran, in Saturday’s $648,640 Turf Sprint (G2) at Kentucky Downs.
Carrying equal weight of 125 pounds along with even-money favorite Arrest Me Red, Bran got the jump on that rival from midpack and wore down longshot pacesetter Artemus Citylimits to win by a neck under Vincent Cheminaud. Arrest Me Red finished another length behind in third.
The final time over firm ground was 1:07.41, a new course record for six furlongs. Bran returned $25.56 to win.
Completing the order of finish were Front Run the Fed, Charcoal, Arzak, Totally Boss, Chewing Gum, Chasing Artie, Johnny Unleashed, and Bob’s Edge.
Not only did Bran reverse the form of the May 6 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2) at Churchill Downs, in which he finished second to Arrest Me Red as a 40-1 outsider with Cheminaud up, but earned a fees-paid berth to the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Keeneland.
“I think people maybe underestimated him a little bit, but they forget how good his race was at Churchill,” Sadler said.” That was a really good second at Churchill. I thought he was a good fit for this.”
This was the third stakes win of the year for Bran, who landed the Siren Lure S. at Santa Anita on April 10 and the Daytona (G3) at Santa Anita on May 29. He also placed in the Joe Hernandez (G2) on New Year’s Day in his U.S. debut and in the restricted Wickerr S. at Del Mar over one mile in his most recent start. Bran’s career mark now stands at 21-7-4-4, $678,932.
A four-year-old gelding bred by Lordship Stud, Bran is by Muhaarar and out of Best Intent, by King’s Best.