Brown, Unsurprisingly, Has Strong Hand for Oaks

Chad Brown won the first two runnings of the GI Belmont Oaks in 2014 and 2015and took the two prior renewals of its predecessor, the GI Garden City S.so it should come as no surprise that he’ll saddle another strong group of fillies in Saturday’s $1-million affair. Last year’s Eclipse Award winner for outstanding trainer has four runners in the Oaks, including 2016 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf heroine New Money Honey (Medaglia d’Oro), who defeated stablemate Fifty Five (Get Stormy) in the local prep for this, the June 8 GIII Wonder Again S.

Brown also brings in a pair of overseas invaders with strong credentials. Peter Brant’s Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}) annexed April’s G3 Prix Penelope Apr. 23 at Saint-Cloud, and flew home for second despite a terrible trip in the G1 Prix de Diane at Chantilly June 18 in her final try for Henri-Alex Pantall. Brown’s other French shipper Uni (GB) (More Than Ready) has had a bit more time to acclimate to local surroundings. Owners Michael Dubb and Sol Kumin (as his Head of Plains Partners) had acquired an interest in the filly earlier this term from breeder Haras D’Etreham, and she was last seen annexing a listed stakes race at Maisons-Laffitte for Fabrice Chappet May 11.

Brown trained Minorette (Smart Strike) to a win in theinaugural Belmont Oaks in 2014 for the Coolmore contingent, and Aidan O’Brien teamed up with that ownership group to annex last year’s GI Belmont Derby with Deauville (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). O’Brien and the Coolmore partners will be represented here by Key to My Heart (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a daughter of Grade I-winning ‘TDN Rising Star’ A Z Warrior (Bernardini) who comes off a score in the Naas Oaks Trial in Ireland just last Wednesday. She only won last week. Now she’s in this. She’s very impressive, O’Brien’s assistant T. J. Comerford told the NYRA press office. She always looked like a winner as well. We had another favorite in the race, and this one went well.

GI Ashland S. and GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Daddys Lil Darling (Scat Daddy) was also recently overseas, but she hasn’t made an official start outside of this country. The Ken McPeek pupil was scratched when she ran off and dropped her jockey after being spooked by a lightning bolt before last month’s G1 Investec Oaks.

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