Twirling Candy's Concrete Rose Dominates in the Belmont Oaks

Concrete Rose | Sarah K. Andrew


Putting her lone other appearance in Grade I company squarely in the rear-view mirror, Ashbrook Farm and BBN Racing LLC's Concrete Rose (Twirling Candy) assumed the mantle of this country's most talented sophomore turf filly with a fast-finishing victory in Saturday's GI Belmont Oaks Invitational S. on Long Island. Just Wonderful (Dansili {GB}) narrowly outfinished GIII Wonder Again S. winner Cambier Park (Medaglia d'Oro) for second, while the latter's stablemate, while favored Newspaperofrecord (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) resented an attempt at rating tactics and was beaten a furlong out.

Japanese raider Jodie (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}) jumped best and made the early running, as is her custom, as Concrete Rose took up a stalking spot from second off a pedestrian tempo. Allowed to bowl along through six panels in a hasslefree 1:14.14, Jodie led the Oaks field into the far turn, but Julien Leparoux had Concrete Rose at that one's flank and was joined outside by Newspaperofrecord, who looked dangerous for a stride or two at the quarter pole. But ridden along hands-and-heels into the final furlong, Concrete Rose claimed Jodie at will and sprinted hard to record an open-length victory. Just Wonderful, slow from the stalls and hampered at midway, ran on from second-last to finish a very good second.

“The Japanese horse wanted to go, so I was happy to be second and my filly relaxed beautiful for me the whole race,” said Leparoux. “I knew at the quarter-pole I had a lot left. She made a big run at the end. It was nice.”

Newspaperofrecord, favored in spite of consecutive losses, was rank behind the leaders early and drifted out badly with about six furlongs to race, bothering Cafe Americano (Medaglia d'Oro) and Coral Beach (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}). Allowed to stride and settled slightly better into the final half-mile, she loomed boldly at the entry to the stretch, but called it a day soon after.

“She didn't want to rate at all, she was all over the place,” trainer Chad Brown commented. “It was no fault of Irad's, the filly just wouldn't cooperate. So, we tried it, it didn't work, and that's that.”

A maiden winner at first asking at Saratoga last August, Concrete Rose added a three-length success in the GII Jessamine S. at Keeneland Oct. 10, but was done in by the boggy Churchill turf when eighth to Newspaperofrecord in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in November. The dark bay resumed with a half-length success in the GIII Florida Oaks at Tampa Mar. 9 and turned the tables on her Breeders' Cup conqueror with a 3 3/4-length victory in the GIII Edgewood S. at Churchill May 3. The victory was the first Grade I on this circuit for trainer Rusty Arnold since sending out Victory Ride (Seeking the Gold) to win the 2001 Test S. All being equal, Concrete Rose is expected to contest the $750,000 Saratoga Oaks Aug. 2 and the $750,000 Jockey Club Oaks at Belmont Sept. 7.

Pedigree Notes:

The third Grade I winner for her sire and second this year, Concrete Rose was a $19,000 buyback out of the 2016 Keeneland November sale before changing hands for $20,000 as a Keeneland September yearling the following fall. Originally led out unsold at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale after breezing an eighth of a mile in :10 2/5, Concrete Rose was sold privately for $61,000.

Saturday, Belmont Park
BELMONT OAKS INVITATIONAL S.-GI, $750,000, Belmont, 7-6, 3yo, f, 1 1/4mT, 1:59.97, fm.
1–CONCRETE ROSE, 121, f, 3, by Twirling Candy
1st Dam: Solerina, by Powerscourt (GB)
2nd Dam: Sky Blue Girl (GB), by Sabrehill
3rd Dam: Nemea, by The Minstrel
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($19,000 RNA Wlg '16 KEENOV; $20,000 Ylg
'17 KEESEP; $61,000 2yo '18 EASMAY). O-Ashbrook Farm and
BBN Racing, LLC; B-Ron Patterson (KY); T-George R. Arnold, II;
J-Julien R. Leparoux. $400,000. Lifetime Record: 6-5-0-0,
$818,650. Werk Nick Rating: F. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Just Wonderful, 121, f, 3, by Dansili (GB)
1st Dam: Wading (Ire), by Montjeu (Ire)
2nd Dam: Cherry Hinton (GB), by Green Desert
3rd Dam: Urban Sea, by Miswaki
O-Michael B. Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier & Derrick Smith;
B-Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt (KY); T-Aidan P. O'Brien.
3–Cambier Parc, 121, f, 3, by Medaglia d'Oro
1st Dam: Sealy Hill, by Point Given
2nd Dam: Boston Twist, by Boston Harbor
3rd Dam: Chou Chou, by Premiership
($1,250,000 Ylg '17 KEESEP). O-OXO Equine LLC; B-Bonne
Chance Farm LLC (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $75,000.
Margins: 2 3/4, NO, 2. Odds: 2.90, 18.30, 3.55.
Also Ran: Jodie (Jpn), Dyna Passer, Cafe Americano, Coral Beach (Ire), Olendon (Fr), Newspaperofrecord (Ire). Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.


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