Notes & Quotes From the G2 Prioress Stakes: Royal Charlotte

(Royal Charlotte wins the G2 Prioress Stakes on Saturday / Photo by Chelsea Durand & Courtesy of NYRA)

From the NYRA Media Team:

With a perfectly timed ride by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, First Row Partners and Parkland Thoroughbreds’ Royal Charlotte rallied late to upset 3-5 favorite Break Even with a 1 ½-length win the Grade 2, $250,000 Prioress for sophomore fillies on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.

Sent off at odds of 9-2 from post 5, Royal Charlotte stalked from fourth position as Break Even rushed to the front of the five-horse field, setting blistering fractions of 21.87 seconds for the opening quarter-mile with the half going in 44.76 over a fast main track.

Jockey Javier Castellano — Royal Charlotte (1st):

“I like the way she did it today,” Castellano said. “The pace was hot and I had Break Even [No. 3] as a target every single step of the way. I tipped her outside and she finished strong. The way the race developed was great. It was a small field and they all grouped up together and we sat behind them and it paid off today.”

Trainer Chad Brown — Royal Charlotte: 

Making her first start since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Test on August 3, Royal Charlotte returned $11 on a $2 win wager. Bred by Rhineshire Farm, the Cairo Prince filly boosted her bankroll to $269,400. She also gave Brown his ninth graded stakes win of the meet.

“She didn’t do any running in the Test but she wasn’t handling the track that day,” said Brown. “I just had noticed that the past couple of weeks the track has changed in the morning, and I think it might just be the climate. But for whatever reason, the track has been playing differently in the morning and I didn’t have anywhere else to run her. I was just going to point her to Keeneland and freshen her. She had a couple of easy breezes and went fine, but I saw a completely different track, so we took a shot. She looks like she’s a much different horse going six or six and a half [furlongs], and Javier really rode a patient race and the pace helped us.”

Looking ahead, Brown said he might target the Grade 2, $250,000 Raven Run on October 19 at Keeneland for her next start.

“I was thinking about the Raven Run [on October 19 at Keeneland] even though I said she’s better going six or six and a half [furlongs] but I had that race in mind because her race at Keeneland was also really good. It’s probably the logical move.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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