Patternrecognition rewarded trainer Chad Brown and owners Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence for their patience with a Grade 1 breakthrough in Saturday's $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap presented by NYRA Bets at Aqueduct Racetrack.
A $420,000 purchase at the 2015 Ocala Breeders' Sale, Patternrecognition made a winning debut in April of his 4-year-old season at Aqueduct, where he is perfect in three starts, and has campaigned successfully but sparingly as Brown built the foundation on a horse that possessed an abundance of natural talent.
Brown, who captured his first Cigar Mile in 2016 with Connect, praised his staff, including assistant trainer Whit Beckman, for their perseverance.
“The Cigar Mile is a great race to win and we're lucky to have won it now for a second time. He's a horse that really earned it and everyone in the barn here with Whit has done a great job with the horse, keeping him sound,” said Brown. “He didn't get started until he was 4, so he's clearly had some physical setbacks. But he's now in good form and has been healthy thanks to a lot of hard work from my team, and a lot of heart and determination from the horse.”
Patternrecognition, who boosted his career earnings to $812,325, earned a 105 Beyer Speed Figure for his winning effort in the Cigar Mile.
Brown said that the Grade 1, $9 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on January 26 is a consideration for Patternrecognition, who has now won three of five starts this season, including a victory in the Grade 2 Kelso on September 22 at Belmont Park.
“The owners and I talked about the Pegasus last night. It's definitely a consideration,” said Brown.
Brown, who noted that all of his New York-based horses were sound and in good order this morning, said that Patternrecognition will now head to Palm Meadows in Florida.
A strong showing at Aqueduct on Saturday for Brown included a second in the Grade 2 Remsen with Network Effect and a third in the Grade 3 Go For Wand with Pacific Wind. And Brown built on that success later in the evening as Raging Bull and Instilled Regard ran first and third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar.
Mendelssohn, trained by Aidan O'Brien, earned a 100 Beyer for his fourth-place finish in the Cigar Mile as the beaten favorite. The well-traveled Scat Daddy colt tracked along the rail in third but failed to threaten the pacesetting Patternrecognition.
“I was a little bit disappointed, but he's had a long year and I guess it's to be expected,” said O'Brien assistant T.J. Comerford, on Sunday morning. “It's probably the latest we've ever run a horse after campaigning all the time in America. He was showing signs up to the race of being fresh, but I suppose it took its toll on the day.”
A half-brother to champion mare Beholder and leading sire Into Mischief, Mendelssohn captured the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf to complete his 2-year-old campaign and showed main-track talent with an 18 ½-length score in the Group 2 UAE Derby in March.
Following a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby, Mendelssohn made three starts in New York, finishing third in the Grade 3 Dwyer, second in the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers and third in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. He arrived at the Cigar Mile from a fifth-place run in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic.
Comerford said that Mendelssohn was in good order on Sunday following his Cigar Mile effort.
“He's grand. He's that type of horse. He's a hearty devil,” said Comerford.
Coolmore America announced on Sunday that Mendelssohn has been retired from racing and will stand at Coolmore America's Ashford Stud for 2019.
“All of our team loved Mendelssohn from the first time we saw him as a yearling and he has developed into a magnificent looking horse,” said Coolmore America manager Dermot Ryan.
Mendelssohn will stand for a fee of $35,000.
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