07/22/2016 5:37PM

Ancient Secret wins Lake George as Brown sweeps exacta

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Barbara D. Livingston
Ancient Secret and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. win the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths Friday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Chad Brown got his 2016 Saratoga meeting off to the same flying start as last summer, winning the opening-day feature, the $200,000 Lake George, for the second year in a row, this time with the undefeated Ancient Secret.

Brown sent out the first two finishers in Friday’s Grade 2 Lake George, with Elysea’s World rallying to be second, 1 1/4 lengths behind her stablemate and a length in front of the late-running Outsider Art. Brown won the 2015 Lake George with Mrs McDougal.

Ancient Secret was the third of four winners on the card for jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.

Ancient Secret entered the 1 1/16-mile Lake George perfect in three starts but was racing for the first time around two turns and for the first time beyond a mile. She rated kindly for Ortiz, three lengths off the early pace dictated by Sky My Sky, moved readily to challenge for command three wide into the stretch, and, after edging clear, maintained a safe advantage to the end.

Elysea’s World raced near the rear of the field for six furlongs, brushed briefly with Thundering Sky while attempting to split rivals with her bid near midstretch, and continued willingly to be second-best.

Ancient Secret is a New York-bred daughter of Kantharos owned by Alpha Delta Stable. She completed the distance over a firm course in 1:40.35 and returned $6.40 in the scratch-reduced field of 8 3-year-old fillies.

“Winning the Lake George two years in a row is great and takes a lot of pressure off right away,” said Brown. “At least we won’t get shut out for the meet.”

Brown said he was impressed with Ancient Secret’s performance.

“This filly ran really well,” said Brown. “She’s a remarkable little horse. She always trained like a real quality animal. We gave her little incremental goals, and she’s hit them all. I wasn’t really sure about the two turns, but she passed the test.”

Brown also was happy with Elysea’s World.

“I thought she ran terrific,” Brown said. “I was happy to see her get back into form. Her last race, I think I ran her back too soon, and she probably didn’t like being inside late in the race today. Both fillies will go back in a graded stakes somewhere.”

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