05/29/2017 7:29PM

Offering Plan runs big off the bench to win Kingston Stakes

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Viola Jasko/NYRA photo
Offering Plan and jockey Javier Castellano win the Kingston Stakes by one length.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Despite having been idle for eight months and not having won a race in more than a year, Offering Plan went postward the 2-1 favorite in the $125,000 Kingston Stakes. And in the end, the stretch-running New York-bred justified that support when rallying from last to a one-length victory over the pacesetting King Kreesa to give trainer Chad Brown his third stakes win on Monday’s Big Apple Showcase program at Belmont Park.

“I think freshening the horse up helped him,” said Brown. “I know he had to overcome a layoff, but he’s run well fresh before, and for him, the rest was beneficial.”

Offering Plan rated at the rear of the eight-horse field while looking for some clearance after the opening half-mile of the one-mile Kingston as King Kreesa set an uncontested pace. Jockey Javier Castellano swung Offering Plan widest while commencing his bid on the final turn, ran down the leader near midstretch and gradually edged clear.   

King Kreesa, who won this race in 2013, led from the outset while setting modest fractions over the yielding course, dug in willingly when challenged by the winner, but was not quite good enough. He finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of longtime nemesis Lubash, who was starting in his seventh consecutive Kingston. Kharafa, the winner of the 2014 Kingston, was fourth.

Offering Plan was the second stakes winner on the card for both Castellano and a partnership led by Michael Dubb, who earlier combined with Brown to win the Mount Vernon with Fourstar Crook. Offering Plan paid $6.30 after completing a mile over yielding ground in 1:37.40.

“Much like you saw earlier with Fourstar Crook, Michael Dubb and partners did the right thing – they kicked out horses who were sound but a touch tired and were rewarded for their patience,” said Brown.

“I was a little concerned he’d have to navigate a trip, and sometimes it’s hard to determine the pace over a yielding course. I thought the horses ahead of him were moving just moderately, and they are class horses, so I was worried coming off the layoff that he couldn’t get there in time. But this horse showed his class and an unbelievable turn of foot turning for home.”

As for winning three stakes on the card, Brown said he’d planned for Big Apple Showcase Day for quite a while.

“We penciled this in a while ago for his [Offering Plan’s] first start back,” said Brown. “It was a good day, a good card, in all categories for these [New York-bred] horses, and when the schedule came out, we really targeted the day and planned well for it with all these horses.”