D.J. Stable and Chester and Mary Broman’s Coinage made his turf, open-company and two-turn debut a winning one in the Grade 3, $150,000 With Anticipation, a 1 1/16-mile inner turf test for juveniles at Saratoga Race Course on Sept. 1.
Bred in New York by the Bromans, the Tapit chestnut is out of the Grade 1-winning Medaglia d’Oro mare Bar of Gold, who captured the 2017 Yaddo on the Saratoga turf ahead of a victory in that year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on the Del Mar main track.
Chester Broman said he was surprised by the ease of the gate-to-wire score, despite jockey Junior Alvarado relaying their strategy pre-race.
“When we were in the paddock, [(Alvarado) said he was going to put him on the lead and said, ‘They’ll have to catch me,’” Broman said. “That’s easy to say, but they couldn’t catch him. Those were pretty good horses, too.”
Trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse, Coinage broke sharp from the outermost post 6 under Alvarado and set splits of :25.66, :50.65 and 1:15.59 on the firm going with Gooch Go Bragh in second and a keen Portfolio Company on the rail in third.
Coinage led the field into the final turn with Portfolio Company, piloted by Irad Ortiz, Jr., advancing up the rail and angling into the two path for the stretch run with Limited Liability, the 4-5 post-time favorite under Jose Ortiz, following his run.
Portfolio Company tried in vain to reel in the pacesetter but the regally-bred chestnut would not be denied a two-length victory in a final time of 1:43.69.
Coinage, a maiden winner at second asking on June 17 at Belmont, followed up with an even third in the Rick Violette at six furlongs on July 21 at the Spa. Casse breezed the chestnut twice on the Oklahoma training turf last month in preparation for his turf debut.
“I told my wife Tina this morning, ‘We’ll see if they can catch him.’ I seldom say this, but I told Junior to take no prisoners and go,” Casse said. “He’s a good horse. He has a high cruising speed. We breezed him over the turf a couple of times as we like to do. Training horses is like putting a puzzle together. You have to keep trying the pieces until figuring out where they fit. We figured it out today.
“(I liked) his works, and his pedigree, and two of their wonderful owners bred him and gave us the privilege of training him,” Casse added. “He’s a serious horse.”
The victory marked the second stakes score of the meet for Casse following Got Stormy’s Grade 1 Fourstardave coup last month.
Alvarado, whose previous Spa stakes wins this summer include the Grade 2 Saratoga Special with High Oak and the Summer Colony with Horologist, said he felt confident throughout.
“Mark told me he’s been sharp and to get out of there running. I was only worried a little about the 2 (Silipo) because I thought he might try to go to the lead and get something out of it,” Alvarado said. “But Coinage broke out of there that sharp and was so comfortable on the turf the first time; he took it all the way.
“Turning for home, I asked him and he started moving very quick and I said, ‘there’s no way anybody can go by me,’” he added. “Going for home from the quarter-pole to the wire, I was pretty confident with what I had at that point.”
Portfolio Company, an impressive maiden winner for leading trainer Chad Brown, completed the exacta by 3 1/2-lengths over Limited Liability.