Regal Glory (green cap) wins De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
Regal Glory put in a potent late move from well off the pace to capture Sunday’s $120,000 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Regal Glory was one of two entrants for trainer Chad Brown, along with Viadera, in the one-mile inner-turf test for older fillies and mares who haven’t won a graded race this year.
Under an aggressive hand ride from Jose Ortiz, the daughter of Animal Kingdom took command of the field on the far turn and then she kicked clear through the lane to run down Hendy Woods, who enjoyed a ground-saving trip from Tyler Gaffalione, and Shifty She, who had set honest splits of :23.89, :48.58, and 1:12.20 on the firm turf.
Owned by Peter M. Brant, the five-year-old mare prevailed by one-half length over Hendy Woods. Shifty She faded to third, 1 ¼ lengths behind, as Regal Glory covered the one-mile in a final time of 1:34.85.
Regal Glory, who had captured the Plenty of Grace at Aqueduct in Ozone Park, N.Y., in April two starts back, took good advantage of the drop in class from her most recent outing in the Grade 1 Longines Just a Game on June 5 on the Belmont Park turf.
“She got a really bad trip in the Just a Game, which was unfortunate because she was really primed to run a big one and she did, it just didn’t work out for her,” Brown explained. “But we regrouped. I spoke to Mr. Brant and said, ‘Let’s get her to Saratoga and let’s put her in a race where she can get a good trip,’ and hopefully put a W under her belt with the eye of trying to win a Grade 1 with her this year, which is why he kept her in training after he bought her. We’ll see what’s next for her, but, for now, we’ll just enjoy this.”
Ortiz said he felt confident there was pace to close into when the usually prominent Raven’s Cry, piloted by Luis Saez, wasn’t up top.
“I broke running but I knew the pace was fast when Saez wasn’t anywhere close,” Ortiz said. “I just sat there and followed him [Saez]. I was following the right horse but Tyler had a great trip on the inside and it made it closer than it should be. I knew I had him.”
Viadera, the 6-5 favorite piloted by Joel Rosario, finished fourth after having a less auspicious run around the course than her stablemate.
“She had a rough trip for her first time back. It happens sometimes when you have a late-running horse like that,” Brown said. “I spoke to Joel briefly and he was frustrated because he had to stop a couple of different times and by the time she got clear, it was just too late.”
Viadera was making her first start since capturing the Grade 1 Matriarch in November at Del Mar.
“She got started a lot later than we had hoped this year,” said Brown. “Now that she has a race under her belt, hopefully she’ll move forward. She’s another one that, already being a Grade 1-winner, we’re probably headed into Grade 1s with her. It’s her abbreviated last season of racing and we’re going to try and make the most of it.”
Hendy Woods, who was bred by her owner Stonestreet Stables and trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse, outran her 10-1 odds while also gaining late but was no match for the winner.
“Everything went to plan. The speed set a nice tempo in front of us and I was able to tuck in and save some ground,” Gaffalione said. “I had every chance down the stretch. She gave me a huge run. We just couldn’t get the bob today. That’s horse racing. I’m super proud of my filly. She ran big today.”
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Raven’s Cry, Star Command, and Belle Laura completed the order of finish.
The Kentucky-bred Regal Glory, who won the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes and the Grade 3 Lake George Stakes at Saratoga in 2019, returned $5.20 for a $2 wager. She now has a record of 8-3-0 in 14 starts for her connections.
Live racing resumes Wednesday at Saratoga with a 10-race card highlighted by the $120,000 Mahony for 3-year-olds going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf in Race 9 and the $100,000 Evan Shipman for New York-bred 3-year-olds and up competing at 1 1/8 miles in Race 3. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.
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