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ARCADIA, CA – OXO Equine’s Brill made her turf debut a winning one on Saturday when she burst away early before holding on late to wire the $75,000 Lady of Shamrock Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking from post 2 at 7/2 odds under Mike Smith, Brill outdueled Angel Alessandra for the lead heading into the clubhouse turn while posting a quick opening 1/4-mile time of :23.06. As the field straightened onto the backstretch, Smith slowed the pace down considerably, posting following fractions of :47.62 and 1:12.38.
Rounding the far turn still in the lead, Brill began to inch away from her competition, who all struggled to keep up. A late push along the rail from the 6/5 favorite Keeper Ofthe Stars was not enough to catch Brill, who led the field from flags fall to that’s all.
Trained by Don Chatlos, Brill completed the mile-long event over the good turf course in a final time of 1:35.75.
“She had the blinkers off today, but she turned it on really nice and handled the grass really well,” said Smith, a gameday replacement for scheduled rider Flavien Prat, who took off all Saturday mounts with an illness. “I think that’s the kind of race they’ve been looking to see out of her. I believe she’s going to forward off of this.”
Keeper Ofthe Stars was 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner and 1 1/4 lengths ahead of a three-way photo for third. Lucky Peridot rallied late to outnose Sold It, while Angel Alessandra was a neck behind in fifth.
Behind them came Bodhicitta, Mischiffie, and Lakerball to complete the order of finish.
Brill’s win was her first since breaking her maiden on debut over the Del Mar main track on July 18, 2018, and came in her first start since finishing fourth in the July 5 Victory Ride Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park. The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, purchased for $1 million as a yearling, has now earned $231,040 to go with a record of 8-2-1-2.
“We felt she’d be on the lead,” Chatlos said. “She’s just a quick horse. She had been chasing some very fast fillies earlier this year at Oaklawn Park and it didn’t look like there was anything in here today of that caliber. We put her on the grass because being by Medaglia d’Oro, we thought she’d like it and we think the grass will be better for her in the long run.”
Brill returned $9 to win, $4.80 to place, and $3 to show. Keeper Ofthe Stars brought back $2.80 to place and $2.20 to show, while Lucky Peridot paid $2.80 to show.
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