Brown ready to Connect in Pennsylvania Derby
Chad Brown's Connect fits the profile of a late-blooming sophomore who may have caught up with his fellow three-year-old runners who were ahead of the game this spring and summer, and a 12-1 morning-line price with Javier Castellano riding for one of the top barns in the country is nothing to sneeze at.
The Kentucky-bred son of Curlin had won a trio of races in succession, including a nice tally in the aptly named Curlin Stakes two prior, and he gets a pass for his finish in the Travers (G1) last out when running into the monster Arrogate, who set a track record in his tour-de-force romp. In the historic race, Connect had a poor break and wide trip on a Saratoga oval that was kind to speed and inner post slots, though he did offer a nice middle move before tiring in the lane.
In the Pennsylvania Derby, the tactical dark bay lands in a field with a lot of speed present, both to his outside and inside, and if the colt finishes like he did in his two-turn debut at Saratoga two races back, he might be motoring home at a nice price after saving ground from a good post position.
I suggest playing Connect over Exaggerator, Awesome Slew and the ever-consistent Sunny Ridge in the exotics.
The mighty Songbird will go in the race leading up to the Derby, facing five foes in the $1 million Cotillion S. (G1). The unbeaten and virtually untested Jerry Hollendorfer trainee will face a pair of very nice fillies but given her outside draw, it seems hard to go against the sensational daughter of Medaglia d'Oro.
With that said, I will use Acorn S. (G1) heroine Carina Mia and Kentucky Oaks (G1) victress Cathryn Sophia along with the heavy favorite in multi-race plays. Both have plenty of ability and received perfect preps leading up to this affair. If the top gun has a misstep, and you know what they say about not being able to win ‘em all, surely one of those fillies will reap the rewards.
Adam Coglianese Photography