Photo by Susie Raisher
By Keith McCalmont
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Peter Brant’s Boston Post Road secured her first career stakes win with a prominent score in Saturday’s $120,000 Pumpkin Pie, a seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, at the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.
Trained by Chad Brown, the 4-year-old Quality Road bay entered from a pair of narrow runner-up efforts at Saratoga Race Course under returning rider Flavien Prat, including a nose loss to Played Hard in August, who exited that effort to take the Grade 3 Locust Grove at Churchill Downs.
“She’s been unlucky twice to have been beaten by a short nose [and a neck in September], so it was good to get a win today,” Prat said. “She broke well and got us into the race. She was traveling really well and dug in when it was time to make a run.”
Glass Ceiling, who finished second in a division of this event last year, broke a step slow under Dylan Davis as Oxana took command through an opening quarter-mile in 23.46 seconds. Boston Post Road surged up the rail to press the pacesetter into the turn with Dr B tracking to their outside in third through a half-mile in 47.01.
Dr B rallied into even terms with the pacesetters midway through the turn as Glass Ceiling launched a wide bid from the back of the pack. But Boston Post Road cornered well into the stretch run and gained separation from her rivals as Trevor McCarthy continued to work on a game Dr B with Glass Ceiling flattening out. Dr B tried in vain, but could not reel in Boston Post Road, who notched the three-quarter length score in a final time of 1:23.34.
Dr B completed the exacta by 7 3/4-lengths over Oxana with Glass Ceiling, Corey and Movie Moxy rounding out the order of finish. W W Fitzy was scratched.
Prat said his charge responded well under late pressure from Dr B.
“She jumped well and showed some speed in the first part where I was able to get in a good position. She was waiting a bit on horses, so as soon as she felt that other horse, she reengaged,” Prat said.
McCarthy said the Butch Reid, Jr.-trained Dr B, a 4-year-old multiple stakes-placed daughter of Liam’s Map, was traveling comfortably in the clear throughout.
“She likes to chuck her head, so she threw her head and I was able to get her to the outside and get her in a good rhythm,” McCarthy said. “She gave me everything she had. Every time I asked her, she just really accelerated nicely when I gave her encouragement. Chad’s horse was the one to beat and we did a pretty good job to make that horse earn it.”
Boston Post Road, a $525,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale purchase, had made two previous stakes starts with her best result a third-place finish in the Lady’s Secret in June over a sloppy and sealed surface at Monmouth Park.
Bred in Kentucky by Newtownanner Stud, Boston Post Road banked $66,000 in victory while improving her record to 7-3-2-1. She returned $3.30 for a $2 win bet as the post-time favorite.
Live racing resumes Sunday for Closing Day of the Belmont at the Big A fall meet with the 10-race Empire Showcase Day card featuring eight stakes worth $1.6 million. First post is 12:35 p.m. Eastern.