Dinner Party Stakes 2021 Picks: Brown's Aces

Trainer Chad Brown has a pair of entries for this Grade II event on the grass ... but which one is the true ace? See J.N. Campbell's ideas below ...
Trainer Chad Brown has a pair of entries for this Grade II event on the grass ... but which one is the true ace? See J.N. Campbell's ideas below ...

Preakness Weekend is finally upon us, and the run-up had its share of drama. Bob Baffert and his Kentucky Derby Champion, Medina Spirit, became the focal point. His hubris, mismanagement, and outright audacity taxed the sport in a way that has yet to be realized or understood. Now, as the scene shifts to the home of the Maryland Jockey Club at Pimlico, its oldest signature race takes center stage.

A Super Saturday arrives after what amounted to a rousing edition of Black-Eyed Susan Day. For the Preakness card, a full listing of contests appears on tap, and we at HorseRacing.net/us, have you covered with a bevy of selections, and our focused analysis. Both our turf-man and our in-house handicapper are on hand to offer their “expert” opinions. Stay tuned …

The team at HorseRacing.net put together slates of selections for most thoroughbred tracks racing in the US every single day. The Picks page (linked to below) is updated at 5AM ET every day with all the selections for the upcoming slate...

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Race 12: Turf, 1 1/16th, Dinner Party S. (G2), $250k, 3+

Follow this … in 1871, the Dinner Party Stakes was a dirt contest won by a horse named Preakness, who would eventually lend his to the 2nd Leg of the Triple Crown. The Dinner Party was named after a deal that was done in New York in years prior, which led to the building of Pimlico Racecourse. Along the way, the Dinner Party became the Dixie Stakes, and was eventually switched to being a turf race. Since word “Dixie” denotes connections to a highly racialized past, and the Civil War, the Dinner Party name recently returned.

Nothing like a complex history of something to get the blood going. This year’s Grade II Dinner Party brings together a small, but talented group of runners who will contest the 1 1/16th on the Pimlico Turf Course. In the recent past, this race has seen its fair share of turf specialists get to the Winner’s Circle.

By the looks of things, Chad Brown is holding an ace in router Sacred Life #5. This 6-yr-old is well-bred with French connections like Siyouni (FR) in his past, and he is going to get a dangerous rider in Javier Castellano. Last out in the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland, he was just not timely enough to catch his stablemate, Raging Bull. This distance should set him up nicely for JJ, and it appears there are few in here that will be able to keep pace down the lane.

If anyone can check Brown’s able entry, then maybe you might want to consider Joel Rosario’s mount, English Bee #2. I have a soft spot for this Calumet homebred because he is incredibly consistent for trainer Graham Motion, even though he has not actually won a race since October 2019. Still, Rosario gets runners to throttle up when it counts, and if anyone can do it, then it is this jockey. English Channel continues to prove that he is one of the most accomplished North American sires of the modern era. Don’t underestimate his offspring … ever.

As for a few more to examine under the microscope, of course we cannot leave out Chad Brown’s other entry, Kuramata #3. Peter Brant’s colors are seemingly everywhere, and with Brown utilizing the services of Irad Ortiz, this triad forms a strong bond. Out of Australia (GB), this 4-yr-old colt is looking to make his 3rd start after arriving in the US earlier this year. Brown has him primed after a couple of nice tries at Tampa and Aqueduct. This race will easily be his toughest test ever, but there is no better rider to handle the assignment than Ortiz.

Just in case you were up for another helping, do not miss Mike Maker’s Somelikeitbrown #1 or Arnaud Delacour’s Talk Or Listen #6. Each is pretty experienced with grass contests, and they both get accomplished pilots in Jose Ortiz and Flavien Prat. The latter was stellar over the course of Derby Weekend, and he really gave his eastern counterparts a run for their money. Prat is dangerous, and he can take over a race late almost better than anyone.

Talk about a challenging contest … be ready!

Top Selection: Kuramata #3

Creative Wager: $1 Superfecta Wheel, 3/5 w 1/2/3/5/6 w 1/2/3/5/6 w 1/2/3/5/6

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Preakness Stakes 2021
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