First Row Partners and Parkland Thoroughbreds' Royal Charlotte won her first four starts but finished off the board in the G1 Test last out, causing bettors to let the filly drift up to 9-2 this Saturday. Nevertheless, the 3-year-old daughter of Cairo Prince rebounded to win the G2 Prioress by 1 1/2 lengths over previously undefeated 3-5 favorite Break Even. Ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Chad Brown, Royal Charlotte ran six furlongs over Saratoga's fast main track in 1:09.45.
“She didn't do any running in the [Grade 1] Test [finished sixth] but she wasn't handling the track that day,” said Brown. “I just had noticed that the past couple of weeks the track has changed in the morning, and I think it might just be the climate. But for whatever reason, the track has been playing differently in the morning and I didn't have anywhere else to run her. I was just going to point her to Keeneland and freshen her. She had a couple of easy breezes and went fine, but I saw a completely different track, so we took a shot. She looks like she's a much different horse going six or six and a half [furlongs], and Javier [Castellano] really rode a patient race and the pace helped us.”
Break Even won a three-way battle for the early lead, carving out fractions of :21.87 and :44.76 and stretching her advantage to a full length nearing the three-eighths pole. She was tracked by Break Curfew, with Kept True and Risky Mandate penning Royal Charlotte in between rivals.
Castellano was patient and waited for room to angle his filly outside, at which point Royal Charlotte showed off a good turn of foot to pass the tiring Break Even in the final eighth of a mile. Royal Charlotte pulled away to win by 1 1/2 lengths, with Break Even having to settle for second. Risky Mandate moved up the rail to hold third over Break Curfew.
Bred in Kentucky by Rhineland Farm, Royal Charlotte is out of the winning Harlan's Holiday mare Sass and Class. Consigned to the Keeneland September yearling sale, the filly did not achieve her reserve when bidding stopped at $70,000. Making her first start in March of this year, Royal Charlotte won four consecutive races, including the listed Hystericalady and the G3 Victory Ride. Overall, her record now stands at five wins from six starts for earnings of over $350,000.
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