Sea Calisi took command on the far turn and never looked back as she powered to a 2 1/2-length victory in the G2 Sheepshead Bay Stakes at Belmont Park.
The 5-year-old mare by Youmzain became the third graded stakes winner of the afternoon for her trainer, Chad Brown. In addition to Sea Calisi, Brown had two stakes winners at Churchill Downs early Saturday afternoon – Paulassilverlining in the G1 Humana Distaff, and Roca Rojo in the G2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile.
Sea Calisi was making her first start since an off-the-board finish in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita. Prior to that, however, the French-bred mare had a very successful season, beginning with her victory in the 2016 edition of the Sheepshead Bay. In addition, Sea Calisi won the G1 Beverly D. Stakes and was a close third in the G1 Flower Bowl Invitational.
Settled behind horses in fifth through the early stages of the race, Sea Calisi began to make up ground on the leaders entering the far turn. Angled wide on the turn by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., Sea Calisi swept past longtime leader Zipessa and took the lead as the field hit the top of the stretch.
Sea Calisi continued to pull away, eventually crossing the wire while being geared down. Juddmonte Farms’ Suffused was stuck behind a wall of horses on the far turn. She eventually found a seam and got into the clear but it was too little, too late, however, and the chestnut mare could do no better than second. Apple Betty finished third.
Final time for the 1 3/8-mile contest was 2:16.83 over a turf course rated as ‘yielding’.
Sea Calisi was bred in France by Derek Bloodstock, and races for Martin S. Schwartz. Sea Calisi is the last reported foal out of Triclaria, and is a half-sister to multiple stakes winners Tareno and Timos.
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