RJ's Brigade wins
RJ's Brigade traded bumps at the start but got away cleanly and pulled his way up to contest the early pace en route to victory in an "a other than" allowance on the turf at Delaware Park. The early pace was slow as the quarter-mile went in 24.2 and the half-mile went in 49.3. RJ's Brigade sat right off the pacesetter's flank early then assumed command on the turn for home. He opened up a clear lead early in the stretch before wandering toward the center of the track. However, he had plenty left to hold off a late charge. He flashed under the wire a length in front.
Trainer Lupe Preciado said, "I was anxious to see this horse back on the turf. I told Rosemary (Homeister Jr.) to try and hold him for as long as she could and make one run. I thought he might quit if he made the lead too early. They ended up going very slow up front, and she said she just couldn't hold him any longer. She said Ramon (Dominguez) was fighting with the leader and she did not want to get carried out into the center of the track on the turn. He got out in the stretch, but he ran well. We'll see how he comes out of the race and take it from there."
Jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr. said, "I loved this horse. He has such a nice stride. Lupe told me to give him a target for as long as I could. The horse in front was trying to get out the whole way, and Ramon was really fighting with him. I wanted to wait to go, but I couldn't hold him any longer. My horse drifted out in the stretch, but I told Lupe it wasn't like he was trying to pull me out. I had to get after him a little bit late, but we were clear. I really liked riding him. He's beautiful."
A son of Gone West, RJ's Brigade pushed his earnings over $92,000 with the victory.