Selima Winner Brocknardini Possible for Breeders’ Cup

Selima Winner Brocknardini Possible for Breeders’ Cup

‘There’s a Lot to Gain and Not a Lot to Lose’ for 2YO Filly
Stakes Action Continues with 38th Maryland Million Oct. 14
Live Four-Day Fall Meet Racing Begins Thursday, Oct. 5

LAUREL, MD – Thomas Brockley and Daryn Bedinotti’s 2-year-old filly Brocknardini, who impressed earning her first stakes victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Selima at Laurel Park, will be pointed to a potential start in the Breeders’ Cup, trainer George Weaver said.

Brocknardini rolled to a popular 2 ¼-length triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Selima for juvenile fillies, which in 2019 produced subsequent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner Sharing, who went on to win the Edgewood (G2) and Tepin in 2020 and retire a millionaire.

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf will be run Nov. 3 at Santa Anita.

“I’ll run her in the Breeders’ Cup, if she can get in,” Weaver said of Brocknardini. “I don’t know if she’ll get in, but if she were to draw in I’ll run her. Why not? There’s a lot to gain and not a lot to lose.”

Under a patient ride in her third start and first under jockey Joe Rocco Jr., Brocknardini rated two wide while racing in fifth behind dirt stakes winner Carmelina, who was making her turf debut. Rocco tipped Brocknardini further out to launch her bid, surged to the lead in mid-stretch and drew off under a hand ride to win in 1:47.45 over a Dahlia turf course rated good.

It was reminiscent of Brocknardini’s Aug. 16 debut going the same distance at Saratoga, where she took a commanding lead at the top of the stretch and cruised home a 4 ¾-length winner against fellow New York-breds. The effort earned her a trip to Woodbine for the one-mile Natalma (G1) Sept. 16, only to encounter a nightmarish trip after a belated start.

“I was glad to see her get back to what we thought first time out,” the New York-based Weaver said. “She showed promise the first time out at Saratoga, then went over to Woodbine and didn’t really adjust well to the one turn.

“I know [Saturday’s] race was a little easier, but she just didn’t run her race at Woodbine,” he added. “It was great to see her come back, and I thought she won pretty stylishly.”

Brocknardini’s victory continued to stellar year for Weaver, now 16-for-44 with 2-year-olds including 13-for-30 on the grass. Tops among them are three-time stakes winner No Nay Mets and Crimson Advocate, winner of the Queen Mary (G2) in June at Royal Ascot.

By Palace Malice out of the Bernardini mare Broad Stripes, Brocknardini fetched $35,000 during Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium May 22.

Weaver was proud of the effort put forth by Brocknardini, who had all of her timed breezes at Saratoga and was coming back just 14 days following the Natalma.

“It’s like a stock price. After she ran at Woodbine her stock went down, so we had to try to do something to get it back up,” Weaver said. “She delivered for us.”

Trainer Arnaud Delacour indicated following Saturday’s $150,000 Laurel Futurity that Mark Grier’s Air Recruit is also likely to be pointed to California for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) Nov. 3 following his 5 ½-length victory.

It was the first stakes win for Air Recruit, who stretched out around two turns for the first time after capturing his Aug. 5 unveiling by 1 ¼ lengths and running third behind No Nay Mets in the Sept. 9 Rosie’s, both sprinting 5 ½ furlongs at Colonial Downs.

Both Shards and Cigale, who respectively ran second and third to Air Recruit in the maiden special weight, came back to win their next starts.

“You always wonder about the quality of the horses you beat when you break your maiden because there’s a lot of 2-year-olds in North America,” Delacour said. “You always retrospectively find out what you have, as far as form, two or three months down the road. But it’s obviously solid, which is great.”

Stakes Action Continues with 38th Maryland Million Oct. 14

Laurel Park will continue the stakes action during its calendar year-ending fall meet Saturday, Oct. 14 with the 38th running of the Jim McKay Maryland Million.

A total of 32 stakes worth $3.13 million in purses will be offered during the 50-day fall stand that opened Sept. 29 and continues through Sunday, Dec. 31 with four-day live racing in October and November and three-day live racing in December. There will be no racing Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

Following opening weekend, live racing will be conducted Thursday through Sunday in October and November and Friday through Sunday starting Dec. 1. Post time will be 12:25 p.m. with the exception of Maryland Million Day, Oct. 14 (11:30 a.m.) and Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23 (11:25 a.m.)

‘Maryland’s Day at the Races,’ Maryland Million celebrates the progeny of stallions standing in the state with eight stakes and four starter stakes worth $1.08 million anchored by the $150,000 Classic for 3-year-olds and up. The groundbreaking event has spawned copycat programs across the U.S. and Canada since its debut in 1986.

Maryland Million will also offer the $125,000 Turf (3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles), $125,000 Ladies (fillies and mares 3 and up, 1 1/8 miles), $100,000 Sprint (3-year-olds and up, six furlongs), $100,000 Distaff (fillies and mares 3 and up, seven furlongs), $100,000 Turf Sprint (3-year-olds and up, 5 ½ furlongs), $100,000 Lassie (2-year-old fillies, six furlongs) and $100,000 Nursery (2-year-olds, six furlongs).

Pre-entries for the Maryland Million were due Sunday. Final entries will be taken and post positions drawn Sunday, Oct. 8.

Juveniles will be on center stage Saturday, Nov. 11 in the $100,000 James F. Lewis III and $100,000 Smart Halo, the latter for fillies, both at six furlongs. The card will also include the $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares 3 and up.

Laurel Park will serve up a total of five stakes worth $450,000 in purses over back-to-back days on Thanksgiving weekend. Maryland-bred/sired horses are featured Friday, Nov. 24 with the seven-furlong, $75,000 Howard and Sondra Bender Memorial for 3-year-olds and up and six-furlong, $75,000 Politely for fillies and mares 3 and older.

Saturday, Nov. 25 offers the last stakes races in Maryland for straight 3-year-olds, the $100,000 Safely Kept for fillies and $100,000 City of Laurel, both sprinting seven furlongs. In addition, horses aged 3 and up will travel 1 1/8 miles in the $100,000 Richard W. Small. All three stakes are listed.

The final month of the calendar year will feature eight stakes worth $800,000 in purses, launched by the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile for 2-year-olds and $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly, each at seven furlongs, Saturday, Dec. 2.

Christmas weekend begins with four stakes worth $400,000 Saturday, Dec. 23 – the $100,000 Dave’s Friend for 3-year-olds and up and $100,00 Willa On the Move for fillies and mares 3 and older, respectively sprinting six and 6 ½ furlongs; $100,000 Carousel for fillies and mares 3 and up going 1 1/8 miles and $100,000 Robert T. Manfuso for horses 3 and older going 1 1/16 miles.

The 2023 stakes calendar concludes Saturday, Dec. 30 with the $100,000 Heft for 2-year-olds and $100,000 Gin Talking for 2-year-old fillies, both sprinting seven furlongs.

Notes: Jockey Forest Boyce continued her recent hot streak in Race 3 Sunday aboard W.S. Farish homebred gelding Code Name ($10.80), trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey. It was the fourth straight win for Boyce, including a hat trick Saturday, and ninth win in her last 19 mounts. The Eclipse Award finalist for champion apprentice of 2010 is 24 wins shy of 1,000 for her career … Ask Amanda ($14.80), a 2-year-old filly owned by John Davison and bred by the late Brereton Jones, debuted with a 2 ½-length victory in Sunday’s opener, sprinting 5 ½ furlongs in 1:05.27 over an All Along turf rated good … Twin Oaks Bloodstock’s Miss Justify ($32.20), a juvenile daughter of 2018 Triple Crown champion Justify, unleashed a late rally to capture her unveiling by 3 ½ lengths in 1:05.53 for 5 ½ furlongs over a fast main track in Race 6 … Sunday’s third maiden special weight saw second-time starter Derbyness ($9), a 2-year-old son of Hoppertunity bred and owned by Jagger Inc. and Super C Racing, swept to the front leaving the far turn and outdueled Uncle Mo colt No Foolin Mo in Race 7. The winning time was 1:41.54 over a good Dahlia turf course … Live four-day racing for the fall meet begins Thursday with a 10-race program starting at 12:25 p.m. … There will be a carryover of $1,012.56 in the $1 Jackpot Super High Five (Race 6).