Greengrassofyoming triumphs in Stars and Stripes (G3) blanket finish

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Jen Caldwell

July 9th, 2016

Michael M. Hui’s Greengrassofyoming just got his nose down at the right moment to take Saturday’s $100,000 Stars and Stripes Stakes (G3) at Arlington on Million Preview Day.

It was a four-horse blanket finish on the wire but Chip Leader had a seven-length advantage when setting the pace through fractions of :25.29 and :48.04. O’Prado Ole led the rest of the field in second while Greengrassofyoming bided his time back in fifth.

Chip Leader couldn’t hold on as O’Prado Ole took command nearing the final turn. Greengrassofyoming was also rallying and angled out three wide rounding the bend. The gelding took a short lead in upper stretch, drifted out a bit before jockey Shaun Bridgmohan switched the whip to his right hand and just got his nose down on the wire at the right moment to prevail.

Greengrassofyoming paid $20.60 at 9-1 for finishing 1 1/2 miles on the firm Arlington turf in 2:27.74. O’Prado Ole took second by a nose over Pumpkin Rumble, with 1-2 favorite The Pizza Man another nose back in fourth. Bullards Alley, Birdsone and Chip Leader completed the order under the line after Five Green Stars, Quiet Force and Roman Approval all scratched to run in the Arlington Handicap (G3) one race later.

Greengrassofyoming was trying graded rivals for just the second time in his career in this spot, having previously finished ninth in the 2014 River City Handicap (G3). This was his first start against stakes rivals since running third as the defending champion of the Remington Green last September at Remington Park.

In the interim, the Quest gelding captured an allowance/optional claimer to close out his five-year-old campaign and was claimed last out in his third start this season by trainer Mike Maker when taking an allowance/optional claimer on June 26 at Churchill Downs.

Greengrassofyoming improved his career mark to 36-8-8-5 with Saturday’s score and boosted his lifetime earnings to $383,526.

Bred in Kentucky by Stone Farm, Greengrassofyoming was a bargain $3,000 purchase at the 2011 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

The six-year-old chestnut is the first registered stakes winner out of the stakes-scoring Dehere mare Flick, who is a half-sister to Grade 3 heroine Cinemine. This female family is also responsible for champion Leallah and Group 1-winning top sire Miswaki.

Greengrassofyoming screenshot photo


Shaun Bridgmohan, jockey Greengrassofyoming, winner: “I had a great trip from the one-hole. I got the three-eighths and found him some room to run. All the credit belongs to Mike and his crew. I just showed up to ride him.”

Mike Maker, trainer Greengrassofyoming, winner: “I’ve been following this horse for the past couple of years and we were fortunate enough to get him last time with this race in mind.”

Corey Lanerie, jockey O’Prado Ole, second: "I was hoping to go to the front. The other horse wanted it more than me. He went out, and he opened up on us. My horse was relaxed, he thought he was in front the whole way. He thought he was by himself. Actually, the winner passed me, and he was coming back. Another jump, I think I've got him. Just unfortunate – he ran big."

Mitchell Murrill, jockey Pumpkin Rumble, third: “The horse ran a great race, and we got all the pace that we wanted. He wasn’t too aggressive; ran his eyeballs out down the lane and we got up for third.”

Robby Albarado, jockey The Pizza Man, fourth: “He ran great. It was a blanket finish and a really good horse race. Obviously he likes to run around horses so I had to run around some horses on the turn. He got in my hands nice. It was his third start of the year and he has shown progression every time, so that should set him up for the Million.”