Warrant wins the Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight May 3 at Churchill Downs (Coady Photography)
By Keith McCalmont – NYRA Press Office
ELMONT, N.Y.— Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Kentucky homebred Warrant will look to double up on stakes scores in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Brooklyn, a 12-furlong main track marathon for older horses, at Belmont Park.
Trained by Brad Cox, the 5-year-old Constitution chestnut finished second to Fearless in this event last year and has already posted a pair of wins this campaign, including a prominent neck score over returning rival Red Run last out in the 1 1/2-mile Isaac Murphy Marathon Overnight on May 3 at Churchill Downs.
Warrant has breezed back twice, including a five-eighths effort in 1:00 flat on June 3 over the Churchill main track in company with graded-stakes winning stablemate Angel of Empire, who will contest Saturday’s Grade 1 Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets.
“He ran well in the Brooklyn last year. Hopefully, he steps up and can get the job done this year,” Cox said. “He’s coming off a big run at Churchill and he’s been working heads up with Angel of Empire the last few weeks and they’ve been great company for one another. He’s set up for a big effort.”
Warrant, who made the grade in the 2021 Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park, will exit post 7 under Flavien Prat.
Flying P Stable, R.A. Hill Stable and Flying Partners’ multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire Lone Rock [post 8, Javier Castellano] won this event in 2021 by 11 1/4-lengths for trainer Robertino Diodoro.
The 8-year-old Majestic Warrior gelding, a 16-time winner from 44 starts, added the 13-furlong Grade 2 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance to his ledger in November 2021 at Del Mar. He finished a game second in his seasonal debut in the 12-furlong Temperence Hill in April at Oaklawn Park but was a non-factor when last-of-6 last out in the Isaac Murphy.
Jordan Wycoff’s stakes-winner Red Run [post 2, Tyler Gaffalione] will look to turn the tables on Warrant after making a late bid to miss by a neck last out in the Isaac Murphy for trainer Mike Maker.
The 4-year-old Gun Runner colt is a full brother to Red Route One, who will contest Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. He is out of the Tapit mare Red House, who is a full-sister to 2014 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Untapable and a half-brother to multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire Paddy O’Prado.
Maker said the pedigree was a significant factor in the connections decision to claim Red Run for $50,000 out of a runner-up effort in a 1 1/16-mile optional-claimer on March 12 at Oaklawn Park.
“He’s a Gun Runner and I felt he wanted a lot more distance,” Maker said. “He was unlucky to lose last time. He ran hard and came running, he just couldn’t get to the winner.”
Red Run won the Texas Turf Mile last January over firm footing at Sam Houston, but has yet to hit the board in five graded attempts including on dirt, turf and synthetic.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, a five-time Brooklyn winner, will saddle the lightly-raced optional-claiming winner Bright Future [post 4, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] for owners Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable.
The 4-year-old Curlin colt, a $350,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, has made four career starts, all at a distance of one-mile that includes two wins at Gulfstream Park.
“It’s an interesting experiment with a horse that shows some talent. He really gives us the impression that he’s looking for more distance,” Pletcher said.
Bright Future is out of the graded-stakes placed Bellamy Road mare Sophia’s Song, who is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Tax Refund.
Michael Foster’s Next [post 5, Luan Machado] captured the 13-furlong Grade 2 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance in November at Keeneland for trainer William Cowans, registering a career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure.
His graded breakthrough came on the heels of an 18 1/4-length romp in an off-the-turf edition of the 12-furlong Cape Henlopen in September at Delaware Park. The 5-year-old Not This Time gelding has won three times since being haltered for $62,500 last April at Keeneland.
A talented field of 11 stayers includes recent Temperence Hill winner Calibrate [post 9, Ruben Silvera] for trainer Jamie Ness; graded-stakes placed Forewarned [post 6, Dexter Haddock], who is approaching the $1 million mark in earnings for owner/trainer Uriah St. Lewis; graded-stakes placed Portos [post 1, Trevor McCarthy] for conditioner Tom Morley; four-time winner Code Runner [post 11, Reylu Gutierrez] for trainer Caio Caramori; three-time winner Centavo [post 10, Omar Hernandez Moreno] for conditioner Naipaul Chatterpaul; and three-time winner Alfio [post 3, Luis Saez], who makes his stakes debut for trainer Anthony Quartarolo.
The Brooklyn is slated as Race 6 on Saturday’s lucrative Belmont Stakes Day card. First post is 11:20 a.m. Eastern.