Aiken trained Prerequisite wins G2 Wonder Again

Courtesy of the BloodHorse Prerequisite wins the Wonder Again Stakes at Belmont Park
Prerequisite wins the Wonder Again Stakes at Belmont Park

Coglianese Photo

Prerequisite led nearly from the start in the grade 2 turf test at Belmont Park.

Trainer Chad Brown didn’t believe there would be enough speed in the field of seven to keep up with Prerequisite  in the Wonder Again Stakes (G2T) June 11 at Belmont Park. All she and jockey Flavien Prat had to do was get to the front.

Brown’s belief was justified as Prerequisite led nearly from the start, holding off a late-charging Be Your Best  by a neck to win the $200,000, 1 1/8-mile challenge for fillies 3 and up on Belmont’s inner turf course. Prerequisite stopped the clock in 1:47.20.

“I wanted to be (on the lead) if she broke well. (Prat) actually hustled her out of there to make that lead. I didn’t want to leave it in the hands of another horse and possibly a slow pace to deal with in this race,” Brown said. “So we established ourselves on the lead; the plan was to go or if she couldn’t get there, at least attempt to and get the pace going a bit.”

The win was Brown’s fifth in the Wonder Again and second in a row following Consumer Spending ‘s triumph last year. Prerequisite entered the Wonder Again off of a 1 1/4-length win in a maiden special weight race at the same distance and course May 7, her second career start.

Through the first mile of the Wonder Again, it was Spansive  who provided the greatest test for Prerequisite with the winner posting fractional times of :23.67, :47.94, 1:11.80, and 1:35.18.

But as the field came around the turn and into the stretch, Be Your Best, who had been as many as sixth lengths back, surged in the upper stretch to challenge Prerequisite only to run out of turf.

It was Be Your Best’s first race in just over two months following a seventh-place finish in the Appalachian Stakes (G2T).

“I had pretty good pace in front of me, so I took my filly a little bit off the pace and she ran well,” said jockey Manny Franco, who was aboard Be Your Best. “I have to give credit to the winner going that pace and going that far, she kept on going. My filly was giving me her all and I’m really happy with the way she ran.”

Brown had two other entries, both French imports: Venencia , who finished seventh, and the 7-5 favorite Revalita , who finished third after a late charge going five wide.

It was Revalita’s first time going 1 1/8 miles after a finishing second by three quarters of a length in the 1 1/16-mile Edgewood Stakes (G3T) May 5 at Churchill Downs. The Wonder Again was her third race in North America after the filly won two out of three starts in her home country. Brown said that shorter distances may be what she needs.

“I’ll have to look at it again,” he said of Revalita. “She did make a nice move there. I’m kind of on the fence. Maybe her kick is a little better going shorter. It’s one of those things where she was coming along but maybe just at the very late stages, she might have flattened just a tick. So, maybe a cutback would actually be in order for her.”

A $2 win ticket on Prerequisite paid $16. Spansive, who was second most of the race, finished fourth.

Prerequisite is owned by First Row Partners and Team Hanley. She was sold twice, most recently for $350,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale out of the Mason Springs consignment. With the win, Prerequisite improves to 2-0-0 from three starts with $163,000 in earnings.

The filly was bred in Kentucky by Brereton Jones. She is by Upstart   and out of the Smart Strike mare Etsu. The mare has two starters—both winners—from four foals. Upstart stands at Airdrie Stud for $30,000.


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