01/28/2016 11:46AM

Pricedtoperfection could give Brown his fifth straight Sweetest Chant win

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Nikki Sherman
Pricedtoperfection will start in Saturday's Sweetest Chant at Gulfstream.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Chad Brown said something rather funny to the Gulfstream Park publicity staff this week about the Sweetest Chant Stakes.

“It’s a race I like to run in every year,” said Brown.

Well, yeah, Chad – why wouldn’t you?

Brown has won the last four runnings of the Grade 3 turf race, and the star trainer might well find himself with a fifth straight winner when sending out Pricedtoperfection in the 25th running of the $100,000 Sweetest Chant on Saturday.

Pricedtoperfection, with Joel Rosario to ride, is one of 12 3-year-old fillies in a deep renewal of the Sweetest Chant, which directly precedes the Holy Bull Stakes as the 10th of 12 Gulfstream races. Earlier on the card, its male counterpart, the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy, will be contested as the fifth race with a field of just seven. Both races go at a mile on the grass.

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In four career starts, Pricedtoperfection already has shown a pattern of closing strong down the stretch, a knack that could prove beneficial here, given the surplus of opposing speed. In her last race, the Ginger Brew over the Gulfstream turf on Jan. 2, she couldn’t quite overcome a tardy start when flying late to finish second by a half-length.

Among the main opposition is Conquest Bebop, who will have Mike Smith aboard when breaking from the far-outside post.

“We have a lot of hope for her,” said trainer Mark Casse. “We think she’s an awfully nice filly.”

Brown also figures as a major threat in the 19th running of the Kitten’s Joy with Life Imitates Art, whose rallying victory under Rosario in the 7 1/2-furlong Dania Beach here Jan. 2 should set him up nicely for this slightly longer race. Life Imitates Art will break from post 6 as the likely favorite in a field that can also count the stakes winners Conquest Daddyo, Don’t Be So Salty, and Azar as legitimate players.

KEY CONTENDERS

SWEETEST CHANT (RACE 10)

Pricedtoperfection, by Temple City (Last 3 Beyers: 78-75-72)

◗ Brown has gotten three Palm Meadows works into this Kentucky-bred filly since the Ginger Brew, and she’s likely to be firing hard off a pace contested by a handful of fillies who are either stretching out off shorter races or have consistently shown to be quick at or around this mile distance.

Conquest Bebop, by Scat Daddy (Beyers: 81-77)

◗ A just-miss effort in a Jan. 10 optional claimer over the local course should have her primed for her stakes debut, as the Casse barn continues to unveil one top young prospect after another for the Conquest Stables of Ernie Semersky and Dory Newell.

Ami’s Mesa, by Sky Mesa (Beyers: 84-79)

◗ Grass is something of a question following two terrific showings over the Polytrack at Woodbine, but indications are that this unbeaten filly has the ability to make a smooth transition for veteran trainer Josie Carroll.

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KITTEN’S JOY (RACE 5)

Life Imitates Art, by More Than Ready (Last 3 Beyers: 87-82-65)

◗ This improving colt had actually finished second in all four starts prior to the Dania Beach (although he was elevated to first via disqualification in one of those), so he dispelled the notion that he might have been a hanger in that gritty last score.

Conquest Daddyo, by Scat Daddy (Last 3 Beyers: 81-83-69)

◗ Yet another Conquest color-bearer for Casse, this colt has been sent through six workouts at Palm Meadows since finishing a late-closing fourth in a contentious running of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Oct. 30.

Azar, by Scat Daddy (Last 3 Beyers: 57-80-80)

◗ The winner of the Grade 2 With Anticipation at Saratoga as a maiden, this dark bay colt has been regrouped by Todd Pletcher since encountering traffic problems in an overall disappointing effort in the BC Juvenile Turf.