Hidden Brook Program Produces a Trio of Preakness Day Stakes Winners

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Dinner Party Stakes (G3)

Right after Courtlandt Farm’s Never Explain captured the $200,000 Dinner Party Stakes (G3) trainer Shug McGaughey was uncertain about the next start for the son of Street Sense.

“I have no idea,” the Hall of Famer replied. “He was 15-1.”

Based on Never Explain’s course-record debut in stakes company, there will no doubt be plenty of options for the 5-year-old, up and down the East Coast in graded stakes in the coming months.

After saving ground in fourth under Flavien Prat, Never Explain eked out a half-length victory over favored Hurricane Dream  in a tight finish in which the top five horses were within a length of each other to prevail in the 1 1/8-mile turf stakes for older horses May 20 at Pimlico Race Course.

“It’s a big confidence builder when they can go over there and win a few races the right way,” said McGaughey, whose horse punched his ticket into graded stakes company by winning a pair of allowance optional claimers at Tampa Bay Downs. “I’ve had some luck doing that before.”

Never Explain was bred by Hidden Brook Farm and Godolphin out of the Forestry mare Black Oak. He was also foaled and raised at the historic Hidden Brook nursery in Paris, Kentucky before being purchased for $155,000 out of the Hidden Brook consignment at the 2018 Keeneland November sale by Cavalier Bloodstock.

Maryland Sprint S. (G3)

Some horses give early glimpses of their talent and it carries them to early success. Others work through their development and tease that tantalizing ability that has yet to fully manifest itself.

That was the case for Straight No Chaser, who put it all together May 20 in a dominating win in the six-furlong $100,000 Maryland Sprint Stakes (G3) at Pimlico Race Course.

“He’s just getting better,” said trainer Dan Blacker. “That’s the crazy thing. Just goes to show that sometimes with these horses you just got to be a little patient and luckily we have great owners that were allowing me to be patient with him and give him time to kind of mature.”

Straight No Chaser went gate to wire in 1:08.27 while posting fractional times of :22.44, :44.66, and 56.20. He won by 7 1/2 lengths, thanks to a strong break from the gate and then pulling away down the stretch.

Owned by MyRacehorse and bred by John Eaton and Steve Laymon, Straight No Chaser now boasts a record of 4-0-1 in seven starts with $245,800 in earnings. He was foaled and raised at Hidden Brook Farm in Paris, Kentucky and is one of nine foals and seven starters from his mare. Of those seven starters, five are winners.

MyRacehorse purchased Straight No Chaser at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale from the Paul Sharp consignment for $110,000.

“He’s always been a very talented horse, superior workhorse right from when we first got him in the barn,” Blacker said. “He was always impressive, so it’s really a relief to see him carry that into the afternoon.”

Sir Barton S.

Arabian Lion understood the assignment May 20 in the $99,000 Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. The son of Justify led from start to finish over four other 3-year-olds in the 1 1/16-mile contest.

Guided by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, the chestnut colt sped through easy fractions of :24.47 for the first quarter and a half in :48.13 and crossed the wire in 1:41.13 ahead by four lengths. Tapit’s Conquest and Denington were second and third, respectively.

The son of Triple Crown champion Justify, Arabian Lion prepped for his racing career at Hidden Brook Florida and was sold by Hidden Brook at last year´s OBS April Two-Year-Old in Training sale for $600,000.

“I should have run him in the Preakness! I didn’t think he could lose in the Lexington (Stakes, G3). I think that race helped him, and I wanted to give him one more time around two turns,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “He is such a beautiful horse, a smaller version of Justify and I think he is just starting to wake up.

“What I saw today, in that time was impressive. The Belmont (Stakes, G1) will be a possibility for him.”

The Belmont, the third leg of the Triple Crown, is a 1 1/2-mile race June 10.

-edited from www.bloodhorse.com