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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Trainer Chad Brown’s Flavius took the field on a merry chase from gate to wire, winning Saturday’s $120,000 Fasig-Tipton Lure Stakes at Saratoga after stablemate Value Proposition caused an initial delay.
As the field neared the starting gate at post time, Value Proposition reportedly lost a shoe. At the time the slight 2/1 betting favorite, he was ruled to run for purse money only in the event restricted to non-winners of a graded stakes in 2021.
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With Value Proposition’s defection from the wagering menu, Flavius broke a half-step slow from post 5 under Flavien Prat as the 6/5 favorite but quickly recovered and took command heading into the clubhouse turn.
With Tell Your Daddy stalking off his right hip, Flavius ticked off opening fractions of :24.52, :48.99, and 1:13.25 while Prat kept him under a hold.
Shaken up at the top of the stretch, Flavius kept Tell Your Daddy and the rest at bay before drawing off in the final furlong to win the firm 1 1/16-mile turf route by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:41.53.
“I appreciate Flavien taking the initiative of taking it to them early,” Brown said. “This horse switched off nicely down the backside and it seemed he had his ears up moving comfortably down the backside, so I knew he had a big chance. He ran lights out today. It was an impressive performance.”
Tell Your Daddy crossed 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Value Proposition, while officially third went to Dreams of Tomorrow by a head over Delaware, Brown’s third runner.
Another 1/2-length back, South Bend, Fighting Seabee, and Temple crossed a neck and a head (respectively) between them to complete the order of finish.
Midnight Tea Time, Guildsman, Ballagh Rocks, and Main Track Only entry Tacitus scratched.
Flavius’ win, his first of the year, came in his third 2021 start after finishing fourth in March’s Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park and second last out in the Seek Again at Belmont Park. The 6-year-old Juddmonte Farms homebred son of War Front, whose only previous American win came in last September’s Tourist Mile at Kentucky Downs, improved his career record to 12-4-3-1 with $691,151 earned.
“I didn’t see a lot of speed in the race,” Prat said. “I wanted to be in the race and I found myself on the lead. He was travelling super and he kicked on really well. When I rode him in the Kilroe, it was against a good group of horses. I thought everything worked out well today.”
Flavius returned $4.70 to win, $2.90 to place, and $2.20 to show. Tell Your Daddy brought back $7.40 to place and $4.90 to show. Dreams of Tomorrow paid $2.80 to show.
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