(Fluffy Socks wins the G2 Sands Point at Belmont Park on Saturday / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Fluffy Socks gave trainer Chad Brown a record-extending fifth career victory in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Sands Point at Belmont Park. The talented bay defeated her 3-year-old filly counterparts with a strong stretch-drive surge, confronting stablemate Higher Truth inside the sixteenth pole to secure her second career graded stakes victory.
Owned and bred by Sol Kumin’s Head of Plains Partners, the sophomore daughter of blue collar stallion Slumber entered the nine-furlong inner turf test off a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks on August 21. She secured her previous graded stakes triumph at the California oval when completing her juvenile season with a victory in the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante.
Chad Brown — Fluffy Socks (1st):
“Fluffy Socks is a barn and fan favorite with her name,” Brown said. “She’s a homebred of Slumber from very modest beginnings, but she’s really a great racehorse and a beautiful filly that just keeps getting better. I’m real happy for Sol Kumin and all his partners and a shout out to his son, Sam, who named the horse.”
Brown, who previously won the Sands Point with Ball Dancing , Uni , New and Improved  and Tamahere , admitted to having some concerns regarding the lack of speed in the race after likely pace presence Jordan’s Leo was scratched.
“I wanted a little more pace in the race. Irad rode a really smart race to take the initiative and set very fair fractions for Higher Truth,” Brown said. “For a minute there, it looked like she was going to shake free and get home. But Joel, on the other hand, took the initiative to put her closer than she normally is. He didn’t get bothered by an early move down the backside by the eventual runner-up and he found a seam and at the right time made the right decision.”
About Jockey Joel Rosario:
“It seems like he’s making all the right decisions this season,” Brown said. “He’s having a career year and I’m happy for him and happy to be in the winner’s circle with another graded stakes with him as he chases that record.”
Brown expressed pride in securing a graded stakes victory by a progeny of stable alumna Slumber, who captured the Grade 1 Manhattan in 2015 at age 7 and now stands at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, New York.
“He’s a horse we bought privately when he was already quite old,” Brown said. “We had a fantastic season with him and won the Manhattan and then he went off to stud. Sol and Michael Dubb actually supported the horse and sent a few mares to him and they got a couple decent runners. Sol took the initiative to take the horse back to New York and bought half a dozen mares or so to support the horse, which is a big commitment financially with the time it takes and such. He believes in the horse. I’ve only had two Slumbers and they’re both runners.”
Brown said Fluffy Socks would likely target the Grade 1, $300,000 American Oaks on December 26 at Santa Anita next out. He captured two of the last three runnings of the 1 ¼-mile event with Competitionofideas  and Duopoly .
“I’ll speak to the partners, but I would say it makes sense to keep going on her with in the American Oaks,” Brown said. “She already shipped well to California one time. I’d say that would be likely.”
Joel Rosario — Fluffy Socks (1st):
Rosario said Fluffy Socks has continued to improve throughout the year.
“Last time when I rode her at Del Mar she kept coming and coming and just missed,” Rosario said. “It looks like she’s getting better.”
Rosario – who earned his 46th graded stakes win this year – is chasing Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey’s record of 55 graded stakes wins in a single season, which was set in 2003.
Live racing returns Sunday at Belmont Park with a nine-race card, featuring the $150,000 Floral Park [Race 8, 4:21 p.m.] for fillies and mares going six furlongs over the inner turf. First post is 12:35 p.m. Eastern.