May 19, 2024

I’m Very Busy wins Muniz Memorial in breakout performance

I'm Very Busy sins Muniz Memorial Classic (G2) at Fair Grounds (Photo by Hodges Photography / Credit to Lou Hodges, Jr.)

I’m Very Busy showed a glimpse of his improving quality when a narrowly beaten second to the world-class filly Warm Heart in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) in late January. On Saturday at Fair Grounds, I’m Very Busy made it pretty clear he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the older mare turf division this season with a sparkling 3 3/4-length romp in the $300,000 Muniz Memorial (G2).

The victory was the second on the card for trainer Chad Brown, who earlier landed the $150,000 Tom Benson Memorial for fillies and mares on the turf with stakes newcomer Delahaye.

The Muniz Memorial was the fifth stakes attempt and first win at the level for I’m Very Busy, a four-year-old Pennsylvania-bred son of the Brown-trained 2017 Preakness (G1) winner Cloud Computing. There figures to be more with efforts like this.

In traffic among a congested field of 13 down the backside, I’m Very Busy got his cue from jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. at the top of the stretch. Swinging six wide, I’m Very Busy charged down the middle of the course and ran away to a stylish win, completing nine furlongs in 1:47.57 over ground rated good.

The 2-1 favorite, I’m Very Busy returned $6.80. He races for Team Hanley, Richard Schermerhorn, and Paul Braverman.

“He’s always been nice,” Ortiz said. “This year he’s probably doing better since he has more experience. Chad has loved this horse since day one to be honest. He always told me to ride this horse because he is so nice, and he was right.”

Gigante, who grabbed a brief lead at the eighth pole, held second by a half-length over Webslinger. Beatbox finished fourth and was followed by second choice and pacesetter Strong Quality.

I’m Very Busy, who sold for $135,000 as an OBS March juvenile, has now won three times in nine starts. His prior stakes placings, in addition to the Pegasus World Cup Turf, were seconds in the 2022 Pilgrim (G2) and 2023 Hill Prince (G2), both at Aqueduct.

Produced by the Kissin Kris mare Two Kisses, I’m Very Busy is a half-brother to the stakes-winning filly Grand Kisses.

The aforementioned Delahaye earned her third win in four career starts in the 1 1/16-mile Benson Memorial. Rating within two lengths of longshot pacesetter Not So Close, Delahaye headed that rival with a furlong to go and edged clear to win by three parts of a length under Tyler Gaffalione.

Owned by Bill Lawrence and breeder Three Chimneys Farm, Delahaye returned $9 after completing the course in 1:42.76.

Join the Dance rallied for second, a half-length ahead of the tiring Not So Close. Oeuvre, the 2.60-1 favorite, finished fourth in the field of 13.

A Kentucky-bred four-year-old, Delahaye is by Medaglia d’Oro and out of Bella Carina, a War Front half-sister to Grade 1 winner Malibu Prayer. Bella Carina is a full sister to Grade 2 scorer Valid.

In between the Tom Benson Memorial and Muniz Memorial was the $500,000 New Orleans Classic (G2), won in off-the-pace fashion by Red Route One.

Beneficiary of a contested duel between the Louisiana-bred ace Touchuponastar and 5-2 favorite Best Actor, Red Route One rallied from near the back of the nine-horse field to win by two lengths under Joel Rosario. Third choice in the wagering, Red Route One paid $11.80 after completing 1 1/8 miles over the fast main track in 1:49.14.

Touchuponastar, who led most of the way, held second by 1 1/2 lengths over Money Supply, who had defeated Red Route One in last month’s Mineshaft (G3) over a sloppy track. Canadian classic winner Velocitor nosed out a retreating Best Actor for fourth.

Racing for owner-breeder Winchell Thoroughbreds and trained by Steve Asmussen, Red Route was scoring for the fourth time in 18 starts. His two prior stakes wins occurred last season when he captured the Bath House Row S. at Oaklawn and the West Virginia Derby (G3) at Mountaineer. Red Route One’s has also placed in the Southwest (G3), Rebel (G2), Oklahoma Derby (G3), and Louisiana (G3).

“When given the opportunity he will show up,” Asmussen said. “Joel gave him the right trip for the horse. He got a nice set up today but he was good enough to take advantage of it.”

A Kentucky-bred, Red Route One is by Gun Runner and out of Red House, a Tapit full sister to champion filly Untapable and a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and classic-placed Paddy O’Prado. All were reared by Broodmare of the Year Fun House.