In what has become a familiar sight, trainer Chad Brown captured the 28th running of the Grade I $600,000 Beverly D. at Arlington International Racecourse with Sheep Pond Partners and Bradley Thoroughbreds’ Dacita (CHI) to secure a fourth victory in the 1 3/16 miles turf stakes, and his third in consecutive years. Under the guidance of jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., the 6-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy settled off the pace through early fractions of 23.84, 49.34 and 1:14.81 while Dom Felipe’s Ignacio Correas-trainee Dona Bruja (ARG), a length in front of Dacita from the break, made her way closer to the pace up the backstretch under rider Declan Cannon. Reaching the leaders in the stretch, Dona Bruja flattened too much to hold off the charging Dacita, but had enough gas left to stay up for the place photo.
Brown’s second of three entries, Juddmonte Farm’s Grand Jete (GB) was settled in front of the pair early in the running along the rail, but struggled to find running room as they crossed the mile marker in 1:38.11 with rider Joel Rosario. Ortiz, Jr. angled Dacita outside on the turn and rallied strongly towards the wire to win by half-length in a time of 1:55.49. Grand Jete switched to the outside to race up to Dona Bruja, hitting the wire in unison with the betting-favorite to trigger a dead-heat for second.
“She didn’t start as good as she normally does,” said Cannon. “She dragged me around for six furlongs and did a little more than [usual]. In the stretch she gave me a little kick, but it wasn’t what she normally can do. I think she tired herself out fighting me.”
“I was trying to save ground,” said Rosario. “Turning for home I had to wait a little bit longer than I wanted but she ran good.”
With the winner’s purse of $345,600 Dacita brought her career earnings to $1,398,369 with 10 wins in 19 starts. She paid $15.80, $5.20 and $4.40. Dona Bruja returned $2.40 and $2.80 while Grand Jete returned $3 and $3.80.
“We were waiting for her to be right and praying for some firm ground and we got it today and got super lucky,” said owner Sol Kumin. “This filly is something special, the way she finished we knew she had it in her. Thanks to Mr. Brown. We’ll have to regroup and talk to Chad with the Breeder’s Cup being the goal.”
With the win Dacita earned automatic, paid entry into the Grade I $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar in November by capturing the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” event.
“First I want to thank the owner for giving me the opportunity,” said Ortiz, Jr. “I got a perfect trip, I got the one hole and broke out of there and got close. I didn’t want to be too far [off]. I saved all the ground and she was there for me.”
Chad Brown won the Beverly D. in 2016 with Martin Schwartz’ Sea Calisi and in 2015 with Michael Kisber, Bradley Thoroughbreds and Nelson McMakin’s Watsdachances. Brown also teamed up with Schwartz to win the 2011 Beverly D. with Stacelita. With the victory, Brown surpassed Christophe Clement as the trainer with the most wins in the history of the stakes.
The order of finish was completed by Rainha Da Bateria, Kitten’s Roar, Sarandia (GER), Hawksmoor (IRE), Rain Goddess (IRE), Zipessa, and Prado’s Sweet Ride.