OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Peter Brant and Robert V. LaPenta’s Miles D, with Manny Franco up, wore down pacesetter Speaker’s Corner in the final strides to capture Saturday’s 77th renewal of the $150,000 Discovery, a nine-furlong test for sophomores, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by four-time Eclipse Award-winner Chad Brown, Miles D settled comfortably in third position as Speaker’s Corner, piloted by Junior Alvarado, set splits of 24.32 seconds, and 49.15 under pressure from longshot Manor House on the fast main track.
Miles D edged closer to the leaders into the final turn with Vindictive following his run as Speaker’s Corner put away the retreating Manor House. Speaker’s Corner was traveling well in hand at the quarter-pole but Miles D tipped outside his rival and continued to bear down on the leader. Franco switched his stick inside the final sixteenth and Miles D responded to the left-handed encouragement to secure a half-length win over Speaker’s Corner, who was drifting out late in the lane. Miles D covered the nine-furlongs in 1:52.44.
Brown said Miles D, who finished third in the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers in August at Saratoga Race Course, demonstrated last out that he preferred to race in the clear after prevailing with a five-wide run under Hall of Famer John Velazquez to best elders in an allowance tilt on October 2 over Big Sandy.
“I know it was kind of an ugly win in the allowance race, but he’s not a horse that is effective inside getting dirt and such,” Brown said. “He took some dirt today laying third, you can see Manny isn’t exactly clean, but it’s just really running inside of horses. We knew that and Johnny [Velazquez] confirmed after riding him in the last race that when he got him to the outside, he just took off again.
“Manny executed our plan perfectly,” Brown added. “There was a point down the backstretch where he could have cut the corner inside the four horse [Manor House] and then come out. I’m glad that he chose a better route and kept the horse in the clear. It turned out exactly how we drew it up. I’m proud of the horse’s effort.”
Franco, aboard Miles D for the first time from the outermost post 5, said he followed Brown’s instructions to the letter.
“[Chad] told me the horse liked to be outside horses and that he doesn’t like the kickback at all, but that didn’t matter today because we had a good post,” Franco said. “I tried to outbreak the five-horse [Vindictive] and be right behind the two speeds on the outside. That was our plan to be there on the outside when it was going to be time to make the run, and we got it done.
“The distance helped him,” Franco added. “That’s the way he likes to run. The more distance the better for him.”
Brown indicated Miles D could target the nine-furlong Group 1, $20 million Saudi Cup in in February.
“You got a lot of money in the Middle East so I want to see who’s running in there,” Brown said. “I normally don’t go over for those races but if I have the right horse I will. Especially for $20 million.
“I always thought he was a solid mile and an eighth to a mile and a quarter horse,” Brown added. “He got started late and wasn’t able to get on the Derby trail and such, but it is what it is. He’s bred to get better and I’m appreciative of the win today. It’ll be time to face older horses after the first of the year”
Speaker’s Corner, who earned a lofty 109 Beyer Speed Figure last out winning a 1 1/16-mile optional-claiming event against older horses on October 29 at Belmont, settled for second.
Alvarado said he was disappointed the Godolphin homebred son of Street Sense didn’t kick on at the top of the lane.
“I can be almost a hundred percent sure that he doesn’t want to do two turns,” Alvarado said. “I went as easily as I could and I was full of horse turning for home. When I asked him, I expected him to give me a good kick, but he just was steadying and didn’t have that punch. I just think it might be that two turns is not his thing.”
Vindictive finished three-quarters of a length back in third. Bourbonic and Manor House rounded out the order of finish. Ridin With Biden, who finished sixth in today’s City of Laurel at Laurel Park, was scratched.
Bred in Kentucky by River Bend Farm, Miles D banked $82,500 in victory, while improving his record to 6-3-1-1. He returned $7.20 for a $2 win bet.
Live racing resumes Sunday at the Big A with a 10-race card featuring the $150,000 Autumn Days in Race 7, the Grade 3, $200,000 Fall Highweight in Race 8 and the $100,000 Tepin in Race 9. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Press Release
Photo: Miles D (Joe Labozzetta Photo)