The Grass Is Blue hopes it’s green in Caesar’s Wish

The Grass Is Blue impressed in her first start in trainer Graham Motion’s Fair Hill barn. Now the four-year-old Broken Vow filly will look to build on that when she steps back into stakes company in Saturday’s $100,000 Caesar’s Wish Stakes at Laurel Park.

Medallion Racing, Charles H. Deters, Parkland Thoroughbreds and Mike Olszewski’s The Grass Is Blue has moved around since her 8 ½-length debut romp in July 2020 at Monmouth for owner-trainer John Stephens. She was acquired privately and joined trainer Chad Brown’s string, winning an optional claimer at Keeneland and running third by a neck to multiple stakes winner Miss Leslie in the 1 1/16-mile Anne Arundel County at Laurel to end her juvenile campaign.

The Grass Is Blue won the 1 1/8-mile Busanda in her 3-year-old debut last January and tried graded company twice in the spring, finishing fourth in the Gazelle (G3) at Aqueduct and sixth in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico Race Course.

She then was sent to Hall of Famer trainer Bill Mott and made one more start at three, finishing fourth to Black-Eyed Susan winner Army Wife in last July’s Iowa Oaks (G3).

Now at Fair Hill (Md.) Training Center with Motion, The Grass Is Blue returned to Pimlico to launch her 2022 season in a five-furlong optional claimer May 14, a race originally carded for the grass. The daughter of Broken Vow bobbled at the start and had to steady, but was able to gather herself and come with a late run to win going away by 2 ¾ lengths while ridden out.

“I was pretty sure she was ready to run, but I thought we could get away with [five furlongs]. It turned out to be a great opportunity with it coming off and I thought she did it really nicely,” Motion said. “She’s going to appreciate going a little further. The one-turn mile makes a lot of sense. I think this is probably more of what she wants to do down the road, and the timing is good.”

The show horse from that contest, returned to win at that same level easily while registering an 84 Beyer Speed Figure.

The Grass Is Blue has worked steadily at Fair Hill for her return to stakes competition and will have Jorge Ruiz, up for the Pimlico race, back aboard.

“She’s quite tough to train which is why they thought it might suit her to be at Fair Hill where we can do some different things with her. I think her potential is a little bit unknown at this point,” Motion said. “She’s very aggressive in the morning. She’s very kind, but she’s very aggressive. She was very professional the other day.

“Going a mile, I guess it’s going to be very important that she relaxes, but Jorge has been on her now once so he knows her,” he added. “I’m sure she’s going to be handy coming off the sprint race and having had a bit of time between races, especially judging by the way she trains in the mornings.”

The Grass Is Blue is 5-2 on the morning line and second choice in the field of eight. She’ll leave from the outside stall.

The morning line favorite in the Caesar’s Wish is Edie Meenie Miny Mo (9-5). The Maryland-bred Upstart filly is cross-entered in the six-furlong Regret at Monmouth Park, and coming off three straight sprint starts – and with no rider named here – seems likely to post at trainer Michelle Hemingway’s Monmouth Park base.

Hemingway also will send out Wholebodemeister (8-1). She was a dominant winner of the Grade 2 Davona Dale in February 2021 but has just two winless starts since. Horacio Karamanos will ride.

Laurel-based trainer Brittany Russell will send out Hybrid Eclipse (7-2) in the Caesar’s Wish. She is winless in three prior stakes tries but did finish a decent third last out in the Obeah at Delaware Park.

The Caesar’s Wish debuted in 1978 at old Bowie Race Course and was held at both Pimlico and Laurel before it was renamed the Beyond the Wire for 2018. It honors the Maryland-bred mare that won 11 of 16 starts over two seasons including the 1978 Mother Goose (G1) and Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and 1977 Demoiselle (G2) and Villager (G3). Her winning time in the Mother Goose broke Hall of Famer Ruffian’s stakes record and stood until 1994.

The Grass Is Blue
The Grass Is Blue prior to the 2021 Black-Eyed Susan. Photo by Cynthia Longo.