Brilliant Speed

Brilliant Speed

Coglianese Photos/NYRA

Brilliant Speed Pointed to Appleton Return

Last year's Toyota Blue Grass winner was third in Breeders' Cup Turf in November.

Brilliant Speed, winner of last spring's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), is expected back in action for the $100,000 Appleton Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Gulfstream Park turf March 31, trainer Tom Albertrani said.

A 4-year-old son of Dynaformer who competed in two legs of the 2011 Triple Crown, Brilliant Speed hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs Nov. 5.

Brilliant Speed, a homebred racing for Live Oak Plantation, has been training for his comeback at Palm Meadows Training Center, where he posted a five-furlong breeze in 1:03 4/5 in his most recent workout March 13. The Appleton is contested at one mile on turf.

“He’s been training very well,” Albertrani said. “If you remember him last year, he was always a little light framed. He’s matured and muscled up more as an older horse. He’s been training very forwardly.”

Brilliant Speed recorded two second-place stakes finishes on turf at Gulfstream last year before closing from last over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface to capture the Blue Grass last April by a nose.

He went on to finish seventh in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and third in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Brilliant Speed switched back to turf for a fall campaign that included a victory in Saratoga's Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) and a second in the Jamaica Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont Park. His season culminated with a solid performance in the BC Turf.

Albertrani reported that Brilliant Speed's promising younger brother, Souper Speedy , won’t be on this year’s Triple Crown trail. The trainer said he decided to back off the 3-year-old son of Indian Charlie after a series of workouts at Palm Meadows in preparation for his return to action.

“We just decided to slow things down. He just didn’t seem to settle in, so we decided to back off on him and give him some time,” Albertrani said. “There was nothing physically wrong with him. He just wasn’t himself.”

Souper Speedy, also a homebred for Live Oak Plantation, captured his debut at Belmont Park last October before finishing a close second in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II at Aqueduct in late November.

“We’ll be seeing him later in the year,” Albertrani said.