Brighton Lane, a son of Hear No Evil-Sexy Stockings, is a full brother to multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Jackson Bend ($1.3 million) and still-active Grande Shores ($395,241), who has been first or second in his last 14 races. The Florida-bred colt was the fifth juvenile winner for Jacks or Better Farm and Gold from just six starters.
One day after stablemate Ballet Diva cruised to an effortless debut victory, Brighton Lane needed to be ridden aggressively by jockey Jesus Rios for the full five furlongs of the $48,000 maiden special weight event.
“He didn’t look pretty doing it. He got the job done, but the jock carried him there. He doesn’t know what he’s doing yet. He kind of wanted to dawdle around and have a good time, the same as he is in the morning,” Gold said. “The tools are all there. That’s why I put him in the race. I couldn’t do anymore more with him but throw him into the fire and have him find out what he’s here for. He’s not focused yet. Maybe this will wake him up. We’ll see.”
Brighton Lane, the 2-1 second betting choice, did overcome the No. 1 post position by breaking cleanly and advancing into second as 4-5 favorite Wild Pussycat sprinted to a three-length lead along the backstretch. The Gold trainee made no impact on the Wesley Ward-trained pacesetter leaving the backstretch and around the far turn while being joined on the outside by Graphite Strike. At the top of the stretch, Graphite Strike advanced into second and had dead aim on tiring Wild Pussycat, but Brighton Lane continued to respond to his jockey’s urging and split his rivals to win by three-quarters of a length.
“He’s not mature upstairs yet, but he’ll get there. This isn’t even his distance,” said Gold, whose trainee galloped out strongly around the turn. “He did have everything against him. He had the 1-hole and Wesley’s horse way out there. He had to alter course when Wesley’s horse came over (in the stretch). He did it all, but it was a bit reluctant.”
Brighton Hall ran five furlongs in 1:00.33. Graphite Strike, the 3-1 third choice ridden by Jocy Gomez, finished second, nine lengths ahead of Wild Pussycat and jockey Edgar Prado.