Endless Chatter continued her forward progression for trainer Chad Brown of Mechanicville Monday, overtaking pacesetting Natalie Victoria and pulling off to a 13⁄4-length victory in the $100,000 Summer Colony Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
Under jockey Joel Rosario, Endless Chatter stalked from second before rocketing past Natalie Victoria at the five-sixteenths pole and coming away with a decisive victory over Ambusher. It was 4 3⁄4 lengths back to Zucchini Flower in third.
“I figured the horse on the lead would come back to me,” said Rosario. “My horse was moving very nicely. Turning for home, I wanted to have something left if somebody came from behind. But she was doing it easy. She showed up very nice today.”
“As we handicapped the race, we were concerned that she was the only speed horse in here,” said Brown, who is second in the trainer standings with 14 victories in 65 starts. “I encouraged Joel to not let her get too far away. I think he won the race for us in the first turn, when he got that second spot out in the clear. He gave our filly every chance from there, and after that, it was up to her.
The win was the third straight for Endless Chatter. Both of her previous two victories came in allowance company at Parx in suburban Philadelphia.
“I think her last two races at Parx built up her confidence,” said Brown. “We’ve figured out that she’s a two-turn dirt horse, and she just needed a little time to mature mentally. Like I said, she earned her way into this race, and now she’s probably earned her way into a graded stakes somewhere. So as long as she performs like this, we’ll keep giving her an opportunity to go up to the next level.”
Hot Stones breezed a half-mile on the main track in advance of her next start in Saturday’s Grade I Ballerina for female sprinters at seven furlongs.
Trained by Bruce Levine for owners Roddy Valente of Loudonville and Charles
Casale, the 4-year-old New York-bred daughter of Bustin Stones was clocked in 48.72 seconds, ranking 14th of 65 horses at the distance.
It was the second work for Hot Stones since finishing third behind Antipathy and Stanwyck in the Grade II Shuvee Handicap on July 27.
“She went nice. We just wanted a 48 and change, just to open her up,” Levine told the New York Racing Association. “We worked her last week an easy half. She ran a mile and an eighth in the Shuvee, so she’s cutting back. One thing we know, she’s fit.”
Run at 1 1⁄8 miles over a muddy, sealed track, the Shuvee was Hot Stones’ first start beyond a mile. The top two finishers are both targeting Friday’s Grade I, $500,000 Personal Ensign, also at the Shuvee distance.
Hot Stones captured the Grade II Bed o’ Roses Handicap on June 21 at Belmont Park in her only try at seven furlongs.
Levine heads into the Ballerina with the barn in good form, having posted six wins, one second and one third from its last 15 starters.