HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Trainer Chad Brown will saddle two of the nine starters in Saturday’s $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes (G3), a one-mile test for juveniles on the grass. Both colts, Pleuven and Request, are coming off significant breaks.
Pleuven began his career in France for breeder Jean de Cheffontaines by placing in his first two efforts before winning his next two starts, including the Listed Prix Roland de Chambure at Longchamp on July 13. He was purchased privately thereafter, and will make his first start on these shores while carrying the colors of Robert LaPenta and Gary and Bradley Finder.
“He took a little time to acclimate when I got him into New York and we weren’t able to get him to the races up there,” Brown explained. “He needed a little extra time. Since I shipped him down here, he’s really done well. We’re going to give him a shot in this race.
Pleuven, who will be ridden by Alan Garcia, will race with Lasix for the first time.
Brown’s other Dania Beach representative is Request, a $400,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase who took the overland route on his way to a debut success at Belmont on September 21. The dark bay son of Dynaformer hasn’t faced the starter since through no fault of his own, according to Brown.
“He ran well first time out and then we gave him a little freshening,” Brown remarked. “He was entered in a stakes in New York and then they cancelled racing that day, so his schedule’s been a little bit interrupted. But since he’s come down to Florida he’s trained well. He’s another that deserves a shot in this race, so I’m going to run them both.”
Request, owned by Paul Pompa Jr., will have Javier Castellano aboard.
Pleuven isn’t the only Dania Beach entrant to have taken a trans-Atlantic flight. Here’s Johnny, owned by Ice Wine Stable and trained by Wesley Ward, traveled over to France in August with heralded stablemate No Nay Never to race at Deauville. No Nay Never continued his unbeaten streak in the Group 1 Prix Morny, while Here’s Johnny finished fourth in a stakes race at the Normandy course.
“I was bringing an American jockey [David Flores] over that hadn’t ridden in France or on that particular course,” Ward said. “So I wanted to bring a few other horses to give home some rides over that course, since the Morny is a very important and prestigious race.”
Here’s Johnny, a son of Colonel John, was purchased as a yearling for $220,000 in Ocala. He made a winning debut on the turf at Churchill Downs in June prior to his European adventure.
“After his first race, he had surgery for an entrapped epiglottis and it was a little quick to run him back in France, so I think that hindered his performance a little bit,” Ward acknowledged.
The Florida-bred returned to the U.S. to finish second in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Stakes on September 14, then wired an off-the-turf allowance on Keeneland’s Polytrack on October 6. In his most recent start, the bay missed by only a half-length in the Juvenile Turf Stakes going a mile at Gulfstream on November 9.
“I think he should’ve won the race, but he had some traffic trouble, he was carried out really wide,” Ward said.
Here’s Johnny will not be equipped with blinkers in the Dania Beach, according to Ward. He will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux.
Also in the mix is Bon Accord, who outran his 29-1 odds to finish fourth in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita on November 1. Antonio Sano trains the chestnut for Gelfenstein farm. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. will field Yes I’m Lucky, a 6 ½-length winner of the Laurel Futurity in September and most recently third in the Pulpit Stakes on November 30, a race that was rained off of the turf. Imaginethatmom, Cabo Cat, Mr Speaker and Hesinfront complete the field.
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