Rare is the occasion when horses trained by Chad Brown win Grade 1 races on the turf and they don’t carry the brunt of favoritism from the betting public. On Oct. 9, that anomaly briefly became the norm, much to the delight of those looking to profit off one of the industry’s most prolific barns.
Less than an hour after a pair of charges conditioned by the four-time Eclipse Award winner combined to upset the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) at Belmont Park, Blowout (GB) and her stablemate Regal Glory (GB) ran down the Keeneland stretch in tandem with the former holding on by half a length to give Brown his fourth straight victory and fifth win overall in the $400,000 First Lady Stakes.
With Brown in New York watching Rockemperor (IRE) score at odds of 15-1 over barnmate and 14-1 shot Serve the King (GB) in the Joe Hirsch, Blowout kept the celebration going as the daughter of Dansili (GB) notched her first career top-level win over a Breeders’ Cup quality group that featured five Grade/Group 1 winners. Sent off at 5-1 odds, the 5-year-old mare took up her usual spot on the front end, registering fractions of :23.76 and :47.75 under Flavien Prat while holding a two-length advantage over the field.
At the head of the stretch, 5-1 shot Regal Glory ranged up to the outside of Blowout and the two raced on near even terms until the final yards before the latter spurted clear to earn her second career graded stakes triumph and fifth win overall from 14 starts.
“I thought I was kind of the lone speed in the race,” Prat said. “She showed a lot of run and she was able to relax down the backside and get a nice breather. Turning for home, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew there would be horses coming at me and she actually lost the lead for a little bit, but she got really brave and dug in.”
The only time Blowout has been worse than third in her career came she ran fourth in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 14. Owned by Peter Brant, she signaled her ability when she captured the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) on May 1 and she was beaten just a nose by fellow First Lady entrant and stablemate Viadera (GB) in the Matriarch Stakes (G1) last November.
“She’s a really special filly for us, for my boss, Chad Brown. She does everything we ask,” said Baldo Hernandez, assistant to Brown. “She’s improving a lot. She came here to Keeneland and gave a really good performance. She’s as good as she can be. She tries every time she runs.”
Blowout covered the one-mile distance on Saturday in 1:34.86 over a course rated good. Regal Glory was a half-length ahead of third-place finisher Empress Josephine (IRE) while 6-5 favorite Althiqa (GB) finished fourth, her first loss in the starts in North America.
In posting her first Grade 1 victory, Blowout hiked her earnings to $988,600.