Rose Brier holds on to win Ned Evans
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Panic Stable LLC’s Rose Brier took the lead straightening for home and held off late-running Special Envoy to keep his perfect Maryland record intact with a one-length victory in Saturday’s $60,000 Edward P. Evans at historic Pimlico Race Course.
The 1 1/16-mile Edward P. Evans was the first of three stakes restricted to Virginia-bred/sired horses, followed by the $60,000 White Oak Farm and $60,000 Nellie Mae Cox, and kicked off five total turf stakes worth $330,000 on the nine-race Maryland-Virginia Breeders’ Day program.
Favored at 4-5 in a field of seven 3-year-olds and up, Rose Brier ($3.60) and jockey Alex Cintron completed the distance in 1:42.77 over a firm turf course for his fourth win in as many tries in Maryland but first at Old Hilltop.
Previously, the 7-year-old Mizzen Mast gelding won the Bert Allen Stakes in 2014 and 2015 and set the one-mile Kelso Turf Course course record in winning the Henry S. Clark Stakes April 23 at Laurel Park.
“It’s always a concern. Sometimes they just don’t like a certain track,” winning trainer Jane Cibelli said by phone from Monmouth Park. “Everything went well. I thought Alex rode a very good race especially for never having been on him and it went his way. This horse is just the coolest horse. He just always shows up. I just love him. He’s a great horse.”
Making his stakes debut, Cat Fiftyfive jumped to the lead from post 2 and was chased through a quarter-mile in 23.88 seconds by Gumper before Rose Brier moved up willingly to challenge after a half in 48.46.
Cat Fiftyfive remained in front after six furlongs in 1:12.29 until Cintron gave Rose Brier his cue. They cruised to the lead and powered down the stretch as Grade 3-placed Special Envoy, the 8-5 second choice, rallied down the center of the course to pass Cat Fiftyfive for second. They were followed under the line by Thunderinwillie, Officer’s Oath, Willisville and Gumper.
“The trainer said to break and let him relax and make one run. He ran exactly like she told me,” Cintron said. “It was easy. I only hit him a few times and when I looked at the other horse he was way behind me. I saw him making up a lot of ground but I knew the wire was coming.”
Rose Brier now has 13 wins and has been in the top three in 27 of 33 lifetime starts, with $422,726 in purse earnings. He posted back-to-back front-running victories since returning from a six-month layoff in March before finishing third by a length in the Red Bank (G3) June 5.
“I was really happy that he didn’t go to the lead because the last couple races I’ve been like, ‘What’s going on with this horse? Why does he keep jumping out of there and go into the lead?’ I kind of felt like what happened, happened in those races. I told Alex if you go to the lead you’re going to get into a speed duel and it’s going to set it up for Special Envoy,” Cibelli said. “I’ve run against Special Envoy before. He’s a nice horse and I know they thought a lot of him in his career and he was the horse to beat. All I can say is I’m glad it was a mile and a sixteenth and not a mile and an eighth.”