Trainer Chad Brown didn't let the proverbial grass grow under his feet after having five winners at Belmont Park on Saturday, sending out a loaded contingent to the actual turf Sunday morning in preparation for next weekend's September Super Saturday and other stakes for the Fall Championship Meet.
Three-time Grade 1 winner Sistercharlie breezed four furlongs in 49.12 seconds on the inner turf Sunday, with Brown saying she could train up to the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill on November 3. The conditioner also didn't rule out the possibility of first running in the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl on Sunday, October 7.
“She came back and worked well today, but because she missed some time, that's the most likely scenario,” Brown said. “I finally got her back on the worktab today and she worked quite well, so I'll give myself a little bit of a window and if [she] comes back strong next week, I could end up in the race, I'm not sure yet. I don't want to be held to one thing or the other.”
Owned by Peter Brant, Sistercharlie last ran at Belmont on June 8 when she finished second by a head to stablemate Fourstar Crook in the Grade 2 New York. She followed that with victories in the Grade 1 Diana on July 21 at Saratoga and the Grade 1 Beverly D on August 11 at Arlington. After suffering a foot bruise, she worked for the first time since racing last month, giving Brown a chance to assess her progress.
“I just want to evaluate her work and see how much fitness she's lost, if any,” Brown said. “I gave her an easy work today, and she did it fine.”
Convento Viejo's Robert Bruce put in his final work before the Grade 1, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on September 29, working five furlongs in company with Almanaar in 1:01.05 on the Belmont inner turf.
The Chilean-bred Robert Bruce, who registered a personal-best 104 Beyer Speed Figure for winning the Grade 1 Arlington Million by a half-length over Almanaar last out on August 11 at Arlington Park, will now take aim at the 1 ½-mile Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on the Widener turf, a “Win and You're In” qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Turf on November 3 at Churchill Downs.
Robert Bruce will be stretching out to 1 ½ miles for the first time in his four starts since arriving from his native country earlier this year. Almanaar will cut back in distance for the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile on October 6 at Keeneland.
“They've been working together and they've been a good pair,” Brown said. “Both horses have done well from the Million. They're two good horses who are similar and they're good for each other.
“Now is where they'll go their separate ways for the time being. Robert Bruce will stay further. I'm confident he'll step up at a mile and a half. We'll see.”
Newspaperofrecord and Dogtag breezed five furlongs together in 1.01.75 on the inner turf as both remain on target for the Grade 2, $200,000 Miss Grillo for juvenile fillies on September 30.
Dogtag is already a stakes winner after capturing the P.G. Johnson on August 30 at the Spa in a maiden-breaking effort. Newspaperofrecord, an Irish-bred filly, won her debut on August 19 at Saratoga.
“They worked great and they're both scheduled for the Miss Grillo,” Brown said. “Newspaperofrecord is doing great and has really moved forward and so is Dogtag. Both ran well at Saratoga. I felt good about giving them the opportunity to breeze over the course they are going to run on and I think both handled it well. Those two are good enough to run on any kind of ground.”
Fourstar Crook breezed 1:01.55 with Off Limits. Brown said Fourstar Crook, second in the Grade 1 Beverly D. on August 11 at Arlington, will run in the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl on October 7 at Belmont. The Flower Bowl, contested at 1 ¼ miles on the inner turf, will offer a berth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill to the winner.
Off Limits, fifth in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa on August 25 at Saratoga, will run in the Grade 1 First Lady on October 6 at Keeneland.
Rushing Fall and Pollara also breezed five furlongs in company in 1:01.66, with Brown saying Rushing Fall is pointed to the Grade 2 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on October 13 at Keeneland. Pollara is possible for the same race.
Brown also said his winning contingent from Saturday, which included victories in the first four races at Belmont, came back in good order. Among his wins were two in graded stakes, including Uni in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel and Patternrecognition in the Grade 2 Kelso, in which Timeline also ran third.
“So far, everyone looks OK,” Brown said. “I was very proud of his [Patterrecognition's] effort yesterday. I thought Timeline ran well, too. He was just a little too far back. But he rated nice. He wasn't beaten that far. I thought both horses ran well.”
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