10/06/2017 1:26PM

Brown has two for Flower Bowl

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Barbara D. Livingston
Dacita has won three straight Flower Bowl races.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Chad Brown will be expected to continue his dominance in the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl on Sunday when he sends out the uncoupled entry of Dacita and Grand Jete in the 1 1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares at Belmont Park.

Brown has won three consecutive runnings of the Flower Bowl and four of the last six. In each of the last two years, Brown had two runners finish in the top three.

Dacita and Grand Jete ran 1-2 in the Grade 1 Beverly D. at Arlington Park on Aug. 12. While Dacita won, a case could be made that Grand Jete was best, as she got buried along the inside before exploding late when able to get clear and dead-heated for second with Dona Bruja.

“Tale of two trips,” Brown summarized. “Dacita, a top-quality horse, got a beautiful trip, and Grand Jete, a top-quality horse, just had a nightmare of a trip. It’s remarkable that she got up for second to dead heat.”

Prior to the Beverly D., Grand Jete had won her three previous races in the U.S., including the Grade 3 Eatontown at Monmouth in June and a high-class allowance race here in July. Grand Jete has been training superbly at Belmont the last month.

Javier Castellano will replace Joel Rosario aboard Grand Jete, who breaks from the rail in the Flower Bowl, a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Dacita has won four graded stakes and finished second in three more from 10 starts over the last two years. She is also a three-time winner at 1 1/4 miles, though Brown believes both she and Grand Jete should have no problem with the distance.

Dacita breaks from post 3 under Irad Ortiz Jr., who has been aboard Brown’s last two Flower Bowl winners, Lady Eli (2016) and Stephanie’s Kitten (2015).

There is a distinct lack of speed in the race, which might hurt Grand Jete more than Dacita.

Zhukova, who beat males here in the Grade 1 Man o’ War in May, is back for trainer Dermot Weld. She would prefer softer ground, something she is not expected to get Sunday.

War Flag, Beauly, and Guilty Twelve complete the field.

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KEY CONTENDERS

Dacita, by Scat Daddy
Last 3 Beyers: 102-96-100

◗ Had clear sailing and demonstrated a strong late kick to win the Beverly D. and punch her ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

◗ Significantly better on firm ground than soft. She should get firm turf Sunday.

Grand Jete, by Dansili
Last 3 Beyers: 101-92-95

◗ Carried equal weights with Dacita in the Beverly D., and now gets a four-pound concession from Dacita.

War Flag, by War Front
Last 3 Beyers: 96-93-90

◗ A slow pace and the speed-favoring nature of the Saratoga turf course may have compromised her when she ran third as the favorite in the Grade 3 Glens Falls on Sept. 2.

“It was speed-favoring and those [tight] turns probably didn’t fit her, but I thought she ran a good race,” trainer Shug McGaughey said. “She’s loved it since she’s been back – bigger track. Her works have been really good on the turf. I think she’ll run really well. Whether she’s good enough, we’ll see.”