Brown goes for lucky No. 5 in Sweet­est Chant

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Front Page - By Marty McGee

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Chad Brown said some­thing rather funny to the Gulf­stream Park pub­lic­ity staff this week about the Sweet­est Chant Stakes.

“It’s a race I like to run in ev­ery year,” said Brown.

Well, yeah, Chad – why wouldn’t you?

Brown has won the last four run­nings of the Grade 3 turf race, and the star trainer might well find him­self with a fifth straight win­ner when send­ing out Priced­top­er­fec­tion in the 25th run­ning of the $100,000 Sweet­est Chant on Satur­day.

Priced­top­er­fec­tion, with Joel Rosario to ride, is one of 12 3-year-old fil­lies in a deep re­newal of the Sweet­est Chant, which di­rectly pre­cedes the Holy Bull Stakes as the 10th of 12 Gulf­stream races. Ear­lier on the card, its male coun­ter­part, the $100,000 Kit­ten’s Joy, will be con­tested as the fifth race with a field of just seven. Both races go at a mile on the grass.

In four ca­reer starts, Priced­top­er­fec­tion al­ready has shown a pat­tern of clos­ing strong down the stretch, a knack that could prove ben­e­fi­cial here, given the sur­plus of op­pos­ing speed. In her last race, the Ginger Brew over the Gulf­stream turf on Jan. 2, she couldn’t quite over­come a tardy start when fly­ing late to fin­ish se­cond by a halflength.

Among the main op­po­si­tion is Con­quest Be­bop, who will have Mike Smith aboard when break­ing from the far-out­side post.

“We have a lot of hope for her,” said trainer Mark Casse. “We think she’s an aw­fully nice filly.”

Brown also fig­ures as a ma­jor threat in the 19th run­ning of the Kit­ten’s Joy with Life Im­i­tates Art, whose ral­ly­ing vic­tory un­der Rosario in the 7 1/2-fur­long Da­nia Beach here Jan. 2 should set him up nicely for this slightly longer race. Life Im­i­tates Art will break from post 6 as the likely fa­vor- ite in a field that can also count the stakes win­ners Con­quest Dad­dyo, Don’t Be So Salty, and Azar as le­git­i­mate play­ers.

SWEET­EST CHANT (RACE 10)

KEY CON­TENDERS

Priced­top­er­fec­tion, by Tem­ple City (Last 3 Bey­ers: 78-75-72)

◗ Brown has got­ten three Palm Mead­ows works into this Ken­tucky-bred filly since the Ginger Brew, and she’s likely to be fir­ing hard off a pace con­tested by a hand­ful of fil­lies who are ei­ther stretch­ing out off shorter races or have con­sis­tently shown to be quick at or around this mile dis­tance.

Con­quest Be­bop, by Scat Daddy (Bey­ers: 81-77)

◗ A just-miss ef­fort in a Jan. 10 op­tional claimer over the lo­cal course should have her primed for her stakes de­but, as the Casse barn con­tin­ues to un­veil one top young prospect

af­ter an­other for the Con­quest Sta­bles of Ernie Se­mer­sky and Dory Newell.

Ami’s Mesa, by Sky Mesa (Bey­ers: 84-79)

◗ Grass is some­thing of a ques­tion fol­low­ing two ter­rific show­ings over the Poly­track at Wood­bine, but in­di­ca­tions are that this un­beaten filly has the abil­ity to make a smooth tran­si­tion for vet­eran trainer Josie Car­roll.

KIT­TEN’S JOY (RACE 5)

KEY CON­TENDERS

Life Im­i­tates Art, by More Than Ready (Last 3 Bey­ers: 87-82-65)

◗ This im­prov­ing colt had ac­tu­ally fin­ished se­cond in all four starts prior to the Da­nia Beach (al­though he was el­e­vated to first via dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion in one of those), so he dis­pelled the no­tion that he might have been a hanger in that gritty last score. Con­quest Dad­dyo, by Scat Daddy (Last 3 Bey­ers: 81-83-69)

◗ Yet an­other Con­quest col­or­bearer for Casse, this colt has been sent through six work­outs at Palm Mead­ows since fin­ish­ing a late-clos­ing fourth in a con­tentious run­ning of the Breed­ers’ Cup Ju­ve­nile Turf on Oct. 30.

Azar, by Scat Daddy (Last 3 Bey­ers: 57-80-80)

◗ The win­ner of the Grade 2 With An­tic­i­pa­tion at Saratoga as a maiden, this dark bay colt has been re­grouped by Todd Pletcher since en­coun­ter­ing traf­fic prob­lems in an over­all dis­ap­point­ing ef­fort in the BC Ju­ve­nile Turf.

BAR­BARA D. LIV­INGSTON

Priced­top­er­fec­tion could give trainer Chad Brown his fifth straight win in the Sweet­est Chant.

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