(Liguria wins the Wild Applause Stakes at Belmont Park / JL Photo & Courtesy of NYRA)

From the NYRA Media Team / Ryan Martin:

  • Wild Applause one-two finishers Liguria, Tax Implications point to G3 Lake George; Brown brigade breezes on the inner turf; Kalik, Big Brass Bed target Canadian Classics
  • Multiple GSP Gilmore to pass on G3 Dwyer

Liguria and Tax Implications completed a popular exacta for trainer Chad Brown in Saturday’s $150,000 Wild Applause, a one-mile Widener turf test for sophomore fillies, at Belmont Park.

Alpha Delta Stables’ Liguria, winner of the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante in December at Del Mar, broke quickest of all under Irad Ortiz, Jr. but found herself last-of-8 through three-quarters in 1:11.18 as longshot Kerry dictated terms.

Klaravich Stables’ Tax Implications, who was near the back of the pack from the break, made a three-wide move through the turn under Manny Franco and took command at the stretch call. But Liguria followed her stablemate’s run and angled seven-wide for the stretch drive, making the lead inside the final sixteenth to prevail by three-quarters of a length in a final time of 1:35.01. 

“She broke super sharp and got shuffled back a little bit. I was worried on the backside she had too much to do, but she showed a really explosive turn of foot,” said Brown of Liguria’s effort. “She’s always trained good, so I’m not surprised to see her develop into the horse she is now.”

Both Liguria [87] and Tax Implications [86] earned career-best Beyer Speed Figures for their efforts and are now on course for the Grade 3, $175,000 Lake George going one mile on July 21 at Saratoga Race Course.

“Both horses came out well and will probably be pointed to the Lake George,” Brown said.

Brown said he gave some consideration to trying Liguria in the 1 3/16-mile Grade 3, $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Oaks Invitational on August 4, but will wait until the fall meet at Keeneland for the nine-furlong Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup to extend the War Front bay in distance.

“It’s a big jump from a mile to a mile and three-sixteenths. I think I’ll just gradually stretch her out into the fall,” Brown said. “The Queen Elizabeth is a big target of mine with her in October, so I’ll probably build her up for a mile and an eighth in the fall.”

Klaravich Stables’ Grade 2-winner Gerrymander finished a pacesetting second as the mutuel favorite in Race 9 on Saturday here, finishing 1 3/4-lengths back of Movie Moxy in a one-turn mile optional-claiming event for older fillies and mares.

“Unfortunately, she hasn’t regained her form. So, back to the drawing board with her to find what she really wants to do now,” Brown said. “She is better with a target. She found herself on the lead in a paceless race, which probably wasn’t ideal if I’m making a minor excuse for her, but I certainly need to find the right race to get her confidence back.”

The 4-year-old Into Mischief bay captured the Grade 2 Mother Goose last June at Belmont and entered Saturday’s effort from a frontrunning third in the Grade 2 Ruffian traveling a one-turn mile on May 6 over Big Sandy.

Brown watched a number of his top stakes horses breeze over the firm Belmont inner turf on Sunday, including graded-stakes winners Prerequisiteand Haughty, who went a half-mile together in 50.25.

First Row Partners and Team Hanley’s Prerequisite, a sophomore daughter of Upstart, was a frontrunning winner of the Grade 2 Wonder Again last out on June 11 here and is possible for the Grade 1, $500,000 Fasig-Tipton Belmont Oaks on July 8.

The Fasig-Tipton Belmont Oaks Invitational is the first leg of the Fasig-Tipton Fillies Turf Triple, which includes the Grade 3, $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Oaks Invitational at 1 3/16-miles on August 4 at Saratoga Race Course; and the 11-furlong Grade 3, $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Jockey Club Oaks Invitational on September 16 at the Belmont at the Big A fall meet.

Brown said Prerequisite, who entered the Wonder Again from a stalking maiden score on May 7 over the Belmont turf, trained well with her older stablemate.

“I just want to make sure with her – she was right back in four weeks for that race [Wonder Again], and to run her right back in four weeks again – that she’s up for it. She breezed good today, so we’ll see how she comes out of it,” Brown said.

Bradley Thoroughbreds, Belmar Racing and Breeding, Cambron Equine and Team Hanley’s Haughty, a gate-to-wire winner of the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2 Lake Placid in August at the Spa, is pointed to the one-mile $150,000 Perfect Sting next Sunday here.

The 4-year-old Empire Maker bay boasts a record of 7-3-0-2 for purse earnings of $356,200. She was last seen finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile on May 6 at Churchill Downs.

Brown boasts a strong contingent of sophomore turf fillies, including Wise Racing’s multiple graded-stakes placed Revalita [50.25] and Bradley Thoroughbreds, Laura Leigh Stable, Jim Cone, Belmar Racing and Breeding, Team Hanley and Cambron Equine’s Venencia [50.26], who worked a half-mile in company; while the Klaravich Stables-owned pair of Preliminary[1:01.24] and Utilization Rate [1:01.27] went together through five-eighths.

“It’s a nice group in a very crowded division,” Brown said. “Preliminary and Revalita both look good and both are under consideration for the Lake George. There’s allowance races available and some races out of town, so there will be some splitting up.”

Head of Plains Partners’ multiple graded-stakes winner Fluffy Socks[1:02.55] worked five-eighths in company with Juddmonte’s last-out Grade 3 Gallorette-winner Whitebeam [1:02.58].

Both Fluffy Socks and Whitebeam are part of a strong, Brown-trained contingent that includes multiple Grade 1-winner In Italian and recent Grade 1 New York-winner Marketsegmentation that are pointing to the nine-furlong Grade 1, $500,000 Diana on July 15 at the Spa.

“Horses that breezed today such as Whitebeam and Fluffy Socks are possible for the Diana,” Brown said. “Of course, that’s where In Italian is headed and possibly Marketsegmentation, so it’s quite a nice group. Obviously, In Italian [last year’s Diana winner] is the leader of the division.”

Whitebeam, by Caravaggio, is out of the Oasis Dream mare Sleep Walk, who is a half-sister to 2019 Group 1 St. Leger-winner Logician as well as multiple graded-stakes winner Suffused. 

Whitebeam launched her career in her native Great Britain with Harry and Roger Charlton, racing at distances ranging from seven furlongs up to one mile. She finished a close second to Evvie Jets in her North American debut in the one-mile Plenty of Grace in April at the Big A before taking the Grade 3 Gallorette last out at 1 1/16-miles on May 20 at Pimlico Race Course.

“She certainly seems like she’s loving the added distance now that she’s grown up a bit,” Brown said. “She came to me in great shape. I don’t think the distance will be a problem for her.”

Klaravich Stables’ multiple Grade 2-winner Technical Analysis and Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb and Louis Lazzinnaro’s last-out allowance winner Beaute Cachee worked five-eighths in company in 1:02. The former is also pointing to the Perfect Sting.

Brown also boasts a pair of Canadian Classic contenders in Robert V. LaPenta, e Five Racing Thoroughbreds and Madaket Stables’ Kalik, last-out winner of the nine-furlong Grade 2 Pennine Ridge on the Belmont inner turf; and Peter Brant’s Big Brass Bed, who finished a wide and troubled fourth here Thursday in a 1 1/16-mile optional-claimer over the inner turf.

Kalik, by Collected and out of the Street Cry mare Coronation Street, will point to the Grade 1, $750,000 Belmont Derby Invitational at 10 furlongs on turf for sophomores on July 8 ahead of an attempt at the $1 million King’s Plate, a 10-furlong Tapeta test for Canadian-bred sophomores on August 20 at Woodbine Racetrack. Kalik could be joined in the Belmont Derby by Klaravich Stables’ British-bred Redistricting.

Bred in Ontario by Peter A. Berglar Racing Interests and Anderson Farms, Kalik was off-the-board in his September debut over the Big A main track. The $200,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase has since made four starts over turf, graduating at third asking in March at Gulfstream Park ahead of an optional-claiming score in May here leading into his victorious stakes debut. 

“As a 2-year-old last year we liked him and we were trying to figure out if he was dirt or turf,” Brown said of the talented chestnut named for the popular Bahamian beer. “He trained good on dirt early but it didn’t work, so we put him onto the grass and he’s really excelled.”

Big Brass Bed, by Nyquist, graduated at second asking in May over the Monmouth Park turf. She is pointed to the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, a nine-furlong Tapeta route for Canadian-bred sophomore fillies on July 23 at Woodbine.

“She got a bad trip and took a bad step in the stretch,” said Brown of the chestnut’s last-out effort. “She’s recovered OK and we’ll just draw a line through it. The Woodbine Oaks will be next.”

Bred in Ontario by Anderson Farms, Big Brass Bed is out of the Smart Strike mare Precision Farming. She was purchased for $175,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Multiple GSP Gilmore to pass on G3 Dwyer

SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital and Catherine Donovan’s multiple graded-stakes placed Gilmore will skip Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Dwyer, a one-turn mile for sophomores, at Belmont Park.

Trained by Brendan Walsh, the Twirling Candy bay closed to finish third last out in the seven-furlong Grade 1 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun, finishing 2 1/2-lengths back of the victorious Arabian Lion while earning a career-best 104 Beyer.

“I’m going to give him a little more time. It’s three weeks back off a big run and it’s just not the right thing do with him,” Walsh said. 

Walsh said he was pleased with the Woody Stephens effort and that he may consider stretching Gilmore out at Saratoga.

“It was a huge effort. We were delighted with him,” said Walsh, who has 21 stalls at the Spa. “Hopefully, we’ll be back up to Saratoga with him for the summer for one of the big races. We’re contemplating stretching him out a bit. If it was a mile the last day, he would have been close.”

By Twirling Candy and out of the Henny Hughes mare My Surfer Girl, the $250,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase finished second in the nine-furlong El Camino Real Derby in February over the Golden Gate synthetic when in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. 

Gilmore has made his last four starts for Walsh, including a runner-up effort in the seven-furlong Grade 3 Bay Shore in April at Aqueduct and a rallying effort to finish third in the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile on May 6 at Churchill Downs.