Hidden Brook Florida Grad Offering Plan Mows Them Down in Mohawk S.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Leaving absolutely no doubt about who was best in this year's 1 1/16-mile $200,000 Mohawk Stakes for New York-breds, the six-year-old Offering Plan, ridden perfectly by Javier Castellano, stormed to the lead at the top of the stretch and rolled to a six-length victory as the 6-5 favorite from the outside post in the field of eight on New York-bred Showcase Day at Belmont Park Saturday.

Offering Plan races for the partnership of Michael Dubb, Nantucket Thoroughbred Partners, Bethlehem Stables and Gary Aisquith’s. He was sold by Hidden Brook at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Yearling sale to Mayberry Farm who resold the horse to Dubb and partners at the OBS April Two-Year-Old auction. Offering Plan also enjoyed his annual winter freshening at Hidden Brook Florida Breaking & Training before embarking on his successful 2018 camppaign. 

Rapt, who was 14-1 under Manny Franco, finished a well-clear second, 7 ¼ lengths ahead of 4-1 Red Knight and Junior Alvarado. Front-running Mo Maverick, who was 9-1 with Luis Saez up, lasted for fourth, a length and a quarter behind Red Knight.

CW Swann and Cygnet Farm bred Offering Plan, a son of Spring At Last out of Rosalie Road by Street Cry who is trained by Chad Brown. Offering Plan won in 1:42.01 on the “good” Widener Turf Course.

A year ago in the Mohawk Stakes, Offering Plan made up nearly 10 lengths late, but finished second as the 3-5 favorite, a length and a quarter behind the wire-to-wire winner Black Tide at 4-1. This year, Black Tide entered the Mohawk off a length-and-a-quarter coast-to-coast victory over Offering Plan in the $120,000 Ashley T. Cole Stakes at 28-1.

On Saturday, Black Tide went off at 9-2 under regular rider Jose Lezcano. But the extreme speedster, who almost always breaks in front, came out of the gate next-to-last, allowing Mo Maverick to get the lead. Lezcano rushed up Black Tide to take over, but Mo Maverick wouldn’t let him, leading by a neck by running a fast first quarter-mile in :22.54. Mo Maverick edged three-quarters of a length ahead of Black Tide by running a half-mile in :46.38.

Castellano, who has ridden Offering Plan in his last 11 starts, had to be thrilled as he saw the speed duel far in front of him. Castellano had settled Offering Plan clear on the outside in sixth early, and he asked Offering Plan for more early.

Offering Plan quickly moved up to fourth and then made a breath-taking rush into and around the far turn.

Offering Plan shot past Mo Maverick and Black Tide and opened up on the field after three-quarters in 1:11.48. Offering Plan poured it on through the stretch, completely dominating his rivals to win utterly isolated on the lead. The victory was No. 4,999 in Castellano’s career. He didn’t wait long to win his 5,000th the very next race on Runaway Lute in the $150,000 Hudson Stakes.

Castellano admitted he changed tactics on Offering Plan Saturday: “Today I did something different. Everything worked out perfect today.”

Brown, sporting a wide smile in the winner’s circle, knew that Castellano was a big reason why. “The horse really responded well with Javier asking him to go a little earlier,” Brown said. “Sometimes this horse is funny to ride. He’ll lose interest early in his races. Javier has really done a great job trying to get this horse motivated in the first half of his races, which isn’t always easy. The horse just really finished strong. I’m proud of him.”

Offering Plan has only finished out of the money only twice in his last 11 starts, both in open company. He was seventh in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland last year and third in this year’s open $150,000 Forbidden Apple Stakes at Belmont before finishing second at Saratoga in the West Point Stakes and second again in the Ashley T. Cole.

His Mohawk victory made him eight-for-23 in his all-grass career with five seconds, four thirds and earnings of more than $750,000. He is particularly sharp at Belmont where he is five-for-12 with three seconds and three thirds.

The Mohawk kicked off an incredible New York Showcase Day for Hidden Brook-associated runners. Two races later Fifty Five (Raised & Sold) scored in the Ticonderoga Stakes and Bankit (Foaled, Raised & Sold) got the money in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes. In the Maid of the Mist Stakes, Elegant Zip (Sold) and Kept True (Hidden Brook Florida Grad) finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

-edited from www.nytbreeders.org, by Bill Heller