One start after earning his first grade I-placing, Beach Patrol secured his first top-level win, holding off a game Long Island Sound through the stretch to secure a head victory in the $450,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) Aug. 13 on the turf at Arlington International Racecourse.
Owned by James Covello, Sheep Pond Partners, and Head of Plains Partners, Beach Patrol tracked from third as longshot Scissors and Tape led through a half-mile in :48.31 while Long Island Sound shadowed him in second. Long Island Sound, trained by Aidan O'Brien who had won the previous two editions of the Secretariat and was looking for his fifth overall win in the race, briefly took the lead in the turn.
Beach Patrol would quickly engage Long Island Sound and take a short lead just past the quarter pole. Those two would carry that battle to the wire, with Beach Patrol holding the advantage all the way home, completing 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.95 on firm turf.
Jockey Florent Geroux, who secured his third win of the day and second straight graded stakes win in the Secretariat after guiding Da Big Hoss to victory in the American St. Leger Stakes (gr. IIIT), was willing to spot some ground in the turn while tracking three wide.
"I was able to stalk and when I asked him to go he was very brave. [Long Island Sound] didn't give it up, and [Beach Patrol] showed a lot of heart," Geroux said.
Winning trainer Chad Brown liked the confidence displayed by Geroux. A race later that pair would team up again to win the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. I) with Sea Calisi, as Geroux registered a third straight graded stakes win.
"Florent rode a beautiful race from a difficult post," Brown said of the Secretariat victory. "The horse has been training really well. I want to thank Sol Kumin and James Covello, the other partners that put up the money to buy him - their patience. His first start didn't go so well, they didn't worry about it, they were in it for the long term and it paid off today."
The 5-2 favorite, Beach Patrol paid $7.60, $3.80, and $3 across the board while Long Island Sound returned $4.40 and $3 to place and show. American Patriot, a grade III winner last out for owner WinStar Farm, made up ground in tight quarters along the rail in the final turn to finish third ($3 to show), earning his first grade I placing.
Beach Patrol finished third in the Belmont Invitational Derby (gr. IT) July 9 at Belmont Park, a race where Long Island Sound, a Kentucky-bred son of War Front , finished sixth. Beach Patrol is a son of Lemon Drop Kid , who also is the sire of Saturday's American St. Leger winner Da Big Hoss.
Bred in Kentucky by Nancy Shuford, Beach Patrol is out of Quiet American mare Bashful Bertie, who is a full sister to two-time grade II winner Allamerican Bertie. The Secretariat marked the first stakes win for Beach Patrol, who had placed in two previous graded stakes efforts.
Ben Glass went to $250,000 to land Beach Patrol as a weanling at the 2013 Keeneland November breeding stock sale for his initial owners Gary and Mary West.
Seamie Heffernan, who guided Long Island Sound Saturday, said the horse improved in his second U.S. start.
"It was an improvement on his last run," Heffernan said. "Very happy with him, and he's an improving horse."