Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Consumer Credit became a graded winner Jan. 24, closing on the outside with a solid run to capture the $100,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park (VIDEO).
The one-mile turf event was the third straight score for Consumer Credit, the 9-5 favorite in the field of 10 3-year-old fillies. The More Than Ready filly came off a victory in the Nov. 29 Wait a While Stakes at Gulfstream Park West after breaking her maiden Oct. 25 at Belmont Park. The Sweetest Chant was her first graded score.
Settled just off the early leaders by jockey Edgard Zayas, Consumer Credit tracked opening fractions of :24.05 and :48.53 set by Miss Temple City and Quality Rocks on the inside before angling outside through the second turn. After three-quarters went in 1:12.62, Consumer Credit came flying and reached the leaders just inside the sixteenth pole to win going away late.
"I was a little worried that we'd run out of real estate," said trainer Chad Brown, who won a fourth consecutive edition of the Sweetest Chant. "I could see once he got her in the clear, her stride lengthened and she was going to go for it. I knew it was going to be a close call but thankfully she got up in time. We leave here probably with another good education.
"I haven't been certain how far this filly would run. I didn't want to promise anything beyond a mile but after the trip she got today and the way she finished, we'll continue to try to stretch her out a sixteenth at a time and see how far she'll go. She was real unlucky the first couple starts of her career and since then, she's put it all together. This was another step forward for her and we're real excited about her throughout the year."
The final time was 1:35.80 on firm turf. Consumer Credit managed the victory by a length over Quality Rocks, with Miss Temple City coming in third, a head farther back. Cardinal Cove, Nicky's Brown Miss, Red Sashay, Ol' Fashion Gal, Cosmic Serenity, Angel Falls, and Loon River completed the order of finish.
Consumer Credit returned $5.60, $3.20, and $2.40 while 2-1 Quality Rocks brought $3.20 and $2.60. Miss Temple City paid $3 at odds of 3-1.
"The filly was impressive," Brown said. "I thought it was a very good ride by this young man because in the first turn he had a hard decision to make when it looked like he was going to be potentially hung out from that post (seven) about four wide. He elected to take her back and tuck her in and then he found a cozy spot inside. I really think his decision in the first turn was what won the race."
Zayas said he was full of confidence in his mount turning for home.
"I had a really nice trip. I knew there was a lot of speed in the race, so I just wanted to stalk and try to save as much ground as I could and try to get her clear at the end," he said. "It all worked out good. I had a ton of horse going to the wire. She's a really nice filly. She's getting better and better."
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings out of the London News mare Sally Bowles, Consumer Credit has her three consecutive wins and a second from five starts, with earnings of $165,445.
Later on the card, Dubai Sky, owned by Three Chimneys Farm and Besilu Stables and trained by Bill Mott, got up in the final strides to defeat stablemate Courtier by a head in the $100,000 Kitten's Joy Stakes.
"They both ran winning races," Mott said.
A 3-year-old son of Candy Ride ridden by Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, Dubai Sky took his third consecutive race. In his previous start Dec. 20 at Gulfstream, he finished in a dead-heat for the win with another stablemate, Hard to Port.
After breaking his maiden at second asking Sept. 20 at Belmont, Mott gave Dubai Sky some time off before returning with the dead-heat victory. Mott said Dubai Sky can be deceptive in the mornings.
"He actually works average on dirt...he's kind of lazy in the morning," Mott said. "But he shows up on race day."
Dubai Sky covered the mile on firm turf in 1:36.05, returning $12.60, $6, and $4. Courtier was worth $7.80 and $5 while Croninthebarbarian paid $3.20 in third. The winner was bred in Kentucky by Besilu Stables out of the Chester House mare House of Danzing and improved his record to three wins and a third from four starts for earnings of $125,580.