Brooklyn Stakes Entries: Lone Rock goes the distance ... again
Race 5: 1½ (Dirt) Brooklyn Stakes (G2), $400k, 4+ (Saturday)
Older runners who might like to reminisce on the bygone Triple Crown days that they may or may not have participated in, can take solace here. The Brooklyn S. is a Grade 2 affair that has become quite the distance test, going the full-length of “Big Sandy.” Two years ago, this contest was part of a slew of cancellations, and it was good to see it back on the menu last year. Robertino Diodoro celebrated with his team in the winner’s circle, as the hearty Lone Rock (who is back this year) was able to secure the victory.
Now, let’s find out about this field…
#1 Lone Rock (Jky: R. Vazquez/Trn: R. Diodoro):
The folks at Flying P Stable have asked, and their gelding by Majestic Warrior has done nothing but respond with win after win, after win … Last year, the now 7-yr-old, won this race by a whopping 11-lengths. Regular rider Ramon Vazquez will be on-hand, and this runner just keeps going. With over $1.3 million in earnings to his credit, plus his current form, he certainly is a “deserving favorite.” That doesn’t mean … he cannot be beaten …
#2 Max Player (Jky: J. Ortiz/Trn: S. Asmussen):
Here is one of my favorite Asmussen runners from ’21 … no, it wasn’t Jackie’s Warrior. His son of Honor Code bested both Mystic Guide and Happy Saver in the Suburban (G2) over the July 4th holiday, and then notched a win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Saratoga. What a pair of wins that was, eh? Though his ’22 campaign started with a clear miss in the Alysheba S. (G2) during Derby Week, that doesn’t mean he cannot comeback nicely in this spot. Stretching out in distance might be just what he wants to do. I like the addition of Jose Ortiz, as his riding continues to be inspiring and worth mention.
#3 Warrant (Jky: F. Prat/Trn: B. Cox):
Twin Creeks Farm and Racing sure developed a strong homebred in this Brad Cox-trainee. Only a 4-yr-old, this colt by Constitution still has loads of opportunities to mature and develop. His accomplished conditioner watched him battle the likes of stablemate Fulsome, Mr. Wireless, Flash of Mischief, and Super Stock. His ’22 form was forged against the late Midnight Bourbon, Mandaloun (another stablemate), Express Train, Stilleto Boy, and more recently, Scalding, Dynamic One, and Proxy. With a bit of rest since running in the Ben Ali (G3) during Keeneland’s April Meet, he should be ready to fire. Probably one of my top picks with well-regarded rider, Flavien Prat in the irons.
#4 Portos (Jky: I. Ortiz/Trn: T. Pletcher):
HOF trainer Todd Pletcher is going all out on this Belmont Stakes card. He might be reaching a bit with this Tapit horse though. A 5-yr-old, his form is a bit suspect after a number of inconsistent races. Still, when Irad Ortiz and this conditioner get together, they can be pretty devastating to the competition. I think the connections have a reasonable chance to hit-the-board, especially when you consider his last race at Belmont (Flat Out S. $100k) was a 2nd Place effort. More to do …
#5 First Constitution (CHI) (Jky: J. Lezcano/Trn: T. Pletcher):
Here is the winner of the Flat Out S. $100k, the 2nd of 3 entries that Pletcher has in the form. Most will think his fitness is much better than his stablemate next door, but I am not so sure. Certainly, Don Alberto imports some good ones from Chile, but we will see if he is ready to take on a bunch like this. The able-bodied Jose Lezcano gets the call once again, and he won by 4-lengths, posting a more than honest speed fig. Maybe this distance will suit him just fine …
#6 Locally Owned (Jky: D. Davis/Trn: T. Morley):
Another Flying P runner … this one resides in the keep of one Tom Morley. A strong NYRA-based trainer, he doesn’t have an expansive outfit, but there is quality there. Over the winter, jockey Dylan Davis won the riding title at Aqueduct, and cemented his status as a rising star in the saddle. There is no doubt that this gelding by Distorted Humor will be up against it, but dreams are made on a racetrack. You never know, do you?
#7 Fearless (Jky: L. Saez/Trn: T. Pletcher):
Last, but certainly not least, is the well-thought-of gelding by Ghostzapper. There was a point during the Gulfstream Park Championship Meet where he was forced to face rival Speaker’s Corner. Once he got away from that fabulous sprinter, he won his sire’s race (Ghostzapper G3) at the South Florida track. That was his first distance test in almost a year. I don’t see why he couldn’t go longer for Mike Repole. I think he is a special horse, and his presence makes this race a good one.
Join us Saturday for all of our Belmont Stakes card selections! Should be a great set of races from NYRA’s home in Elmont, New York! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter … Horseracing_USA !!!