By Dick Downey
The Downey Profile
Brethren, a 5-2 morning line, was a popular winner at 4-5 odds in the Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
Breaking from the outside post 10, Brethren and Ramon Dominguez didn't come out in stride, but it wasn't long before Brethren got his feet under him, and he hit the first turn in excellent position behind pacesetter Ribo Bobo.
That pair ran up the backstretch one-two, followed by Washington's Rules and Watch Me Go. Fractions through the first half-mile were :23.75 and :48.20.
As the field neared the second turn, Dominguez smooched Brethren, and he was off to the races. The first six furlongs had gone in 1:13.16, and at that point, Brethren was a length ahead. Leaving the turn, there was no doubt about the winner, who was ridden home by hand.
Eyes turned to the contest for second. That was won by Too Experience, a 31-1 longshot, who edged out Watch Me Go, pretty long himself at 30-1. Beamer, who trailed the field of 10 into the far turn, made willing a late run to get up fourth.
The order of finish was completed by Monzon, Litigate, Ribo Bobo, Washington's Rules, Adulare and Reprized Halo.
Brethren's time in the 1 1/16-mile race was 1:45.07, and he won by four lengths.
The purse, advertised at $225,000, wasn't fully funded--available money was $207,500, and Brethren's share was $120,000.
He paid $3.80 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.80 to show. The $2 exacta returned $65.50; the $1 trifecta paid $355.20; and the dollar super was worth $1,958.60.
Brethren won for the third time in three races for trainer Todd Pletcher. It was his first stakes win. After capturing his six-furlong debut at Belmont Park's Fall meeting, he was victorious in a one-mile allowance at Churchill Downs on Nov. 27.
Brethren is a homebred owned by WinStar Farm. By Distorted Humor, he's out of the A.P. Indy mare Supercharger. WinStar and Pletcher have now won four runnings of the Sam F. Davis since 2006.
Next-race plans for Brethren aren't set, and Pletcher has said it's possible he might have only one other start before the Kentucky Derby.
Elliott Walden, WinStar Farm: “I was very pleased. The thing I was most pleased about was that he didn’t break well; he broke out, which typically happens on the outside post with a very young horse; and yet, he gathered himself and got into the race very quickly and settled down and got into a really nice rhythm. I’m hopeful (that he will go further.) I mean, he’s got the pedigree for it. Super Saver did it, and we hope he does, too.”
"We’ll just see how he goes and how he comes out of this. This is the race that we targeted after he broke his maiden. We knew that we were going to run him in the allowance race at Churchill, and we wanted to get some graded stakes earnings, and we felt like this was the place to do it. We’ve had good luck here in the past, and hopefully it’ll work for us this year.
"Any time you run a horse two turns for the first time, and off of a 70 day layoff, you don’t know how they’re going to respond, so I was very pleased with how he did it and the ease that he did it with. I felt like ti was a good [place to start, and tyhey made him 4-5 for a reason. I think the public felt like he was the best horse going in, and it’s nice that he proved it.
Winning rider Ramon Dominguez: "He won it like a good horse should. We set up and relaxed just off the lead, in the first turn and I was able to wait down the backstretch. I asked him in the turn, and he came away very nicely. I took a look on both sides in mid stretch, and there was nothing coming so I was able to wrap up on him going to the wire and out. The distance was no problem for him at all."
Daniel Centeno, rider of Too Experience: "He wanted to go after them getting into the first turn, and I had to take a hold of him. After that we were widest of all every step; he responded when I asked him in the far turn, and he set off after the winner entering the stretch and finished like a real runner."