Klaravich Stables Inc. and William H. Lawrence’s Bricks and Mortar moved his career mark to a perfect four-for-four on Friday with a winning rally in the $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2) at Saratoga.
The Chad Brown-trained sophomore bided his time in third along the inside under Joel Rosario as Secretary at War established splits of :23.94, :48.11 and 1:11.51 on the front end while chased by Big Handsome. Yoshida, the 2-1 favorite, found himself tracking three wide in fourth after bobbling at the start.
Big Handsome moved up to challenge Secretary at War for command of the race with Yoshida hot on his hooves. Secretary at War faded in the lane, leaving Big Handsome and Yoshida to duel it out to the wire.
Meanwhile, Bricks and Mortar was making up ground fast after angling a bit off the inside turning for home. The dark bay colt kept going farther out to find a clear path and gunned it in the final furlongs to be power past the dueling leaders and record a three-quarter length victory.
Sent off the 4-1 third choice, Bricks and Mortar paid $10.20 for finishing 1 1/16 miles over Saratoga’s firm turf in 1:39.47. Yoshida managed to get his head in front of Big Handsome to take second while Snap Decision finished another 1 3/4 lengths back in fourth.
Makarios, Parlor, Arklow, Secretary at War and Bonus Points completed the order under the wire.
Bricks and Mortar has now earned $256,800 to go along with his unbeaten record. The Giant’s Causeway colt broke his maiden on February 18 at Gulfstream Park in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on the grass, but wasn’t seen in competition again until showing up at Belmont Park on June 9 for an allowance/optional claimer. The Kentucky-bred prevailed by three parts of a length in the one-mile turf contest and last out captured the Manila Stakes on Independence Day at Big Sandy.
Bred by George Strawbridge Jr., Bricks and Mortar is out of the Group 2-placed listed-winning Ocean Crest mare Beyond the Waves. That mare has also produced Grade 3 heroine Emerald Beech, stakes scorer Beyond Smart, Group 3-placed Sir Ector and dual listed-placed Water View.
Beyond the Waves is a half-sister to the dam of Grade 1 hero Bordonaro and Grade 1-placed multiple stakes victress Miss Empire.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF RACING HALL OF FAME QUOTES
Joel Rosario, jockey Bricks and Mortar, winner
“I got a good trip. We were all running together for the first three-quarters trying to get position and he’s a very good horse. I was down inside and had to stay where I was, but I just took my time to take him out. He’s a nice horse and tries very hard. The last race he had, the final quarter-mile was very fast. He tries hard every time so I knew he had the turn of foot to get home. I just waited until I could get him out. He’s very honest and as long as he’s comfortable, he’ll take it from there. You can put him wherever you want.”
Chad Brown, trainer Bricks and Mortar, winner
“I have a lot of respect for this field. It’s a deep field and this horse keeps improving. For a lightly raced three-year-old, he’s undefeated, he’s done everything we’ve asked. You can’t ask for better than that. Yoshida is a top-class horse and to kick clear you’re really going to have to run a fast last quarter to catch him.
“He’s everything you want to see in a three-year-old, whether it’s a dirt horse or a turf horse. He’s constantly proving that he has the will to win. With this horse, if you set him down in the clear and give him a target, he gets there.
“We talked about it in the paddock, Joel (Rosario) and I, and even though he won the Manila Stakes last time, he was far back off a very slow pace and he flew home to get there, which was remarkable, really. Against these horses this time around, we talked about it and if he were that far back, he wasn’t going to get there.”