Article courtesy of Pimlico Race Course.
BALTIMORE – Sagamore Farms’ homebred filly Ginger N Rye, first or second in six of 10 career races, makes her third straight stakes start looking for her first black-type victory in Saturday’s $75,000 All Brandy Stakes at historic Pimlico Race Course.
The 1 1/8-mile All Brandy is one of two stakes restricted to Maryland-breds and among five total turf stakes worth $330,000 on the nine-race Maryland-Virginia Breeders’ Day program. It comes on the final weekend of the 28-day Preakness Meet at Pimlico, which wraps up Sunday, June 26.
Also on the card for Maryland-breds is the $75,000 Find Stakes for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles, where Phlash Phelps returns to defend his 2015 victory which came in the midst of a four-race win streak.
In a career that didn’t get started until the fall of her 2-year-old season, Ginger N Rye has never lost by more than 4 ½ lengths, that margin coming in her second career trip in October 2014. This year, the 4-year-old daughter of More Than Ready returned from a six-month break to run second by a half-length in the Dahlia Stakes April 16 and most recently was seventh, beaten 3 ¼ lengths, in the Gallorette (G3) May 21 on the Preakness Stakes (G1) undercard, her graded debut.
“She’s been doing good. I actually don’t think she handled the footing. She seemed uncomfortable down the backside and fought for the lead. She’s a pretty sound filly and she handles the ground pretty well, so I think that day the soft turf just kind of got to her. She was doing really good going into it,” trainer Horacio De Paz said. “She’s pretty consistent and she tries every time. She’s a very honest filly. She’s just so competitive.”
Much of Ginger N Rye’s career has come against open company. She was fifth by 2 ¼ lengths in the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship Stakes in December 2014 and beat 14 rivals by two lengths as the favorite in a restricted allowance last August, both at Laurel Park.
In the All Brandy, she will be racing beyond 1 1/16 miles for the first time while making just her second trip over the Pimlico turf.
“A mile and an eighth against Maryland-breds, I think she’ll be OK. I really won’t know until she runs. It’s a question mark even against Maryland-breds but I think she’s a pretty manageable filly. She’s not one that necessarily you can’t take back. She’s pretty sensible. She’s not tough on herself as far as needing to be close to the pace and be rank or anything,” De Paz said. “She’ll probably settle and be OK and the thing is, when you ask her to make a run, she’s going to make her run so hopefully she’s in the clear.
“She’s always run very well at Laurel so hopefully it’s not something where she can’t run on a different type of turf course,” he added. “The turns there are a little bit wider than what they are at Pimlico. Even in the Gallorette she kind of backed out around the turn and then made a run down the stretch. The ground should be better, so hopefully she can transfer her form out there to Pimlico.”
Ginger N Rye will carry jockey Victor Carrasco and 118 pounds from post 1 in a field of six.
Charles J. Reed’s multiple stakes winner Monster Sleeping is also targeting the All Brandy after exiting an 11th-place finish in the Gallorette. The 7-year-old Oratory mare is two-for-five lifetime at Pimlico and two-for-three at the 1 1/8-mile distance including a victory in the Maryland Million Ladies Oct. 17 at Laurel Park.
“The turf was soft last [in the Gallorette] and she doesn’t like the soft turf so it was a tough race, but she actually didn’t run horrible considering,” trainer Dale Capuano said. “She came out of it fine and she worked well the other day. She’s had some good works so she should be ready to go.”
Prior to the Gallorette, Monster Sleeping opened her 2016 campaign with a gutsy optional claiming allowance win going 5 ½ furlongs April 3 at Laurel, where she split horses late and got up to win by a head. Set to make her 50th career start, she has 10 wins and $516,707 in purse earnings. Feargal Lynch will ride from post 5 at 118 pounds.
“She won off the layoff first time and she was very game. Hopefully the race will set up well for her,” Capuano said. “She’s as good now as she was two years ago. Right now we’re in good shape with her. I’m sure she’ll run her race. It’ll be a very good race.”
Also entered are Conniver Stakes winner Candida H., the 120-pound highweight; Debbie’s Tude, making her third straight start in the All Brandy after finishing fourth in 2014 and fifth last year; Northern Smile, a narrow third in a Pimlico allowance June 3 to kick off her 5-year-old season; and Vielsalm, most recently second by a head in the Gallorette.