Third Time The Charm For Regal Glory In Just a Game

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Regal Glory | Sarah Andrew

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Having finished fourth to then-stablemate Newspaperofrecord (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) in the 2020 renewal and again behind the impressive Althiqa (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}) in the 2021 running–while tactically disadvantaged to varying degrees on each occasion–Peter Brant's 'TDN Rising Star' Regal Glory (Animal Kingdom) got the ideal set-up in Saturday's GI Just A Game S. and came with her trademark flying finish to strike for the third time at the highest level. Wakanaka (Ire) (Power {GB}), winner of the G3 Premio Regina Elena (Italian 1000 Guineas) last season, picked up some valuable Grade I black-type in second, while the winner's commonly owned stable companion 'Rising Star' In Italian (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) stuck on gamely for third after attending demanding fractions.

The rail-drawn Leggs Galore (Bayern) flaunted her speed from the fence on the stretchout and led In Italian through an opening few furlongs in :22.25 as they put the better part of 10 lengths on Regal Glory. Wakanaka landed in fourth, while Speak of the Devil (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}), so impressive in winning the GIII Distaff Turf Mile on Derby Day May 7, missed the kick and trailed early.

The duel continued up front through a half-mile in :45.53, and Regal Glory was the first to make serious inroads, cutting into the deficit with every stride leaving the three-eighths pole. With things much more in her favor this time around from a tactical standpoint, Regal Glory had the pacemakers at her mercy in upper stretch, raced up to In Italian with about a furlong to race and kicked home a much-the-best winner as Wakanaka closed off well to complete the exacta. Similar to Rougir (Fr) (Territories {Ire}) in Friday's GI New York S., Speak of the Devil turned in a dull effort to be fourth.

It was a fifth Just A Game in the last six years–each for different ownership–for trainer Chad Brown, but perhaps none of those is as meaningful as winning this particular event for Brant, who campaigned Just A Game to champion grass mare honors in 1980. Among her victories were the local GII Flower Bowl H. and the GIII New York H. Brant's Bleecker Street (Quality Road) annexed Friday's running of the latter event.

“The first day I met [Brant] and I saw the trophy at his house and it was from Just a Game–it was the first thing I noticed,” said Brown. “We had a conversation about it, and I said, 'This is the one race I'm going to win for you one day.' We got to talking about it this week. It's meant a lot to him, this race.”

Brown indicated that the Aug. 13 GI Fourstardave H., a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Mile, would be next for Regal Glory.

A three-time graded winner for the late Paul Pompa, Jr., Regal Glory shared top honors at the 2021 Keeneland January Sale when selling to Brant for $925,000 as part of the Pompa dispersal. A listed winner on either side of her Just A Game effort last term, she completed a Brant 1-2 behind Blowout (GB) (Dansili {GB}) in the GI First Lady S. in Lexington in October ahead of a richly deserved maiden Grade I tally in Del Mar's Matriarch S. Nov. 28. Easy winner of the GIII Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf Jan. 29, she most recently out-sprinted stablemate Shantisara (Fr) (Coulsty {Ire}) to take Keeneland's GI Jenny Wiley S. Apr. 16.

Pedigree Notes:

A half-sister to dual G1 February S. winner Cafe Pharoah (American Pharoah) and dual-graded winning turfer Night Prowler (Giant's Causeway), Regal Glory is one of four Grade I/Group 1 winners worldwide for Animal Kingdom, who now stands in Japan. Dam Mary's Follies, trained by the late John Forbes to a victory in the GIII Boiling Springs S., was acquired privately by Pompa and added the GII Mrs. Revere S. before her retirement to stud. Mary's Follies was purchased by the BBA Ireland for $500,000 out of the Pompa dispersal and produced a colt by the Pompa-raced Grade I winner Connect that was recently sold to Saudi Arabian interests for $180,000 at the OBS March Sale. Having aborted to Curlin for 2021, Mary's Follies produced a full-brother to Cafe Pharoah this past Feb. 26.

Saturday, Belmont Park
LONGINES JUST A GAME S.-GI, $480,000, Belmont, 6-11, 4yo/up, f/m, 1mT, 1:32.00, fm.
1–REGAL GLORY, 124, m, 6, by Animal Kingdom
                1st Dam: Mary's Follies (MGSW, $338,889), by More Than Ready
                2nd Dam: Catch the Queen, by Miswaki
                3rd Dam: Wave to the Queen, by Wavering Monarch
($925,000 5yo '21 KEEJAN). 'TDN Rising Star'. O-Peter M. Brant; B-Paul P Pompa (KY); T-Chad C. Brown; J-Jose L. Ortiz. $275,000. Lifetime Record: 19-12-4-0, $2,111,009. *1/2 to Night Prowler (Giant's Causeway), MGSW, $535,682; 1/2 to Cafe Pharoah (American Pharoah), MG1SW-Jpn, $3,001,697. Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Wakanaka (Ire), 118, f, 4, by Power (GB)
                1st Dam: Storyline (Ire), by Kodiac (GB)
                2nd Dam: Petite Histoire (Ire), by Desert Story (Ire)
                3rd Dam: Danccini (Ire), by Dancing Dissident
1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. (£3,500 Ylg '19 GOFFPR). O-Team Valor International and Gary Barber; B-Mrs Jean Brennan (IRE); T-William I. Mott. $100,000.
3–In Italian (GB), 118, f, 4, by Dubawi (Ire)
                1st Dam: Florentina (Aus) (GSW-Aus, $250,958), by Redoute's Choice (Aus)
                2nd Dam: Celebria (Aus), by Peintre Celebre
                3rd Dam: Twyla (Aus), by Danehill
1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. (475,000gns Ylg '19 TATOCT). ''TDN Rising Star' . O-Peter M. Brant; B-Fairway Thoroughbreds (GB); T-Chad C. Brown. $60,000.
Margins: 3HF, 1 1/4, 6. Odds: 1.40, 15.20, 7.30.
Also Ran: Speak of the Devil (Fr), Leggs Galore
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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