Stephanie Seymour Brant’s Significant Form was sent off the even-money favorite in Sunday’s $200,000 Miss Grillo Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park and fulfilled all expectations with a one-length score under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.
The gray lass found herself four wide after the gates opened, outside of Life Time Citizen and Southampton Way, before Oritz wrangled her back a bit. Significant Form stayed wide under a tight hold with Codrington ranging up to run just off her flank on the inside as Life Time Citizen led the way through fractions of :24.60, :49.23 and 1:13.67.
Life Time Citizen and Southampton Way continued battling up front rounding the final turn but Ortiz let out a notch on Significant Form. The Chad Brown trainee surged forward to take command, but hot on her hooves were Best Performance and Orbolution. Those two put in a good effort but Significant Form refused to yield, finishing 1 1/16 miles over the firm inner turf in 1:42.29.
Best Performance filled the runner-up spot, 1 1/4 lengths up on Orbolution. Bramble Queen followed in fourth, while Codrington, Africa, Life Time Citizen, Indy Union and Southampton Way completed the order under the wire.
Significant Form paid $4.20 for breaking her maiden in this spot. The Creative Cause juvenile lass finished first by 2 1/4 lengths in her career debut on August 27 over Saratoga’s inner turf while going 8 1.2 furlongs, but was disqualified and placed seventh after coming in on the first turn and shutting off a rival, who clipped her heels and bobbled.
Making only her second appearance here, Significant Form is now 2-1-0-0, $120,415 lifetime. Bred in Kentucky by Brereton C. Jones, she is out of the unraced Harlan’s Holiday mare Church By the Sea.
Significant Form counts as a half-sibling Hay Dakota, who won last year’s Commonwealth Turf Stakes (G3) and this season’s Mystic Lake Mile. Church By the Sea is herself a half-sister to Grade 2 heroine Hello Liberty and Grade 3-placed stakes vixen Pious Ashley.
This is the same female family as Majestic Prince and Real Quiet, winners of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1969 and 1998, respectively.
MISS GRILLO QUOTES
Chad Brown, trainer Significant Form, winner
“In her first start, it was an unfortunate situation where she was disqualified, but we understand the decision and the situation. She’s trained forwardly in the mornings since that race and today she got a good trip and really showed great ability. I was really impressed with how she fought back late in the stretch when the 8 horse (Best Performance) challenged her.
“This win is really encouraging going forward and heading into the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Turf Fillies [G1] on November 3 at Del Mar).”
Irad Ortiz Jr., jockey Significant Form, winner
“She broke good and we were really close. We weren’t going too fast. We ran a little slow, so I wanted to just hold my position. I was good where I was. I knew when I’d asked her, she’d be there for me.
“She’s comfortable. Going a mile and a sixteenth as a two-year-old first time out, it’s hard. She has a lot of talent and she did it. Coming back today, I knew she’d be better because she already had (the distance).”