Peter Brant's Blowout, perfectly rated by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano for trainer Chad Brown, stayed off a late charge from stablemate Nova Sol to capture Saturday's $100,000 Wild Applause, a one-turn mile on the Widener turf course for sophomore fillies at Belmont Park.
Brown, leading trainer of the Belmont spring/summer meet with 32 wins, saddled a trio of contenders in the five-horse Wild Applause field including Seek and Destroy, last out winner of the Grade 3 Soaring Softly, who set a swift early tempo through a quarter-mile in 23.35 seconds and a half-mile in 47.01 over a turf course labeled good.
Blowout settled comfortably in second position under Castellano, just off the flank of Seek and Destroy, while Nova Sol, the 3-2 mutuel favorite under Irad Ortiz, Jr., watched from the back of the pack.
Seek and Destroy led the field into the turn as Pep made minor headway along the rail, but it was Blowout, looming large late in the turn, who took command as Nova Sol launched her bid from last.
Blowout edged a length clear at the top of the lane as Nova Sol surged past the tiring Pep and Seek and Destroy, but she could not threaten the winner, who prevailed by a half-length in a final time of 1:34.02. Seek and Destroy, a further 2 1/2 lengths in arrears, completed the Brown-trained trifecta. Feel Glorious and Pep rounded out the order of finish. Wings of Dawn was scratched.
It was the second time this meet that Brown ran one-two-three in stakes company, having completed the feat on Belmont Stakes Day in the Grade 1 Manhattan when Bricks and Mortar bested stablemates Robert Bruce and Raging Bull.
Blowout made her first two starts on the Tampa Bay Downs turf, notching a debut win in January and followed up in March with a strong second behind Concrete Rose in the Grade 3 Florida Oaks.
Brown said the Dansili bay endured a difficult trip last out when second in the Memories of Silver on April 19 at Aqueduct Racetrack while being piloted by Castellano for the first time.
“She looked good. It was a bit of a tough trip last time. Javier was just getting to know her and she's not an easy horse to ride,” said Brown. “She's got a little bit of a light mouth and they jammed up the pace on the backside in her last race at Aqueduct. They really slowed it down in front of them. She came up on heels and clipped heels, so it was a rough trip and he took the effort to get to know her and took advantage of a good post.”
Castellano said he appreciated the opportunity to make amends in Saturday's return engagement aboard Blowout.
“Last time, I tried to ride her different and I made a mistake and learned through the mistake,” said Castellano. “I think she's the type of horse where you need to let her be where she wants to be and don't fight it too much. I rated too much last time. I felt so guilty the way I rode the horse last time. It paid off today.”
Bred in Great Britain by Dayton Investments, Blowout is out of 2012 Group 1 French 1,000 Guineas winner Beauty Parlour. Blowout banked $55,000 in victory while improving her record to two wins and two seconds from four starts. She paid $7.50 for a $2 win ticket. The Brown-trained trifecta returned $53 for a $2 wager.
Live racing resumes on Sunday at Belmont Park with a nine-race card highlighted by the $150,000 NYSSS Cupecoy's Joy and the $150,000 NYSSS Spectacular Bid. First post is 1:30 p.m.
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