He’d been preparing Concrete Rose for the race for nearly two months, but trainer Rusty Arnold had some anxious moments before entries were taken for Wednesday’s $200,000 Jessamine (G2) at Keeneland several days ago.
“My biggest concern here was getting in the race,” said Arnold, who had trained the daughter of Twirling Candy to an impressive, come-from-behind debut win at Saratoga going 5 1/2 furlongs on August 20. “We were worried all week about getting in, and when we did we were pretty relaxed.”
Arnold, who trains the filly for Ashbrook Farm and BBN Racing, had to have been plenty relaxed in deep stretch as Concrete Rose, who had rated in behind pace-setting City Diva while saving ground, swung four wide to challenge in upper stretch and stormed home a convincing winner of the 1 1/16-mile “Win & You’re In” Breeders’ Cup challenge race for the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
The 5-2 second choice under Jose Lezcano, Concrete Rose won by three lengths in a time of 1:44.09 over firm ground. She returned $7.20. Pakhet edged longshot Belle Laura for second, with 2-1 favorite Fierce Scarlett fourth in the field of 13.
Boosting her earnings to $166,750, Concrete Rose was confirmed a starter in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs on November 2 by Arnold. Despite having won at a shorter distance first out and the existence of a new 5 1/2-furlong turf race for juveniles at the Breeders’ Cup this year, Concrete Rose was always being pointed for the longer race.
“Actually, we thought the sprint was too short. We thought two turns was what she wanted,” Arnold said.
Bred in Kentucky by Ron Patterson, Concrete Rose was most recently a $61,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic two-year-old purchase in May. She’s out of Solerina, by Powerscourt, and hails from the female of Ferdinand, the 1986 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner and 1987 Horse of the Year.