Sweet Brown Sugar Sails In East View

March 17, 2024

Sweet Brown Sugar sails to her second stakes score. (Adam Coglianese)

By Keith McCalmont

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Richie Rich Racing Stable’s Sweet Brown Sugar surged up the rail to secure a delicious score in Sunday’s $100,000 East View, a six-furlong sprint for New York-bred sophomore fillies, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The Collected bay saved ground in third position under Jose Lezcano before advancing into contention into the turn en route to a four-length win that provided trainer Paul Barrow with his first NYRA-circuit stakes win.

“We’ve won a few stakes at Finger Lakes, but this is the first good horse we’ve had at NYRA. It’s unbelievable; it’s great. When you start training, you want to win these races. I’m a big New York-bred guy, so to win it with a New York-bred, it’s great,” said Barrow, a multiple stakes winner at Finger Lakes where he topped the trainer standings with 61 wins in 2023.

Bernietakescharge broke alertly under Trevor McCarthy from the outermost post 7 but it was the Luis Rivera, Jr.-piloted longshot Bustin Time who took command to mark the opening quarter-mile in 22.48 seconds over the fast main track.

Sweet Brown Sugar maintained inside position from post 2 as Caldwell Luvs Gold, the 8-5 favorite out of the inside post under Manny Franco, got in tight down the backstretch and shuffled back as the half-mile elapsed in 46.12.

Bernietakescharge loomed large with an outside run through the turn, but Sweet Brown Sugar took the shortest route along the fence and held a two-length advantage at the stretch call. Bernietakescharge tried in vain, but could not reel in Sweet Brown Sugar, who stopped the clock in 1:10.55. 

Bernietakescharge completed the exacta by one length over the late-running Caldwell Luvs Gold with Thirteen Red Flags, Bustin Time, Rumint and Soloshot rounding out the order of finish. 

It was the seventh stakes win of the Big A winter meet for Lezcano, who has enjoyed past success with My Mane Squeeze [Franklin Square, Maddie May], Rotknee [Say Florida Sandy], Security Code [Broadway], Jody’s Pride [Busher] and Kinetic Sky [Stymie].

The veteran rider said his charge benefitted from the pacesetter racing well off the rail in the early stages.

“She doesn’t like the dirt too much in her face, and I got lucky with the horse [Bustin Time], she stayed way out and I was able to keep the face clean,” Lezcano said. “She responded and came up with a good race and is feeling very good. I had a lot of horse when I asked her.”

Barrow credited Lezcano for engineering a perfect trip.

“Jose did keep her very clean in the race – I thought it was key to her finishing,” Barrow said. “I thought the rider made the difference in this case, and she’s improving. Masterful ride. When he’s on the inside like that, it’s very tough to keep them clean, but I thought he did a great job.

“My biggest concern was her getting trapped behind a wall of horses and the kickback and all that, for him to [have to] negotiate a way to get outside,” Barrow added. “But he was smart enough to stay inside and keep her clean.”

Sweet Brown Sugar won her first two outings at Finger Lakes, including a 5 1/2-length score in the Shesastonecoldfox in November. She has raced exclusively at the Big A through four starts since returning to action as a sophomore, finishing fifth in the Franklin Square in January along with a strong state-bred optional-claiming win on March 3.

“We’re going to give her a little time off. I ran her back in 14 days, so I think I want to give her [some time] – let her go home and relax a little and then talk it over with the owner and we’ll pick a spot for her,” Barrow said.

McCarthy said he expected to sit off a pace battle between Soloshot and Bustin Time, but was content with his pace-pressing trip.

“I wanted to get a good break. Speed has been pretty good, you definitely want to be forward on this track the last few days,” McCarthy said. “Given the outside post, I wanted to be aggressive from it. I kind of thought the three [Soloshot] and the four [Bustin Time] would match up, but just the four went to the front, and I was really in a good rhythm, so I didn’t want to take anything away from her. When I asked her, she ran for me. It seems like the rail hasn’t been the best place to be lately, so I think the winner really ran a great effort.”

Bred by Chester and Mary Broman, Sweet Brown Sugar was purchased for $32,000 at the OBS June 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale and is out of the winning Bodemeister mare Rachel’s Blue Moon. Her second dam is the graded stakes-placed Beautiful But Blue and her third dam is multiple stakes-winner Beautiful America.

Sweet Brown Sugar banked $55,000 in victory while improving her record to 6-4-0-1. She returned $14 for a $2 win bet.

Live racing resumes Thursday at the Big A with an eight-race card. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern. 

@jonathanstettin @EliteRacingNet Way To Go, outstanding Handicapping!

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