Front-running Blowout bravely fended off stablemate Regal Glory in Saturday’s $400,000 First Lady S. (G1), extending trainer Chad Brown’s dominance of the Keeneland feature. Brown has won the First Lady a record five times, including the last four editions of this “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).
His first two winners, Dayatthespa (2014) and A Raving Beauty (2018), advanced to the Filly & Mare Turf. Dayatthespa turned the double to earn an Eclipse Award, while A Raving Beauty was a gallant third at a trip that stretched her. Brown’s repeat winner Uni (2019-20) used the First Lady as a stepping stone to the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), beating males for championship honors in 2019 and closing her career with a fifth last fall.
Peter M. Brant’s Blowout doesn’t appear to want to go much beyond a mile. The speedy daughter of Dansili tends to get caught more often than not, but jockey Flavien Prat has the knack of cajoling the best from her. Blowout earned her first graded laurel with Prat aboard in the May 1 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2), and the Frenchman was back in the saddle to lift her again on Saturday.
Speeding to the fore through an opening quarter in :23.76 on the good course, the 5.30-1 chance was in her comfort zone in splits of :47.75 and 1:11.67. The 5.80-1 Regal Glory bided her time in striking range, and passed fellow stalkers La Signare and Abscond rounding the far turn.
Meanwhile, the European shippers were trying to advance. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Empress Josephine had clear sailing as she ground on steadily, but Godolphin’s 1.30-1 favorite Althiqa was mired in traffic in upper stretch.
Regal Glory was the only real danger to Blowout, as she drew alongside the longtime leader. Just when Regal Glory looked to have her in the grasp, Blowout found extra and hurled her back by a half-length. Covering the mile in 1:34.86, the winner returned $12.60.
“As usual she showed a lot of speed out of the gate,” Prat recapped, “and I was able to get myself comfortable on the lead where I didn’t have too much pressure. She relaxed well down the backside. She fought really hard down the lane because she lost the lead for a little bit, but she dug in and fought back and really made a great stretch run.”
Regal Glory’s rider, Jose Ortiz, paid tribute to both Brown runners.
“I entered with a lot of horse and a lot of confidence,” Ortiz said. “I asked her to run and she did, but the other filly dug in and she’s a nice filly too. I was very happy and content with my position. When I asked her to go, she was there for me so that’s all I can ask for. She ran a huge race.”
Empress Josephine was the same half-length margin away in third, in a perfect prep for next Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) versus fellow sophomores. Althiqa had enough room to maneuver in the final furlong but could get no nearer than fourth.
“We got in tight on a speed-favoring track,” Althiqa’s jockey, Jamie Spencer, observed. “She ran a good race. We just needed a little more racing luck.”
Abscond checked in fifth. Brown’s other runner, Viadera, was a deep-closing sixth, followed by Harvey’s Lil Goil; Daddy Is a Legend, who virtually lost all chance when hitting the gate in a very tardy start; Dalika; Hendy Woods; Star Command; and La Signare. Princess Grace was scratched.
Blowout has compiled a mark of 14-5-7-1, and her bankroll is on the verge of seven-figure territory at $988,600. Among the notable turf three-year-olds of 2019, the British import captured the Wild Applause S. and Pebbles S. around Belmont Park’s mile. She placed in her two-turn tries in that season’s Lake Placid (G2), Lake George (G3), Florida Oaks (G3), Memories of Silver S., and Keeneland’s Valley View (G3).
In an abbreviated 2020 campaign, Blowout missed in photo finishes in all three starts, memorably to Viadera in both the Noble Damsel (G3) and Matriarch (G1). She wasn’t seen again until her aforementioned breakthrough on Kentucky Derby Day. Blowout raced just once in the interim, tiring to fourth against males in the Aug. 14 Fourstardave H. (G1) at the Spa.
Bred by Dayton Investments, the €450,000 Goffs November Foal is out of French classic victress Beauty Parlour, winner of the 2012 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (G1) and runner-up in the Prix de Diane (G1). Beauty Parlour is a daughter of Japanese legend Deep Impact and the stakes-winning, multiple Group 3-placed Giant’s Causeway mare Bastet, who is a half to the great Australian champion Might and Power. This is also the family of Australian star Mosheen and Hong Kong champion Lucky Owners.