With a late rush, favored Sea Calisi won the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington International Racecourse by a half-length, adding another big win for trainer Chad Brown and jockey Florent Geroux. It marks the fourth win in the Beverly D. for owner Martin Schwartz.
The victory, a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race, gives Sea Calisi a spot in the gate for the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita Park Nov. 4.
Elusive Million broke on top in the 14-horse field with Zipessa in close pursuit with Euro imports Ballydoyle and Coolmore in forward positions. The opening quarter went in :23.71. Down the backstretch, Elusive Million was overtaken by Zipessa, who then opened up a clear lead on the field through six furlongs in 1:12.58. Zipessa led in the stretch, with Sea Calisi and Geroux in high gear. They overtook Zipessa at the eighth pole, then held off the late rally of Al's Gal.
The winner, the fourth on the card and third straight graded stakes win for Geroux, paid $4.20, $3.40, and $2.60. Al's Gal paid $10.40 and $6.40. Zipessa returned $7.20.
Zipessa was followed by Tuttipaesi and Faufiler.
“They work well as a team,” Brown said of Geroux and Sea Calisi. “We’re lucky to have Marty and lucky to have her."
A 4-year-old by Youmzain out of the German mare Triclaria (by Surumu), Sea Calisi was making her third start in the U.S. since being purchased by Schwartz and turned over to Brown. She won the grade II Sheepshead Bay Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont May 7 and was second to stablemate Dacita in the New York Stakes (gr. IIT) June 10. At 3 she was a group II winner in France and a third-place finisher in the Darly Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I) and Qatar Prix Vermeille (Fr-I).
Schwartz's other Beverly D. wins came with Stacelita (2011), Gorella (2006), and Angara (2005). Brown won last year's running with Watsdachances and with Stacelita. Brown also won Saturday's Secretariat Stakes (gr. I) with Beach Patrol, teaming with Geroux.
“It’s a great race and great people,” Schwartz said of the experience. “It’s a beautiful race track with a good surface. Other than being out in the parking lot to start (post 13)…but Florent came and we couldn’t be more overjoyed.”