October 23, 2018

Brill stands for brilliant

Brill offers points of comparison and contrast with Songbird (Benoit Photo)

Last year’s Fasig-Tipton July Sale topper when commanding $1 million from Larry Best’s OXO Equine, Brill stamped herself as one to follow by overcoming a bobbling start in her Wednesday unveiling at Del Mar.

You could say that Best knew it all along, since her name is short for “brilliant.”

Brill was the only seven-figure offering at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton July Sale (Photo courtesy of Fasig-Tipton Twitter)

“That’s what the owner said a long time ago before we knew she could run,” assistant trainer Dan Ward told Del Mar publicity Thursday morning.

“The thing about her is you could see in the paddock that she’s very classy. Nothing bothers her and that’s a big plus…

“When the bigger races, the stakes, come up, usually you’ve got a lot of horses that have gone wire-to-wire. You’re looking for one that can set off the pace and she’s already done that.

“She’s really classy and nice to work with. Kind of reminds you of Songbird. She was the same way.”

The Songbird comparison was inevitable, since both are Medaglia d’Oro fillies who won first up at Del Mar for Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer. But as Ward pointed out, Brill has already shown a different running style from the free-running Songbird.

Having bet Brill down to 3-5 favoritism, her backers must have felt uneasy as soon as she got away awkwardly. But jockey Drayden Van Dyke coolly helped Brill regroup just about in midpack behind a swift opening quarter in :22.07. Working her way into contention through a half in :45.63, Brill overhauled Del Mar May inside the final furlong to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths.

Brill’s final time of :57.86 for five furlongs was good for a 99 Brisnet Speed rating – a figure that stacks up historically.

Bred by Southern Equine Stables in Kentucky, Brill is the first foal from the stakes-winning Malibu Moon mare Hung the Moon. She was consigned by Bluewater Sales, agent, during her star turn at Fasig-Tipton July.

Brill is expected to point for the September 1 Del Mar Debutante (G1), where she may further the Songbird parallel.

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