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Brody’s Cause surges to Toyota Blue Grass win, punches ticket into Kentucky Derby field


The Albaugh Family Stable’s Brody’s Cause surged to the front at midstretch and cruised to a 1¾-length victory over My Man Sam to win the 92nd running of the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass (G1) before a crowd of 20,848 on a sunny but cool Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.

Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Luis Saez, Brody’s Cause covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:50.20. The victory was worth $600,000 and increased Brody’s Cause’s earnings to $1,123,138 with a record of 6-3-0-1.

A Keeneland sales graduate, Brody’s Cause is a Kentucky-bred son of Giant’s Causeway out of the Sahm mare Sweet Breanna.

 Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Luis Saez, Brody’s Cause covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:50.20. The victory was worth $600,000 and increased Brody’s Cause’s earnings to $1,123,138 with a record of 6-3-0-1 (Keeneland Photo)


Trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Luis Saez, Brody’s Cause covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:50.20. The victory was worth $600,000 and increased Brody’s Cause’s earnings to $1,123,138 with a record of 6-3-0-1 (Keeneland Photo)

Brody’s Cause became the fourth horse to complete a Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1)-Toyota Blue Grass double. The others were Round Table (1956-1957), Dullahan (2011-2012) and Carpe Diem (2014-2015). Dullahan was trained by Romans.

The victory was the first in the race for Saez and his third winner of the afternoon.

“(Brody’s Cause) started off his three-year-old season really slow,” Roomans said. “To run so bad in the Tampa Bay Derby, when I thought we were leading over a winner, it was discouraging. But if you look at his first race, he ran terrible that day, and I had thought he would win. I think he’s just a horse that needed a race.

“We’re going into the Kentucky Derby (G1) in perfect form. He’s already won on the track, which you know is important at Churchill Downs, and the farther the better.”

Laoban led the field of 14 through fractions of :23.44, :46.75 and 1:11.44 as Brody’s Cause raced near the back of the pack. Entering the far turn, Laoban was coming under pressure from Star Hill and Cards of Stone while Saez began picking off horses. Entering the stretch, Saez swung Brody’s Cause wide, collared the leaders at midstretch and drew clear as My Man Sam and Cherry Wine rallied from far back to claim the second and third spots.

Brody’s Cause also locked up a spot in the $2 million Kentucky Derby on May 7 at Churchill Downs by earning 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The Derby is limited to the top 20 point earners.

Brody’s Cause has 114 points. My Man Sam picked up his first 40 points, Cherry Wine added 20 to his total to boost his count to 25 and Laoban hiked his total to 32 with 10 points for fourth.

The Toyota Blue Grass winner returned $10.40, $5 and $3.40. My Man Sam, who rallied from last under Julien Leparoux, returned $5.80 and $4 with Cherry Wine finishing third a head back under Corey Lanerie and paying $3.60 to show.

Laoban held on for fourth and was followed in order by Star Hill, Goats Town, Lookin for a Kiss, Donegal Moon, Crescent Drive, Cards of Stone, Zapperini, favored Zulu, American Dubai and Twizz.

Racing continues Sunday with a nine-race program that begins at 1:05 p.m.

Weep No More shocks favorites with 30-1 upset in $500,000 Ashland

Ashbrook Farm’s Weep No More rallied from far off the pace to win Saturday’s 79th running of the $500,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) for 3-year-old fillies by a neck over Rachel’s Valentina, with previously undefeated favorite Cathryn Sophia another neck back in third.

Trained by Rusty Arnold and ridden by Corey Lanerie, Weep No More covered the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:43.57. The victory was worth $300,000 and increased Weep No More’s earnings to $342,269 with a record of 4-3-0-0.

It was the second victory in the race for Arnold, who saddled Karlovy Vary to win the 2012 running and also the second for Lanerie, who won on Hooh Why in 2009.

Weep No More, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Mineshaft out of the Storm Cat mare Crosswinds and a Keeneland sales graduate, also locked up a spot in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 6 at Churchill Downs by earning 100 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks. The top 14 point earners that pass the entry box for the Oaks will make up the field for the 1 1/8-mile race.

The Oaks is limited to the top 14 point-earners that pass the entry box. Weep No More’s Oaks points were the first she has earned.

Rachel’s Valentina picked up 40 points to boost her total to 48, Cathryn Sophia added 20 points to hike her total to 80 and Carina Mia added 10, giving her 20 points.

Carina Mia, ridden by Julien Leparoux, led the field into the first turn with Rachel’s Valentina to her outside about a length back and Cathryn Sophia tucked in next to the rail.

The trio race in that order through fractions of :24.18, :47.24 and 1:11.02 as Weep No More lagged behind the field.

On the far turn, Rachel’s Valentina with Florent Geroux up, moved on even terms with Carina Mia as did Cathryn Sophia and Javier Castellano making a three-wide move. The trio raced as a team to the upper stretch where Carina Mia was the first to back out.

Cathryn Sophia and Rachel’s Valentina waged their own personal duel into deep stretch only to have Weep No More sweep past them both in the final yards.

Weep No More, the second longest chance in the field of five, returned $62.20, $12.40 and $3.20. Rachel’s Valentina returned $4.80 and $2.20 and Cathryn Sophia paying $2.10 to show.

Carina Mia finished two lengths back in fourth with Banree fifth.

From Keeneland Communications


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