Our Braintrust rallies in Laurel Park juvenile test
Two-year-old Our Braintrust proved best in Laurel Park’s second two-year-old race of 2018, the first not restricted to fillies. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
by Frank Vespe
The babies came out for the second time this season Thursday at Laurel Park, and for the second time, a Maryland-bred got the money.
Under an astute ride by Jorge Vargas, Jr., Our Braintrust sat off the dueling leaders before tipping into the two-path entering the lane and powering to the victory by three-quarters of a length. Running time for the 4 1/2-furlong distance was 52.03 seconds. The race, for two-year-olds, was the companion to Sunday’s filly race, won by Gallanor.
“He’s very mature,” said Cal Lynch, the somewhat surprised trainer and co-owner of Our Braintrust. “He does everything right.”
Vargas was hustling from the moment the gates opened, and Our Braintrust, a two-year-old Freud colt, was the first away. But he doesn’t have quite the early zip of some of his rivals — he’ll want more ground, Lynch said, and perhaps turf, to hit his stride — and Vargas ceded the early advantage to Candys Delight, the 9-5 favorite off a third-place finish at Aqueduct on debut, and Transom.
Those two rivals slugged it out heads apart through an opening quarter-mile in 22.87 seconds. Vargas, meanwhile, was content to bide his time in fourth, down along the rail and a couple of lengths behind the leaders.
Entering the lane, Candys Delight spurted clear of Transom, but Our Braintrust was just warming up. Guided outside the leader, he flashed through a seam to take the lead and had enough to hold off the late run of Tybalt, who closed from eighth to second, to earn the win.
Tybalt was second, five lengths clear of the rest, and Transom re-rallied to take third, a neck ahead of Candys Delight. Our Braintrust paid $16.80 to win and topped a one-dollar exacta worth $41.40.
Our Braintrust was bred in Maryland by Barak Farm. He is by Freud and out of the winning Trust N Luck mare Caller Trust. His half-brother Late Caller, by Stroll, is a hard-knocking sort who has won seven career races, from 47 starts.
Lynch, who now co-owns Our Braintrust with Smith Farm and Stable, purchased the colt out of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale at Timonium last October, paying $25,000 for him. With Maryland-bred bonuses added in, Our Braintrust’s win today was worth more than his purchase price: $29,640.
Of course, it’s never immediately clear how strong the first two-year-old fields of the year are, and Lynch allowed that he wasn’t sure how much talent Our Braintrust has.
But a couple things he was sure about.
“He’s very professional. His mind is probably his best asset,” the trainer said. “And he loves it.”