CONCRETE ROSE Romps in Belmont Oaks G1

Courtesy of the BloodHorse
Concrete Rose wins the Belmont Oaks Invitational Saturday, July 6, 2019 at Belmont Park. Photo: Coglianese Photos

Concrete Rose rolls to victory in the Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park (Coglianese Photos)

Victory marked first grade 1 score for daughter of Twirling Candy.

By Meredith Daugherty

For Ashbrook Farm and BBN Racing’s Concrete Rose, 2019 is a year for the books.

Already a three-time graded stakes winner when she walked onto the Belmont Park turf for the first time July 6, the daughter of Twirling Candy picked up her first grade 1 score in the $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes (G1T).

Concrete Rose, dk b/br, 3/f
Twirling Candy — Solerina, by Powerscourt (GB)

Owner: Ashbrook Farm and BBN Racing, LLC
Breeder: Ron Patterson (KY)
Trainer: George R. Arnold, II
Jockey: Julien R. Leparoux
Information provided by Equibase at time of entry.

Pedigree Notes
Twirling Candy stands at Lane’s End for $25,000 (2019).

Sale History
FTMMAY2018 • $61,000 • Consignor: White Pine Thoroughbreds, agent • Buyer: David Ingordo.
KEESEP2017 • $20,000 • Consignor: Lane’s End, agent • Buyer: J. W. Bloodstock.
KEENOV2016 • ($19,000 RNA) • Consignor: Lane’s End, agent.

“I feel like a champagne bottle that has been shaken up and not opened,” Bo Bromagen of Ashbrook told a representative of Fasig-Tipton, which sold the Twirling Candy  filly as a 2-year-old. “This is beyond my expectations, but you dream for it.”

It was Jodie, the Japanese invader making her first start stateside for owner Tadakazu Obama, who took the lead from the break in the 1 1/4-mile test. Opening a one-length advantage under jockey Miyabi Muto, the Daiwa Major filly set fractions of :24.29, :49.16, and 1:14.14 through six furlongs.

Concrete Rose and regular rider Julien Leparoux stalked in second just off the rail, followed by Chad Brown-trained Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1T) victress Newspaperofrecord, who broke rankly from the inside. The filly tipped out into the two path as Irad Ortiz Jr. worked to get a firm hold. The move forced Cafe Americano out eight wide, causing Coral Beach and Just Wonderful to check in the backstretch.

As the field of nine entered the far turn, Newspaperofrecord tucked back in toward the rail and was given a bit more rein. She moved up to three wide on the outside and tried to challenge the leaders briefly before dropping back, her energy depleted.

Settling down for a drive at the top of the stretch, Concrete Rose took command a furlong from the wire, kicked home, and crossed the finish 2 3/4 lengths in front in 1:59.97.

“I thought Chad’s horse (Newspaperofrecord) would be on the lead unless they came for her, but I guess today they tried something new and took her back a little bit,” said Leparoux. “The Japanese horse wanted to go, so I was happy to be second, and my filly relaxed beautiful for me the whole race. I knew at the quarter pole I had a lot left. She made a big run at the end. It was nice.

“She’s pretty easy to rate. She seemed nervous in the paddock, but when she’s on the track, she’s just very easy to ride. I knew she was going to relax, and I wasn’t really that concerned (about the distance).”

Just Wonderful, who lunged at the start and made contact with the gate, raced near the back of the pack through the first mile. Coaxed by jockey Wayne Lordan at the quarter pole, the filly was angled out six wide in upper stretch and rallied late to take place honors in a photo finish.

“She likes to drop in at the races at home, so we decided to do the exact same thing here,” said Lordan. “I thought she came home really well. It’s her first time going that trip as well, and for the future she’ll get that trip. Hopefully, she can come back out here and compete again. I’m delighted with the run.”

Cambier Parc was third, followed by Jodie in fourth. Dyna Passer, Cafe Americano, Coral Beach, and Olendon followed. Newspaperofrecord was eased through the stretch and finished last.

“(Newspaperofrecord) didn’t want to rate at all. She was all over the place,” said Brown. “It was no fault of Irad’s. The filly just wouldn’t cooperate. So we tried it, it didn’t work, and that’s that.”

“Sometimes your plan works, and sometimes it doesn’t work, but this one worked,” said trainer George “Rusty” Arnold, who admitted he was worried coming into the Belmont Oaks that he had rested the filly too much for her to maintain top form.

“Everyone had run, and we hadn’t run in two months and a couple of days, and I was a little worried. Her training went smooth, her works went smooth, and everything went well. I was impressed today. I was very, very happy with how she ran.”

It was the fourth graded stakes score for Concrete Rose, who took the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine Stakes (G2T) at 2 before finishing off the board next out in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Freshened for her sophomore campaign, she made her 2019 debut March 9 in the Florida Oaks (G3T) at Tampa Bay Downs and followed that score with another impressive win in the May 3 Edgewood Stakes Presented by Forcht Bank (G3T) at Churchill Downs.

Arnold said the filly will likely continue with the New York Racing Association’s Turf Tiara series and make her next start in the inaugural $750,000 Saratoga Oaks Aug. 2 at Saratoga Race Course.

“Absolutely, unless there’s an issue,” said Arnold. “That’s why we rested her, and hopefully it worked.”

Sent through the ring as a 2-year-old at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, Concrete Rose caught the eye of Bromagen when she was galloping out from her breeze during the under tack show.

“She was at the Fasig-Tipton Maryland sale, and they always have good horses that come out of there,” said Bromagen. “I was sitting up in an elevated position just past the wire, and she settled into this rhythm once she made her breeze, and I think I was one of the only ones that saw it.”

Bloodstock agent David Ingordo signed the ticket for the filly, purchasing her on a final bid of $61,000 from the consignment of White Pine Thoroughbreds.

Bred in Kentucky by Ron Patterson, Concrete Rose is the third and final foal out of the Powerscourt mare Solerina. She has won five of her six starts and earned $818,650.