Aiken-trained Concrete Rose rolls to victory in Saratoga Oaks Invitational
Aiken-trained Concrete Rose remained undefeated in 2019 when she cruised to a 4¾-length victory Friday in the $750,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational Stakes.
It was the fourth consecutive win for the 3-year-old thoroughbred filly.
“I was very confident the whole way around,” said Concrete Rose’s jockey, Julien Leparoux.
The filly covered 1 3/16 miles on grass in 1:55.34 at Saratoga Race Course in New York.
She was the 1-5 favorite for the Saratoga Oaks and led nearly all the way.
Under little pressure from her four rivals, Concrete Rose relaxed early on the front and set a leisurely pace.
She completed the first quarter of a mile in 25.58 seconds and the half in 51.41 seconds.
“They gave me the race in the first part of it,” Leparoux said. “We ran very slow, but she finished very strong. She’s a very special filly, and I’m very excited to be riding her.”
“On paper, it didn’t look like there was any speed”, he continued. “She’s a very easy filly to ride, so I went for the lead and if someone else wanted to go, I could take back. It’s one of those things where they let me go easy and that was it.”
Happen finished second, only a nose in front of Kelsey’s Cross. The latter edged Coral Beach by a head for third.
Olendon was last.
Rusty Arnold trains Concrete Rose, who is owned by Ashbrook Farm and BBN Racing.
The filly has lost only once in her seven career races, finishing eighth in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last November at Churchill Down in Kentucky.
Concrete Rose made her 2019 debut in March at Tampa Bay Downs, where she captured the Florida Oaks.
She then won the Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs in May and the Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park in New York in July.
The Florida Oaks and Edgewood were grade III races, and the Belmont Oaks was a grade I event.
Concrete Rose’s efforts also include a victory in the 2018 JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes, a grade II race at Keeneland in Kentucky.
The Saratoga Oaks is the second leg of the New York Racing Association’s new Triple Tiara series on turf for 3-year-old fillies. The first was the Belmont Oaks, and the third race will be the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational, which is scheduled for Sept. 7 at Belmont Park.
Justin Wojczynski was working for for Aiken horsewoman Cary Frommer as an assistant trainer when he purchased Concrete Rose for $20,000 for himself and some partners at the 2017 Keeneland September yearling sale in Kentucky.
The filly then joined the group of horses under Frommer’s supervision at the Aiken Training Track.
The following year, in the name of White Pine Thoroughbreds, Wojczynski consigned Concrete Rose to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training in Maryland. Bloodstock agent David Ingordo bought her for $61,000.
Frommer is a member of the Aiken Training Track’s board of directors. She also is the immediate past president of the facility, which is the home of the Aiken Trials and is located at 538 Two Notch Road S.E.