Closing with a flourish from the back of the pack, Peter Brant’s Bleecker Street kept her undefeated record intact May 6 to win a thriller in the $250,000 Modesty Stakes Presented by TwinSpires (G3T) over 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.
The 4-year-old Quality Road filly improved to 6-for-6 for Brant and trainer Chad Brown, with most of her wins having been accomplished with a late surge. Her half-length Modesty score was no different, as she made a bold rally under Flavien Prat to run down fellow Brown trainee Fluffy Socks , who had taken the lead in the final furlong but drifted out significantly under urging from Irad Ortiz Jr.
Bleecker Street, gr/ro, 4/f
Quality Road — Lemon Liqueur, by Exchange Rate
Owner: Peter M. Brant
Breeder: Branch Equine, LLC (KY)
Trainer: Chad C. Brown
Jockey: Flavien Prat
Information provided by Equibase at time of entry.
Quality Road stands at Lane’s End for $150,000 (2022).
FTSAUG2019 • $400,000 • Consignor: Warrendale Sales, agent • Buyer: White Birch Farm.
“I didn’t feel like going around Irad (on Fluffy Socks); I was going to be able to catch him,” said Prat. “I felt like my only chance to catch Irad was to split horses, and she was there for me. I thought it was a great performance by Bleecker Street to win that race because we went slow early and I was farther back than I wanted to be.”
Mona Stella led the field through slow fractions of :25.18, :50.31, and 1:14.55 as Bleecker Street raced near the back of the field. Turning for home, Hendy Woods made the first run to the lead but was immediately challenged to her outside by Fluffy Socks with Bleecker Street looming just behind those two to the outside.
At the eighth pole, Prat shifted toward the inside and found a seam between the leaders that he shot through to secure the victory. Bleecker Street completed the 1 1/8-mile affair on a firm course in 1:50.10.
“With both my horses far back with that pace, I was quite worried,” Brown said. “Down the backside, actually, Irad was able to extract himself off the fence and move up a couple of spots. And I saw Flavien kind of zero right in behind Irad. So I figured, ‘OK, if the closers are going to come, Bleecker Street is going to come and Fluffy Socks will be following right behind her. Then it’ll come down to a 1-2 race.’
“Bleecker Street ran amazingly well, and you have to remember, Fluffy Socks is back after three weeks’ rest from a wide trip at Keeneland. These horses are pretty close. Bleecker Street had more rest, but an undefeated horse, 6-for-6, she’s hard to fault. So trip dependent, pace dependent, course dependent. So she’s a remarkable talent. Without a doubt, it was her best race yet.”
Bleecker Street returned $4 on a $2 win ticket, with Fluffy Socks and Hendy Woods completing the trifecta. She increased her earnings to $434,700.
Bred in Kentucky by Branch Equine, Bleecker Street is the second foal out of the stakes-placed Exchange Rate mare Lemon Liqueur . Bleecker Street sold for $400,000 to Brant’s White Birch Farm as a yearling in 2019 at The Saratoga Sale, Fasig-Tipton’s sale of selected yearlings in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., from the Warrendale Sales consignment.Lemon Liqueur is also the dam of the unraced Always Dreaming 2-year-old filly Red Lemonade and a yearling filly by Flatter . She was bred to Not This Time for the 2022 breeding season.
Courtesy of the Bloodhorse