RJ's Brigade Romps
Veteran Scores Another Win on the Turf
Last summer, RJ's Brigade became a big fan of the turf. He won four straight on the grassy surfaces of different tracks along the Mid-Atlantic. On Sunday, he showed his affinity for the lawn once again, this time at a new track, Belmont Park, as he won a claiming race by just under two lengths.
RJ's Brigade was sent right to the front from the spring of the starting gate by jockey Victor Molina. He led through opening fractions of :25.1 and 49:1. The slow pace early was exactly what Molina was hoping for. "I knew we weren't going that fast up front and he was doing it all on his own, so I said why not," said Molina about the new tactics of being the pacesetter.
RJ would have plenty left as they turned for home repelling one serious challenge and going on for the comfortable win. The final time for the mile race on the turf was 1:37.2.
"We had a lot of options for this horse," said trainer Guadalupe Preciado. "We thought about entering him in a minor stake at Colonial (Downs), but I think we made the right decision. It's good to see the old RJ back in form," said the pleased conditioner.
RJ's Brigade earned $23,400 for the win, the sixth of his career. His lifetime earnings now stand just shy of $200,000.