ELMONT, NY – Trainer Chad Brown won his third graded stakes exacta of the day when Beach Patrol and Fanciful Angel hit the finish line 1-2 in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park.
The Joe Hirsch is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Beach Patrol receiving an automatic berth in the $4 million Longines Turf at Del Mar on Saturday, November 4.
After breaking well from post 5, jockey Joel Rosario settled Beach Patrol into the two path alongside Oscar Performance. Meanwhile, Converge blazed ahead early, setting fractions of :23.81, :48.23, 1:13.81, and 1:39.55 while leading by as much as 7 lengths. That lead quickly disintegrated nearing the 3/8 pole, though, as Rosario put Beach Patrol in front and never looked back, crossing first by 5 lengths in a final time of 2:26.29 for the 1 1/2-mile turf marathon.
“It was (an impressive turn of foot),” Rosario said. “He just keep moving forward, and then turning for home, I could see he wasn’t going to quit on you. He gives you everything he has. When I went to let him know it’s time to go, he accelerated himself. It was a really good performance.”
Beach Patrol’s stablemate Fanciful Angel replicated the pair’s results in the Grade 1 Arlington Million last out, outfinishing Oscar Performance by a nose at the wire. Sadler’s Joy, Ascend, Channel Maker, Tricked Up, Money Multiplier, Mekhtaal, and Converge completed the order of finish.
Owned by James Covello, Sheep Pond Partners, and Head of Plains Partners, Beach Patrol’s career earnings improved to $1,756,945 with a record of 16-5-5-3. The 4-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid seems to be peaking at just the right time leading into the Breeders’ Cup.
“He handled a little cut in the ground today from some of the rain we had, but he’s not a horse that’s ever shown me that he needs it,” Brown said. “If anything, he’s a firm-ground horse, so I’m not too worried about how he’ll handle the track out there (at Del Mar). I’d be more concerned about the competition. He’s earned a place in the race, for sure, and he’s formidable.”