Regal Glory shows mettle in English Channel Ladies Turf

Alicia Hughes

(Photo: Regal Glory captured the $500,000, Grade 3 English Channel Ladies Turf over Mitchell Road. Coady Photography)

FRANKLIN, Ky. (Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020) -- For the first time in his future Hall of Fame career, trainer Chad Brown has made it a point to have a significant presence at the boutique Kentucky Downs meet. As is often the case when the Mechanicville, NY native shows up on the scene, he sent out one of his turf distaffers to claim some lucrative spoils as Regal Glory reeled in pacesetter Mitchell Road in deep stretch to take the Grade 3, $500,000 English Channel Ladies Turf Stakes by a neck on Saturday.

In giving her trainer his first graded-stakes triumph at the all-turf meet, Regal Glory also snapped a three-race losing and notched her third career graded victory. Owned and bred by Paul Pompa Jr. , the 4-year-old daughter of Animal Kingdom had been beaten by Grade 1-winning stablemates in each of her last three races heading into her trip to Kentucky Downs having run sixth behind Cambier Parc in the 2019 Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes, second to Newspaperofrecord in the Grade 3 Intercontinental Stakes at Belmont Park on June 6, and fourth behind that same barn mate in the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes on June 27.

Without a wildly-accomplished, friendly rival in the gate with her this time around, Regal Glory was able to get herself back on the winning side of the equation. Under handling from jockey Jose Ortiz, the 7-5 race favorite tracked Mitchell Road in second around the European style turf course through fractions of :23.42 and :47.19 over yielding going.

“She handled the course really well. I knew she could handle the soft turf, since she’s already won on it twice, so I was very confident going into the race,” Ortiz said of his mount. “Chad is doing fantastic here in his first year and his horses are doing fantastic too. I’m glad he came here. He’s one of the best trainers in the nation, so why not be here. He’s doing a tremendous job with (assistant) Whit (Beckman) and the team. She was much the best today and the only that could screw that up was me. I put her into a winning position and she responded well.”

Mitchell Road was still stubbornly holding onto her lead as she came off the turn into the lane, but Regal Glory was looming at her throat-latch in the final three-sixteenths of a mile before getting by late to hit the wire in 1:34.34 for the one-mile test over the rain-soaked course.

“That filly (Mitchell Road) on the front end gets tough. That was definitely a hard-fought stretch victory when it looked like our filly was poised to just take them easily,” said Whit Beckman, who oversees Brown’s new Kentucky division based at Churchill Downs. “But you’ve got to give it to Mitchell Road. She ran a heck of a race.

“She was definitely getting a little class relief coming down here, but it’s always an X factor with the set-up and everything. She ran a tremendous race. I mean she looked like the winner every step of the way to me.”

Mitchell Road held for second by 1 ½ lengths over another Brown-trained runner, Tapit Today.

“She came out and ran and was right there,” said Luis Saez, jockey of Mitchell Road. “When we came to the stretch, I thought we were going to beat the winner, but she was too tough and we just got beat.”

Bred in Kentucky out of the More than Ready mare Mary’s Follies, Regal Glory improved her record to six wins from 11 career starts with $773,884 in earnings. The chestnut mare previously annexed the Grade 3 Lake George and Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes, both at Saratoga Race Course, last summer.

Quotes:

Whit Beckman, assistant trainer, Chad Brown, 1st (Regal Glory) and 3rd (Tapit Today): “That filly (Mitchell Road) on the front end gets tough. That was definitely a hard-fought stretch victory when it looked like our filly was poised to just take them easily. But you’ve got to give it to Mitchell Road. She ran a heck of a race.

“She was definitely getting a little class relief coming down here, but it’s always an X factor with the set-up and everything. She ran a tremendous race. I mean she looked like the winner every step of the way to me.”
(On how turf went in an hour from firm to yielding) “It’s a whole different dynamic. But this is a filly that will run on anything. It doesn’t really affect her overall ability.”

(On Tapit Today) “Javier (Castellano) didn’t really have a lot to say. He just said with the softer-type ground she had a little bit of trouble getting over it. She had a good position, but when it came time to kick she kind of spun her wheels.”

Kenny McCarthy, assistant trainer, Bill Mott, 2nd (Mitchell Road): “She ran big.” (On how she’d like yielding turf after finishing 11th over soft turf at Ellis Park) “That was the only thing we could come up with after last race. But she’d run well down here last year (also second in Ladies Turf). We’ll have to get her over the hump!”
“She ran a good race when she won the prep at Ellis and then obviously we were disappointed with her next trip back. But the ground came up pretty bottomless it seemed like that day. But good run here.”

Jose Ortiz, jockey for Regal Glory,
“She handled the course really well. I knew she could handle the soft turf, since she’s already won on it twice, so I was very confident going into the race. Chad is doing fantastic here in his first year and his horses are doing fantastic too. I’m glad he came here. He’s one of the best trainers in the nation, so why not be here. He’s doing a tremendous job with Whit and the team. She was much the best today and the only that could screw that up was me. I put her into a winning position and she responded well.”

Luis Saez, jockey for Mitchell Road
“She came out and ran and was right there. When we came to the stretch, I thought we were going to beat the winner, but she was too tough and we just got beat.”

Tags: Regal Glory Chad Brown Mitchell Road Luis Saez Jose Ortiz Whit Beckman Kentucky Downs turf racing