Native New Yorker Brooklyn Strong (Wicked Strong) earned his black-type badge against fellow Empire-breds last out in the Oct. 24 Sleepy Hollow S. and took his career to the next level Saturday with a gritty victory in the GII Remsen S. at Aqueduct.
Away alertly under Joel Rosario, the 7-1 shot raced two wide near the back of the quintet as favored Ten for Ten (Frosted) clicked off early splits of :23.67 and :47.86. Inching up into third alongside GIII Nashua S. victor Pickin' Time (Stay Thirsty) on the backstretch run, they bay overtook that rival approaching the bend and set his sights on the pacesetter. Pulling away from the rest of the field in the lane, the pair slugged it out in the slop with Brooklyn Strong forging clear of a determined Ten for Ten in the final strides to win by a neck.
“I was very confident going in,” said trainer Daniel Velazquez, who registered his first graded win in the Remsen. “I knew the distance was key and I was confident about the off track. I was happy with his performance. He really dug in. Today was a big showcase for him against tougher competition and I couldn't be happier.”
“I broke well and it looked like they were running away from me a little bit, so I had to ride him to get position,” said Rosario. “I didn't want to let him fall back, so I rode him to stay within a couple of lengths. I was happy with how he was progressing and I was confident he was going to have something left for the end.”
Purchased for just $5,000 at the delayed OBS April Sale after breezing in :10 2/5, Brooklyn Strong was dangled for a $40,000 tag in his career bow at Delaware Sept. 12, which he won by three lengths. Third next out in the state-bred Bertram F. Bongard S. at Belmont Oct. 2, the gelding scored a decisive victory in the one-mile Sleepy Hollow at Belmont last out.
Brooklyn Strong is the first graded winner and one of three black-type victors for second-crop sire Wicked Strong, who scored a career high at the Big A when winning the 2014 GI Wood Memorial S. His SP dam Riviera Chic produced a Keen Ice colt last year and a Practical Joke colt May 4 of this year.
REMSEN S.-GII, $145,500, Aqueduct, 12-5, 2yo, 1 1/8m, 1:50.60, sy.
1–BROOKLYN STRONG, 120, g, 2, by Wicked Strong
1st Dam: Riviera Chic (SP), by Medaglia d'Oro
2nd Dam: Hurricane Warning, by Thunder Gulch
3rd Dam: Dewan's Flag, by Dewan
1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($30,000 Wlg '18 FTNMIX; $42,000
RNA Ylg '19 SARAUG; $6,000 RNA Ylg '19 OBSOCT; $5,000 2yo
'20 OBSAPR). O-Mark Schwartz; B-Cheryl Prudhomme & Dr.
Michael Gallivan (NY); T-Daniel Velazquez; J-Joel Rosario.
$82,500. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-1, $195,000. Werk Nick
Rating: C. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Ten for Ten, 118, c, 2, Frosted–Summer Vacation, by
Eskendereya. ($410,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Courtlandt Farms
(Donald & Donna Adam); B-George Krikorian (KY); T-Claude R.
McGaughey III. $30,000.
3–Known Agenda, 118, c, 2, Curlin–Byrama (GB), by Byron (GB).
($135,000 RNA Ylg '19 FTSAUG). O/B-St. Elias Stable (KY);
T-Todd A. Pletcher. $18,000.
Margins: NK, 8 3/4, 8 1/4. Odds: 7.10, 1.25, 1.95.
Also Ran: Pickin' Time, Erawan.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.