Offering Plan Caps Big Day for Hidden Brook Sales Grads on NY Showcase Day at Saratoga

Friday, August 23, 2019

Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano won a pair of stakes, including a sentimental win aboard 7-year-old veteran Offering Plan, on Friday at Saratoga Race Course on New York Breeders' Showcase Day.

Owned by Michael Dubb, Nantucket Thoroughbred Partners, Bethlehem Stables, and G. Aisquith, Offering Plan surged between rivals in deep stretch under Castellano to capture the $150,000 West Point.

The dark bay horse conditioned by Saratoga's leading trainer Chad Brown was making his fourth appearance in the West Point, having previously been defeated by a half-length or less when finishing third in 2016 and second in 2017 and 2018.

“I'm so proud of him, at his age to come back another year and give a really good performance and finally win this race,” said Brown of Offering Plan, whose resume through the years includes victories in the 2018 Mohawk and the 2017 and 2018 Kingston. “It's definitely his last year of racing, but we'll try to run him some more at the end of the year. But it's definitely his last year, I can tell you that. He's done a lot for us.”

Offering Plan was sold by Hidden Brook Farm at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale.

Everyonelovesjames set a swift tempo in the West Point marking the opening quarter-mile in 23.03 seconds as Mo Maverick tracked his early foot from second with Therapist laying patiently in third.

Offering Plan rallied late in the turn and gained ground steadily down the lane as Everyonelovesjames faded. Therapist held a brief lead late, but Offering Plan saved his best for last and kicked home for the narrow neck win outside of Therapist under outside pressure from Dot Matrix, who completed the exacta.

“I've fallen in love with this horse,” said Castellano. “I've been riding him for so many years and have been on him for his last 12 races, and he always shows up. He's always in the money, one-two-three. He never gives up. I think the way he did it today was phenomenal. I'm very proud of him.”

Bred by C. W. Swann and Cygnet Farm, Offering Plan improved his record to 9-5-6 from 27 starts while banking $82,500. He paid $6.40 for a $2 win ticket and has now earned $863,973. He's among the 29 winners and 9 blacktype runners in 2019 to emerge from the Hidden Brook Florida training center. 

Next up on the card was the $250,00 Albany Stakes where another Hidden Book sales grad, Bankit, fell just shy of his third career stakes victory. Sold by Hidden Brook at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton New York Bred sale for $85,000, the son of Central Banker has now deposited $525,825 in the coffers of owners Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing.

The Albany, the third and final leg of the Big Apple Triple, featured the winners of the first two legs of the New York-bred series comprised of the Mike Lee, captured by Blindwillie McTell on May 27 at Belmont Park, and the New York Derby, won by Bankit on July 24 at Finger Lakes.

Bankit, gaining ground with every stride, tried in vain to reel in Funny Guy falling a head short in a final time of 1:49.36.

Earlier on the card, the Hidden Brook Farm raised and sold Cleon Jones finished a good second to runaway winner City Man in the $200,000 Funny Cide Stakes. The son of Tale of the Cat was coming off a sharp Maiden Special score earlier in the Saratoga meeting. He was offered by Hidden Brook at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton New York Bred yearling auction. 

Hidden Brook Sales grad #4 on the card is Elegant Zip, the 3rd-place finisher in the $200,000 Fleet Indian Stakes. The 2017 Fasig-Tipton October Yearling sale grad has now earned blacktype on six occasions and racked up $231,019.