10/03/2015 5:19PM

Brody's Cause surges to win Breeders' Futurity

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Keeneland/Coady Photography
Brody's Cause, ridden by Corey Lanerie, wins the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity by one length Saturday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – At this time last month, Brody’s Cause was a badly beaten maiden, having lost his only start by 25 lengths in an Ellis Park grass race. But with a developing 2-year-old, a lot of improvement can take place in a short period of time, a point on display Saturday when he rallied from the clouds to score an 11-1 upset in the $500,000, Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland.

It was the second straight victory for Brody’s Cause, following a maiden win at 33-1 odds at Churchill Downs on Sept. 11, and as in that victory, he settled early in the Breeders’ Futurity and flew home late.

A contested pace, with Sheikh of Sheikhs setting splits of 47.33 seconds and 1:11.66 while under pressure from R Rated Superstar, aided the winner’s rally, though it helped other late runners just as much.

The winner had to go wide into the second turn to pass tiring horses, while Exaggerator, the favorite and eventual second-place finisher, was able to close from fifth up the inside, saving valuable ground and getting the jump on the closers.

But Exaggerator’s stretch finish was no match for the punch of Brody’s Cause, who blew past him in the closing yards to win by a length, seemingly with plenty left.

“When he finally got by that last horse, his ears kind of went up, and I thought he was looking for more challenges,” jockey Corey Lanerie said.

A 2-year-old colt by Giant’s Causeway owned by the Albaugh Family Stable, Brody’s Cause ($25.60) raced 1 1/16 miles on a drying-out but muddy racetrack in a sharp 1:43.26.

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“He’s just a damn good horse,” said trainer Dale Romans, who won his third Breeders’ Futurity, following Dawn of War in 2005 and Dullahan in 2011.
Exaggerator, the Grade 2 Saratoga Special winner, finished 1 3/4 lengths in front third-place R Rated Superstar, the only horse with prior experience at the distance.

With the Breeders’ Futurity being a Win and You’re In challenge race, Brody’s Cause earned an expenses-paid berth in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile on Oct. 31, a race that logically figures to attract him and other top finishers from the Breeders’ Futurity.