01/22/2015 2:18PM

Brown aims for turf stakes double in Sweetest Chant, Kitten's Joy

Email
Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Consumer Credit is the favorite in Saturday's Sweetest Chant.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Chad Brown became an Eclipse Award finalist for the first time in 2014 largely on the success of his turf runners, and if a pair of $100,000 supporting features Saturday at Gulfstream Park is any indication, more of the same appears on tap for this year.

Brown is represented by major players in the Sweetest Chant and Kitten’s Joy, twin turf stakes carded as the eighth and last races on a terrific 11-race program. Consumer Credit, the 2-1 program favorite in the Grade 3 Sweetest Chant, and Chief Kitten, one of a handful of contenders in a wide-open Kitten’s Joy, are coming off stakes victories on this circuit.

Both one-mile races are for 3-year-olds.

:: GULFSTREAM PARK: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s card live

The Sweetest Chant, named for the standout mare trained by Joe Bollero in the early 1980s, drew a field of 10 fillies, with Miss Temple City, Quality Rocks, and Ol’ Fashion Gal among the other likely favorites. One of a handful of fringe players is Nicky’s Brown Miss, third behind Consumer Credit in the ungraded Wait a While Stakes at Gulfstream Park West in November and the runner-up three weeks ago here in the Ginger Brew.

“It’s been fantastic to see her show her true colors after what happened in the Breeders’ Cup,” said owner-trainer Savino Capilupi, referring to a last-place finish by Nicky’s Brown Miss in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf.

The Kitten’s Joy, named for the turf champion of 2004, drew a field of 12 colts and geldings, with the British-bred gray gelding Dr No pegged as a lukewarm 3-1 morning-line favorite.

Sweetest Chant (race 8)

Key contenders

Miss Temple City (Last 2 Beyers: 72-68)

Unbeaten in two starts, this filly comes well drawn near the hedge with John Velazquez riding for Graham Motion, the same team that won the 2011 Kentucky Derby with Animal Kingdom. By the young sire Temple City, she is making her stakes debut.

Quality Rocks (Last 3 Beyers: 79-73-77)

Privately purchased last fall by the Brous-Wachtel axis, this Florida-bred filly had a demanding trip at Keeneland before weakening on a hot pace in the BC Juvenile Fillies. Has been regrouped at Payson Park with five workouts for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.

Consumer Credit (Last 3 Beyers: 82-78-58)

It took three tries to get through her maiden condition, but this daughter of the noted grass sire More Than Ready sure has come alive since then, following up an October victory on the Belmont Park turf with a going-away triumph in the Wait a While at Gulfstream Park West. Brown has put her through five workouts at Palm Meadows since Dec. 21.

:: DRF Live: Get real-time updates and insights from DRF reporters and handicappers on Saturday

Kitten’s Joy (race 11)

Key contenders

Dubai Sky (Last 3 Beyers: 78-70-55)

One of two entrants in here for Mott (with Courtier), this Besilu homebred has been brought along judiciously since his September maiden score on the Belmont turf, scoring a dead-heat allowance win here five Saturdays ago. Has had four local works since then for Mott assistant Kenny McCarthy.

Dr No (Last Beyer: 73)

It might be a bit surprising that he’s the program favorite, but Gulfstream linemaker Jay Stone said he could’ve made “three or four horses the choice in here,” illustrating how contentious this race is. A troubled trip in his stateside debut is likely to have bettors postulating that he’ll improve substantially here given clearer sailing.

Croninthebarbarian (Last 3 Beyers: 77-75-66)

Making his fifth straight start in a stakes, this Rick Pitino homebred never has disgraced himself for Garry Simms, the Kentucky trainer who continues to inspire colleagues and fans as he battles spinal cancer. Was beaten a nose by Chief Kitten two starts back and clearly belongs with this kind.

Chief Kitten (Last 3 Beyers: 75-65-64)

* Bred in New York and owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the 2014 Eclipse-winning owners and breeders, this gray colt was sired by Kitten’s Joy, the race’s namesake, so a victory would be congruous indeed. His late kick would be well served by the kind of hot pace that typically unfolds with such a sizable field in place.