BALTIMORE, MD – Alex G. Campbell Jr.’s homebred Ultra Brat was ultra strong in the stretch, taking command in the far turn before drawing off convincingly to take Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Stella Artois Gallorette Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
Breaking well from post 3 under Jose Ortiz, Ultra Brat stalked the early pace set by Stallion Heiress through slow opening splits of :25.12 and :51.56 in the day’s lone race kept on a rain-dampened turf course rated soft. Midway through the far turn, Ultra Brat made her move to the leader’s outside and held the advantage after 3/4 of a mile. Exiting onto the front stretch, the Shug McGaughey trainee took her cue in stride and showed a tremendous turn of foot to clear away by 10 1/4 lengths at the wire in a final time of 1:53.72 for the 1 1/16-mile event.
“She ran perfect,” Ortiz said. “She broke great and we went to a good position. She relaxed well, and that was the most important thing, because she can be a little high-strung, like in the post parade. From the 3/8 pole, I tested her to see if she was going to go. I showed her the whip a little bit and she jumped in the bit beautifully. I let her go on. I knew nobody would gain a lot of ground, so I wanted to make the first move.”
Blessed Silence reacted poorly when she first hit the soggy track, but she settled well enough to take second by 3/4 of a length over Brooks House. The 6-5 favorite Elysea’s World looked poised for a big move after stalking the pace, but she never fired off of the far turn and settled for fourth. Stallion Heiress faded to finish fifth, while Lake Ponchatrain was never a threat and was eased in teh stretch. Cambodia and Special Event both scratched, electing not to run on the soft turf.
Ultra Brat’s win was her second in a graded stakes event following the Grade 3 Marshua’s River Stakes at Gulfstream Park in January. The 5-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo improved her overall record to 13-5-1-1 with career earnings of $288,299.
“It kind of worked out in my favor today,” Motion said. “I was worried about running (on the turf). It’s so tiring. I can’t exactly imagine the difference to running on this kind of turf and running on firm turf. None of us really knew how she would handle it, but obviously, she handled it well. Jose did a great job. I have so much confidence in him.”
Ultra Brat returned $5.40 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.60 to show. Blessed Silence brought back $4.20 to place and $3.20 to show, while Brooks House paid $4.40 to show.