Peter Brant's Dunbar Road patiently stayed off the lead and made a strong stretch-drive move from the outside to overtake Classic Fit and clear away for a 2 ½-length score in the 63rd running of the Grade 2, $250,000 Mother Goose for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday at Belmont Park.
Trainer Chad Brown notched his second stakes win in as many races on the card, with Dunbar Road winning for the third time in four career starts in capturing the 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose on Big Sandy one race after Uni won the $100,000 Perfect Sting on the Widener turf.
Off as the 1-5 favorite, Dunbar Road broke well and was covered in fourth position as Classic Fit led the six-horse field through an opening quarter-mile in 24.34 seconds. Classic Fit held the position with Jeltrin in close pursuit, and Dunbar Road fifth under jockey Jose Ortiz as the half-mile went in 49.13 on the fast main track.
Out of the turn, Ortiz angled Dunbar Road wide, where she easily overtook Jeltrin and Classic Fit, surging in the stretch to hit the wire in 1:43.54 and notching her first stakes win.
“With her being a young horse, she needs to get something out of it, and today was a perfect day because it was an easy race for her. I knew with the amount of horse that I had, I was going to find something to work with,” Ortiz said. “She was travelling comfortably and I felt like she was always there for me. When she got out of there, I was close to them and I just liked that she showed a good turn of foot. This will set her up for later.”
A debut winner by 8 ¾ lengths on March 3, Dunbar Road ran second in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks before winning her Belmont debut last out on May 30. Following her Mother Goose triumph, the Quality Road filly's total margin of victory in her three wins is a combined 16 ¾ lengths.
Dunbar Road marked the sixth time the Brant-Brown connection has won a stakes at the Belmont spring/summer meet. She returned $2.60 on a $2 win wager and more than doubled her career bankroll to $257,900.
“I've never won this race before. This is a first time for me,” Brant said. “I've won the other two legs of what was the Triple Tiara [Acorn, Mother Goose, Coaching Club American Oaks]. I'm very pleased with her. It's very exciting. We've got a lot of nice horses in the barn and we're proud to be producing in this great sport.
“I think she'll go to Saratoga following this and we'll see what happens up there. Chad likes to see how they come out of the race first and she's going really well and training really well. I hope she'll be in the thick of things. She looks like a two-turn horse. We'll run where she needs to run. I personally feel rewarded for having a little patience having missed out on not getting into the field for the Kentucky Oaks. I know Chad really wanted to go in that race and wherever he wanted to go is fine with me, but when she didn't get in I wanted to come back to New York.”
Classic Fit, a Michael Stidham trainee who entered off three straight wins, finished four lengths ahead of Jeltrin to complete the exacta.
“She gave me a good race. She broke right on top,” said Classic Fit jockey Jose Lezcano. “Nobody wanted to go and so I went. She gave me everything she had. The other filly, she's just a really good filly.”
Cassies Dreamer, Safta and Wings of Dawn completed the order of finish.
Live racing will continue Sunday at Belmont with an eight-race card highlighted by the $100,000 Saginaw for New York-bred 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. First post is at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.