With a win in the Grade II $200,000 With Anticipation Thursday, Balance the Books solidified himself as trainer Chad Brown’s second juvenile prospect for the Breeders’ Cup in as many days.
Watsdachances won the P.G. Johnson on Wednesday, and Brown said she would point toward the Juvenile Fillies Turf, using the Grade III Miss Grillo as a prep at Belmont on Oct. 7.
Balance the Books was second in his debut here Aug. 5, finishing a half-length behind Craving Carats at the same mile-and-a-sixteenth distance as the With Anticipation. He came Thursday under jockey Julien Leparoux to beat Joha by a head after an adventurous run around the far turn.
“I was a little worried. Especially when, down the backside, I saw him winding up for a big run, I knew it’d be close, and then he got a hard bump from someone [Hightail], it looked like, leaving the quarter pole, I thought that would cost us the race,” Brown said. “Then, just in the shadow of the wire, my hope rekindled a bit, and we got there. It was a strong finish by Julien, and I’m grateful for that.”
The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (a mile for $1 million) is now the eventual goal for Balance the Books, but just which prep he will use for the trip to California is up in the air.
“We’ll probably take a look at the Pilgrim in New York [Grade III on Oct. 7 at Belmont] and the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland [Grade I on Oct. 6],” Brown said. “I bought the horse out of the Keeneland sales, so he had a breeze over the Poly and he trained well there up to the sales. That gives me another angle there, too.”
Having been pulled up after the wire in the Travers on Saturday, Street Life was found to have suffered a ruptured ligament in his left front pastern and has been retired.
Street Life won the Curlin here for Brown while prepping for the Travers. He was fourth in the Belmont and third in the Grade II Peter Pan. He finished his career 3-0-1 from eight starts.
“It’s very disheartening that we’re losing the horse for his career,” Brown said. “I mean, this horse, it was one thing to take a loss in the Travers, a race we thought we had a real shot to win. That’s hard enough to take. You don’t get too many cracks at the race when you really think you’re live going to the gate. Then, to not only lose the race but lose the horse for his career, a horse that I felt had an enormous amount of potential and could have gone on to accomplish great things, is harder to take.”
FIRST STAKES WIN
Miami Cat won the $100,000 Equalize for the first stakes win of his career. He is 3-1-0 from six starts this year after being unraced as a 2-year-old.
Capetown Devil led the Equalize until the stretch and, even then, was not out of contention until the deep stretch. The last furlong had four horses stacked shoulder to shoulder out from the rail, Film Shot, Capetown Devil, Yari and Miami Cat. Miami Cat and Film Shot had the most left in the tank, and Miami Cat held off Film Shot for a neck win. Yari finished third, followed by Tiz Sardonic Joe.
LONG TIME COMING
You the Man, who won the first of two steeplechases that opened the card, had not raced in 28 months. The 7-year-old’s last race was May 15, 2010, at Malvern in the National Hunt Cup. His last win was July 30, 2009, at Saratoga in the Jonathan Kiser.
In the second jump race, the $75,000 Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords, Cubist surged after the last fence to edge favored Cat Feathers for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, who also owns the 5-year-old. Cubist’s last win April 14 at Atlanta, though she was second to cross the finish line that day, 91⁄4 lengths behind the disqualified winner. Her last time crossing the line first was Dec. 11, 2010 at Philadelphia Park.
Brown will saddle Dayatthespa, a two-time Grade III winner, for today’s $100,000 Riskaverse and her first start since winning the Grade III Appalachian at Keeneland on April 19.
She is the 7-5 morning-line favorite in the turf mile for 3-year-old fillies and will be ridden by Javier Castellano.
Assateague, winner of her last two starts and 2-1-0 from four career starts, is the second choice at 5-1. The 6-1 third choice is Alaura Michele, who won the Nani Rose here July 29 and last year won the P.G. Johnson.