ELMONT, NY – Holding off late bids from stablemates Sistercharlie and Uni, New Money Honey won the Grade 1 $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational and gave trainer Chad Brown a sweep across the board in the 1 1/4-mile race on Belmont’s inner turf.
Breaking from post eight, e Five Racing’s New Money Honey stalked leaders Dynatail and Key To My Heart through fractions of :23.50, :47.54, and 1:11:38. In the stretch, the Medaglia d’Oro filly easily moved to the lead following urging from jockey Javier Castellano, then held off a deep run from post-time favorite Sistercharlie to win by a neck. Brown’s third entry, Uni, finished 1 3/4 lengths back to show.
“They all ran terrific,” said Brown. “Obviously, this filly (New Money Honey) ran terrific, got position early, and they were moving along pretty good. Javier just backed off a little bit and had first run.”
It was the fourth stakes win for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Fillies champion and her second Grade 1 victory, pushing her career earnings over the $1 million mark.
“I’m very lucky to ride for Mr. Brown and the opportunity he gives me to ride the filly,” said Castellano. “We’ve been really lucky, except for the last couple of races, with the filly. I think she is very straight-forward, and today, she broke well out of the gate and got a good spot in the race. Chad and I talked about our strategy before the race and I tried to follow procedure. It worked out great. It was a beautiful spot in the beginning of the race. When it was time to go, she responded and finished really well today.”
Sistercharlie and Uni both broke slowly out of the gate and ran ground-saving trips in the back of the field. Sistercharlie moved up to the middle of the pack down the backstretch before angling out five wide for the stretch run.
“My other two horses were two first-time Euros; they broke a little slow and were pretty far back,” Brown said. “Both of them ran terrific. They look like they’re going to have outstanding careers as well. I haven’t really planned beyond this race; actually, they’ll probably all go in different directions.”
Sistercharlie almost gave owner Peter Brant his first graded stakes win since 1990, but she and her Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez came up just a neck short.
“It was a perfect trip, but we didn’t get there,” said Velazquez. “She’s run a little bit longer, so she didn’t show much speed the first part of the race. I dropped inside and tried to save all the ground that I could. Down the backstretch, I tried to make a little move and get a little bit closer to the horses in front. I saw Javier was third or fourth on the horse to beat, so I tried not to make a premature move. When I pulled out at the 1/4 pole, she ran, but she couldn’t catch up.”
Normandy Farm’s Daddys Lil Darling finished fourth for trainer Kenny McPeek in her first start since running second in the Kentucky Oaks. Rounding out the order of finish was Grizzel, Beau Recall, Coasted, Journey Home, Violet Blue, Dynatail, and Key To My Heart. Brown’s fourth entry, Fifty Five, was a late scratch.
New Money Honey returned $7, $3.30, and $2.90. Sistercharlie brought back $3.30 and $2.80, while Uni paid $4 to show. The $2 Chad Brown trifecta paid $102.50.