Aspray Back in Winner's Circle in Lake Placid

Aspray | Sarah Andrew

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Ran Jan Racing's immaculately bred Aspray (Quality Road), who tasted defeat for the first time in her career in the GI Belmont Oaks Invitational S. July 8, atoned for that effort in no uncertain terms with a powerful two-length victory over her previously unbeaten stablemate Surge Capacity (Flintshire {GB}) in Saturday's GII Lake Placid S. at Saratoga. Soviet Excess (Uncle Mo) charged home late to deny a Chad Brown 1-2-3 sweep, finishing just ahead of favored Tax Implications (GB) (Mehmas {Ire}).

Drawn beautifully in gate two, Aspray bounced away in good order and secured the ideal position in transit, riding the rails as Heavenly Sunset (Candy Ride {Arg}) led from Gloria's Princess (Cairo Prince) at an even gallop. Traveling sweetly beneath Flavien Prat for the run into the final half-mile, Aspray was waited with nearing the quarter pole, popped off the inside and into the three-wide line to deliver her challenge in upper stretch. The homebred quickly put the pacesetters to the sword with about a furlong and a half to race, pinched a winning break and was never in any sort of danger. Surge Capacity appeared to take an awkward stride or two in a bit tight down the backstretch, but had a clear shot at the winner in the stretch and just couldn't reel her in.

Victorious in an off-turf maiden on Tampa debut Jan. 14, Aspray followed up with a facile 2 1/2-length success trying the grass for the first time in Oldsmar Mar. 22. With Prat in the boot for the first time, the bay made up a double-digit deficit with a wide rally to take out the May 19 Hilltop S. at Pimlico and was wide on both turns last time in the 10-furlong Oaks, finishing 2 1/2 lengths behind European raider Aspen Grove (Ire) (Justify) in fourth.

“[Aspray relished the] cutback in distance and she really appreciated the ground today, too,” said Brown, winning his fifth Lake Placid in the last seven years and third straight. “She didn't mind a little cut in the ground. She worked out a beautiful trip from that inside post. Flavien [Prat] really took advantage of that.

“I trained her a little too far last time, but you had to try since it was such a prestigious race we were pointing towards. I thought she could do it. Flavien [Prat] knows the horse so well, he came back after the race and he was adamant about the race being a little too far for her and that we should cut her back in distance to 1 1/16 miles to 1 1/8 miles and we'll be fine. He was right.”

Brown indicated that Aspray would likely make her next start in the GI Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland over nine panels in October, an event he won last year with Gina Romantica (Into Mischief).

Pedigree Notes:

Aspray is a 35th worldwide winner at the group/graded level for Lane's End's Quality Road and is bred on the exact same cross as Cairo (Ire), a Group 3 winner last season at two in Ireland and most recently runner-up to Paddington (Ire) (Siyouni {Fr}) in the G1 Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas in May. Aspray is the 164th GSW worldwide out of a daughter of the late Galileo.

Aspray's dam was raced by the Coolmore partners, finishing runner-up to Beauty Parlour (GB) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches in 2012 before returning to Ireland to win the G3 Dance Design S. and G2 Blandford S. Robert Naify and Jan Vandebos's Ran Jan Racing paid a sales-topping $2.2 million for Up, in foal to War Front, at the 2015 Keeneland January Sale.

The mare, a half-sister to Group 1-winning juvenile and Cheveley Park sire Dutch Art (GB) (Medicean {GB}), has proven a commercial success and her offspring have done their part at the races. Her foal of 2017, Monarch of Egypt, became the first winner and 'TDN Rising Star' for American Pharoah and went on to be second in the 2019 G1 Phoenix S. for the Coolmore partners. He was later sold to Hong Kong interests, was unplaced in the 2021 BMW Hong Kong Derby and is now conditioned by the Hayes brothers in Victoria, Australia, where he won in handicap company in May. Khartoum (Pioneerof the Nile), a $1-million KEESEP grad in 2019, was Group 3-placed for Coolmore in Ireland and was sold to continue his career in Saudi Arabia, where he was an 8 1/2-length winner in allowance company at King Khalid Racecourse in Ta'if Aug. 4.

Up's yearling Medaglia d'Oro filly is cataloged as hip 384 to the upcoming Keeneland September Sale. She was among the first book of mares bred to Flightline this season.

Saturday, Saratoga
LAKE PLACID S.-GII, $200,000, Saratoga, 8-19, 3yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 1:42.85, gd.
1–ASPRAY, 120, f, 3, by Quality Road
                1st Dam: Up (Ire) (MGSW-Ire, G1SP-Fr, $379,468),
                                by Galileo (Ire)
                2nd Dam: Halland Park Lass (Ire), by Spectrum (Ire)
                3rd Dam: Palacegate Episode (Ire), by Drumalis (Ire)
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. O/B-Ran Jan Racing, Inc. (KY);
T-Chad C. Brown; J-Flavien Prat. $110,000. Lifetime Record:
5-4-0-0, $226,210. *1/2 to Monarch of Egypt (American
Pharoah), G1SP-Ire, GSP-Eng, $268,084. Werk Nick Rating: A.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Surge Capacity, 122, f, 3, Flintshire (GB)–Strong Incentive, by
Warrior's Reward. O/B-Klaravich Stables (KY); T-Chad C.
Brown. $40,000.
3–Soviet Excess, 118, f, 3, Uncle Mo–Westit (GB), by Tapit.
1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. O/B-Wertheimer Et Frere (KY);
T-Todd A. Pletcher. $24,000.
Margins: 2, HD, NK. Odds: 3.35, 4.20, 28.25.
Also Ran: Tax Implications (GB), Prerequisite, Gloria's Princess, Heavenly Sunday, Junipermarshmallow. Scratched: Leave No Trace, Undervalued Asset.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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