Maryland-breds Girls Love Me, Our Braintrust tackle Tremont
Our Braintrust, one of two Maryland-breds in the Tremont. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
by Frank Vespe
The morning line says that Girls Love Me doesn’t have much chance in Friday’s $150,000 Tremont Stakes for two-year-olds at Belmont Park. The Maryland-bred is, at 15-1, the longest shot on the board.
But Anthony Farrior, trainer of the Girolamo colt, wants to make one thing perfectly clear.
“We came to win,” he said Thursday. “We wouldn’t have come just to run.”
Girls Love Me is one of two Maryland-breds, both of whom broke their maidens at Laurel Park, slated to face the starter in the 5 1/2-furlong Tremont. The other, Our Braintrust, is the Cal Lynch trainee who won Laurel’s first race for straight two-year-olds of 2018. He is 12-1 on the morning line.
Girls Love Me, out of the Kris S. mare Ten Kisses, thrashed $40,000 maiden claimers in his debut. After bobbling a bit at the break, he rushed up under Arnaldo Bocachica to press the pace rounding the turn before drawing away eagerly in the lane to win by 5 1/2 lengths. Running time for the 4 1/2 furlongs was 52.35 seconds.
The result caught Farrior somewhat by surprise.
“He never really showed a lot of ability in the mornings until his last work before his first start,” the conditioner said. Then he ripped off a three-furlong breeze in 36 seconds and followed that up with his big debut win.
In his follow-up work, Girls Love Me, who was bred by Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds, went a half-mile in 47 4/5 seconds; that was the third-fastest of 88 at the distance.
“He seems like a horse that’s getting better every day,” Farrior said.
The morning line favorite for the Tremont is, at 9-5, the Wesley Ward trainee Mae Never No. The No Nay Never filly won at first asking, defeating another Ward trainee, Abyssinian, whose follow-up effort netted a seven-length victory.
Also in the mix is the Steve Asmussen-trained Sir Truebador (2-1). A $300,000 auction purchase as a yearling, the More Than Ready colt broke his maiden at first asking at Churchill Downs.
Like Girls Love Me, Our Braintrust (12-1) won at first asking at Laurel Park. The Freud colt, bred by Barak Farm, took a maiden special weight race by a bit less than a length on May 3, nine days prior to Girls Love Me’s victory.
Our Braintrust, owned by trainer Cal Lynch in partnership with Smith Farm and Stable, sat off the pace that day before powering clear to win in 52.03 for 4 1/2 furlongs.
Girls Love Me is owned by Michael Coombs, who, Farrior said, paid $15,000 in a private transaction to obtain the horse from Chris Melton, who had broken him after paying $4,000 for him at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale. With his debut victory, he made over $24,000.
Girls Love Me shipped up to Belmont Wednesday evening and jogged once around the mile-and-a-half strip Thursday morning.
Friday, Farrior will leg up jockey Kendrick Carmouche, who is ninth among jockeys in earnings at the current Belmont meet. “We wanted to have a guy that’s from here,” Farrior said of having a new pilot to tackle the vastness and long stretch of Big Sandy.
Farrior said he’s hoping for a stalk-and-pounce type of trip for Girls Love Me in the Tremont. But, win, lose, or draw, he sees the horse’s better days as very much yet to come, as the races get longer.
“He’s a big boy, almost 17 hands, and he does everything right,” Farrior said. “The farther, the better for him.”