Brown Ready With Triumvirate for G2 New York Handicap

Sea Calisi credit Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
ELMONT, N.Y. – Well-respected for his prowess with turf horses, trainer Chad Brown will saddle a triumvirate of formidable contenders in Friday’s Grade 2, $500,000 New York Handicap for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up on the inner turf at Belmont Park.

The 1 ¼-mile New York is one of five stakes races on the second day of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. Supporting stakes on the day include the Grade 2, $250,000 True North, $150,000 Jersey Girl, $200,000 Tremont, $150,000 Rags to Riches, and $300,000 Belmont Gold Cup Invitational.

Leading the Brown contingent is 4-year-old French-bred Sea Calisi for owner Martin Schwartz. A Group 2 winner in France, Sea Calisi made her first start in North America on May 7 at Belmont, comfortably winning the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay over stablemate and fellow New York entrant Guapaza, who finished second by 2 ½ lengths.

With Jose Ortiz in the irons, Sea Calisi will depart from post 1.

Guapaza, a 5-year-old Chilean-bred multiple graded stakes winner for owner Carlos Heller, will look to regroup and turn the tables off her last start in the Sheepshead Bay. Previous to that race, she finished an encouraging third in the Grade 3 The Very One Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Hall of Famer John Velazquez will ride Guapaza from post 6.

Lastly, Brown will enter Dacita for owners Sheep Pond Partners and Bradley Thoroughbreds. A graded stakes winner capturing the Grade 2 Ballston Spa at Saratoga Race Course last summer in her first start in North America, the Chilean-bred will look to work out a good trip from post 2 following a fourth-place finish last out in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes April 16 at Keeneland.

“All of them are doing well,” said Brown. “Dacita clearly prefers a firm course but all things being equal I would prefer a dryer weather pattern heading into this race. I wouldn’t want anything too soft or yielding, but wherever each of our runners place themselves during the race is fine by me.”

From the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher is Photo Call for Teresa Viola Racing Stables. A 5-year-old daughter of Galileo, she began her year with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Endeavour Stakes February 13 at Tampa Bay Downs. Last out, she won the Grade 3 Orchid Stakes April 2 at Gulfstream Park.

With Javier Castellano in the irons, Photo Call will leave from post 5.

Trophee, a half-sister to two-time Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Treve, is entered for Bridlewood Farm and trainer Christophe Clement. Coming in off an allowance victory at Aqueduct Racetrack in her most recent start on April 20, Clement acknowledges this is a step up but is confident in the horse’s ability.

“It’s a bit ambitious, but she is doing well,” said Clement. “It will be fun to try it.”

Drawing post 3, Trophee will leave with Joel Rosario in the irons.

Rounding out the field are European imports Kyllachy Queen for trainer Marco Botti and Castleton Farms, and Havana Moon for trainer Mikel Delzangles and Papillon Stables.

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