Flintshire, seen winning the Sword Dancer at Saratoga.
Chad Brown confirmed that multiple Grade 1 winner Flintshire will make his seasonal debut in the Grade 1, $ 1 million Woodford Reserve Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day following an encouraging bullet breeze on Belmont Park’s inner turf on Saturday morning.
A two-time runner-up of the prestigious Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France, Flintshire worked five furlongs over the firm grass in 1:00.60, the fastest of 18 at the distance and his fifth regular breeze since he joined the trainer’s barn earlier this spring.
“I am going to run Flintshire,” Brown said of the Manhattan. “He’s been doing fine. He’s been working well and his work this morning was outstanding. He showed me today that he’s ready to go. The horse couldn’t be any better. He gets the green light.”
Flintshire, who earned a 114 Beyer Speed Figure for his 2 ½-length victory in his only other North American career start in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga, is one of three likely candidates for Brown in the Manhattan. Brown’s expected contingent includes reigning Eclipse Award champion grass horse Big Blue Kitten and Grade 1 Man o’ War hero Wake Forest, who breezed an easy five furlongs on the turf in 1:04 Saturday.
“Wake Forest worked well this morning and is likely to run,” said Brown. “He’s coming off a perfect race in the Man o’ War. He’s had a couple of maintenance works since the race and they’ve gone well, so he’ll run back.”
Brown added that Slumber, winner of the 2015 Manhattan, and Man o’ War runner-up Money Multiplier remain possible for the Manhattan but could be steered towards the Grade 1 United Nations on July 3 at Monmouth Park.
Brown will be represented in the Grade 1, $ 1 million Longines Just a Game by Rainha Da Bateria, who finished second to Royal Ascot-bound Tepin last time out in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs, as well as Mrs McDougal, a one-length winner of the Plenty of Grace on April 16 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
“[Rainha Da Bateria] looks terrific. I think this is a good spot for her,” he said. “And we gave [Mrs McDougal] a little breather after her stakes win at Aqueduct. She really ran a big number in that race so I thought a little extra time to recover would be beneficial and it has been. She’s another filly that physically looks outstanding right now and her breezes have matched her looks.”
Also expected from the Brown barn for the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival are Elusive Quality winner A Lot, probable for the Grade 3 Jaipur Invitational; Economic Model, a four-length allowance winner last time out who is pointed to the $ 150,000 WinStar Easy Goer; and License Fee runner-up Zindaya, probable for the $ 150,000 Intercontinental on Thursday, June 9.
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 © 2016 Paulick Report.