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Bleecker ‘Streets’ Rivals in Hillsborough

Peter Brant’s Bleecker Street (Quality Road) continued her rapid ascent through the turf distaff division with a thoroughly dominating performance in the GII Hillsborough S. at Tampa, easily accounting for her commonly owned stablemate Rocky Sky (Ire) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}) to remain unblemished from five starts.

While ‘TDN Rising Star‘ Lady Speightspeare (Speightstown) held the early call as the Hillsborough field galloped past the stands for the first time, it was Gladys (Medaglia d’Oro), the own-sister to Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, who took up the running into the clubhouse turn, as Rocky Sky fell into the box seat. The weak-in-the-market Bleecker Street–who eased from 9-5 out to 12-5 at the off–was comfortable in seventh. Switched off beautifully through the middle stages beneath Hector Diaz, Jr. Bleecker Street raced in hand on the second turn and was angled out sharply at the quarter pole. Briefly following the move of Rocky Sky in upper stretch, Bleecker Street was switched off heels and into the clear and was off and gone despite racing on her incorrect lead through the final eighth of a mile. Rocky Sky was clearly second ahead of Gladys, who picked up some valuable graded black-type in third.

Given a comparatively soft introduction to the races last year, Bleecker Street won starts at Monmouth and the Meadowlands before resuming with a fast-finishing half-length allowance tally at this venue Jan. 8. An overlaid 7-1 when testing stakes waters for the first time in the GIII Endeavour S. Feb. 5, the $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga grad was the recipient of a similarly patient ride from Diaz, Jr. and whooshed home with what has become a devastating finish to best Lady Speighspeare by a firm 1 1/2 lengths.

Pedigree Notes:

One of 57 stakes winners and 31 graded winners for Lane’s End’s Quality Road, Bleecker Street is bred on the cross over Danzig-line mares responsible for Illuminant, winner on the grass of the GI Gamely S. Bleecker Street is the first foal for her stakes-placed dam, who was purchased by Branch Equine for $75,000 in foal to Honor Code at the 2016 Keeneland November Sale. The filly’s dual stakes-placed second dam is a half-sister to Nan (High Yield), dam of GIII Selene S. winner Power Gal (Jpn) (Empire Maker). Lemon Liqueur, who was RNAd for $19,000 when offered not in foal at KEENOV in 2018, is the dam of a 2-year-old filly by Always Dreaming, a yearling filly by Flatter and is due to the in-demand Not This Time this season.

Saturday, Tampa Bay Downs
HILLSBOROUGH S.-GII, $200,000, Tampa Bay Downs, 3-12, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/8mT, 1:48.21, gd.
1–BLEECKER STREET, 118, f, 4, by Quality Road
1st Dam: Lemon Liqueur (SP), by Exchange Rate
2nd Dam: Limoncella, by Lemon Drop Kid
3rd Dam: Trip Around Heaven, by Halo
($400,000 Ylg ’19 FTSAUG). O-Peter M Brant; B-Branch Equine
LLC (KY); T-Chad C Brown; J-Hector Rafael Diaz Jr. $120,000.
Lifetime Record: 5-5-0-0, $285,900. Werk Nick Rating: C.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.

2–Rocky Sky (Ire), 118, f, 4, Rock of Gibraltar (Ire)–Road Tosky
(Ire), by Elusive City. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. O-Peter M
Brant; B-Eadling Farm Ltd (IRE); T-Chad C Brown. $40,000.

3–Gladys, 118, f, 4, Medaglia d’Oro–Lotta Kim, by Roar.
McGehee; B-Heaven Trees Farm (KY); T-Kelsey Danner.
Margins: 3 3/4, 3/4, 3/4. Odds: 2.40, 4.70, 11.50.
Also Ran: Lady Speightspeare, Lovely Lucky, Runaway Rumour, Jezebel’s Kitten, Take Charge Ro, Nantucket Red.