Four-timer for rampant Brown but Time Test beaten
Report: USA, Saturday
Belmont Park: Fort Marcy Stakes (Grade 3) 1m1f | turf | 4yo+
America's reigning champion trainer Chad Brown enjoyed his Kentucky Derby Saturday with four Graded-stakes victories – but they did not include a success for Time Test, who was touched off beaten in Grade 3 company on his US debut at Belmont Park.
Having won six of 11 career starts for former trainer Roger Charlton, the Juddmonte five-year-old was made an odds-on shot for the Fort Marcy and duly gained the lead in the stretch before being nabbed on the wire by the rallying Smooth Daddy (Tom Albertrani/Eric Cancel) in a head-bobbing finish on rain-softened ground.
Belmont Park: Sheepshead Bay Stakes (Grade 2) 1m3f | turf | 4yo+ f/m
Chad Brown had better luck elsewhere on the Belmont card, and the trainer's Beverly D heroine Sea Calisi (Irad Ortiz) looks set for another successful season after making a winning start to her five-year-old campaign by repeating last year's success here. The ex-French mare pulled away in the stretch to win by two and a half lengths from the in-form Suffused.
Belmont Park: Westchester Stakes (Grade 3) 1m | dirt | 4yo+
Cigar Mile winner Connect (Chad Brown/Irad Ortiz) was totally dominant on his four-year-old debut, surging to the front on the far turn before drawing away to score by four and three-quarter lengths.
"He's a nice horse," said Ortiz. "He broke good and I just waited before the turn and went around everybody; I had some horse left. I asked him and he went."
Churchill Downs: Humana Distaff (Grade 1) 7f | dirt | 4yo+
Carrying the Juddmonte silks, Madison Stakes winner Paulassilverlining (Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz) completed back-to-back Grade 1 successes after getting first run on her rivals and then holding off last year's champion female sprinter Finest City by a neck.
Churchill Downs: Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (Grade 2) 1m | turf | 4yo+ f/m
In the absence of Royal Ascot-bound Miss Temple City, scratched owing to the wet turf, Roca Rojo (Chad Brown/Florent Geroux) was made 13-10 favourite. Twice a winner in Ireland in 2015 for her original trainer Adrian McGuinness, the mare overcame a game rival in Believe In Bertie to score by a head after a stretch battle.
Miss Temple City is now set to run in a Grade 3 event at Belmont Park next weekend before making her third visit to next month's royal meeting.
Churchill Downs: Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Grade 1) 1m1f | turf | 4yo+
The five-year-old son of leading turf sire Kitten's Joy has become a standing dish on Kentucky Derby day, having completed a remarkable hat-trick on the Churchill Downs turf track on the first Saturday in May, where he also won the American Turf as a three-year-old in 2015. Sent off 7-2, he won by a half-length this time around.
Churchill Downs: American Turf Stakes (Grade 2) 1m½f | turf | 3yo
After a Graded-stakes double on Oaks day, Louisville native Brad Cox kept up the good work with 15-1 shot Arklow (Mike Smith), who rallied strongly five wide from off the pace to beat Good Samaritan by a length.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner faded Oscar Performance faded in the stertch after making the running, while Coronation Stakes entry La Coronel was switched to Friday's card, where she won a Grade 3 event to confirm her trip to Royal Ascot.
Churchill Downs: Churchill Downs Stakes (Grade 2) 7f | dirt | 4yo+
As heavy rain hit Churchill Downs, Limousine Liberal (Ben Colebrook/Jose Ortiz) landed a surprise 13-1 victory to register his first Graded success. The five-year-old gelding took over from front-running favourite Masochistic three wide as they exited the far turn and just had enough to thwart the late thrust of well-fancied Awesome Slew in a photo-finish for this $500,000 contest.