Offering Plan beats three millionaires in Kingston Stakes

Monday, May 29th, 2017
NYRA/Viola Jasko

NYRA/Viola Jasko

By Bill Heller

Talk about disrespecting your elders. Michael Dubb and Nantucket Thoroughbred Partners’ five-year-old Offering Plan passed three older millionaires, eight-year-old King Kreesa, 10-year-old Lubash and eight-year-old Kharafa, to win the 39th running of the $125,000 Kingston Stakes by a length under Javier Castellano on a yielding turf course at Belmont on Big Apple Showcase and Memorial Day Monday at Belmont Park.

Offering Plan, the 2-1 favorite in the field of eight, rallied from last to win in 1:37.40 on the yielding turf, giving trainer Chad Brown his third victory from the six stakes contested on Showcase Day. Front-running King Kreesa, who was 9-2 under Jose Ortiz, held well for second, a length and a quarter ahead of 8-1 Lubash and Irad Ortiz Jr. Kharafa, who was 3-1 under Paco Lopez while making his first start for new trainer Linda Rice, finished fourth, 2 1/2 lengths behind Lubash.

To say that King Kreesa, Lubash and Kharafa had history in the Kingston Stakes is an understatement. King Kreesa won the Kingston in 2013. Kharafa won the stakes the following year. And Lubash, who was making his seventh start in the Kingston, was the 2015 Kingston winner.

Offering Plan was making his first start in the Kingston. The son of Spring At Last out of Rosalie Road by Street Cry, who was bred by C.W. Swann and Cygnet Farm, had won just one stakes, the $100,000 English Channel, in Oct., 2015. He hadn’t raced since Sept. 24th when he finished second by three-quarters of a length in the $125,000 Ashley T. Cole Stakes for New York-breds.

But two of Offering Plan’s four victories heading into the Kingston were off long layoffs. “I think freshening him up helped him a lot,” Brown said. “The rest was beneficial. This horse has run well fresh before.”

King Kreesa, idle since finishing ninth in the open $150,000 Artie Schiller Stakes at Aqueduct, Nov. 19th, went off at 9-2. Both Lubash and Kharafa were making their second start of 2017. Lubash went off at 8-1 and Kharafa 3-1.

Collectively, the field in the Kingston had earnings topping $6.5 million, led by Lubash ($1,498,130), King Kreesa ($1,388,554) and Kharafa ($1,061,497).

Ortiz gunned King Kreesa to the lead from the four post, and the speedy Macagone, who was 3-1 on the rail under Kendrick Carmouche, let him go, settling in second. King Kreesa led Macagone by less than a length through a quarter in :24.85, a half-mile in :49.40. Then Macagone went after King Kreesa, but King Kreesa put him away as Lubash gained on the inside into second after three-quarters in 1:13.55.

King Kreesa dug in and kept Lubash at bay. But Offering Plan was flying on the outside and he passed the front-runner in deep stretch to win in 1:37.40. “The horse showed his class and showed an unbelievable turn of foot heading for home,” Brown said.

Castellano deferred credit to Brown: “The horse hasn’t run for a while, and to have him prepared for this race and the effort he put in is amazing. He had the horse ready to win. I give all the credit to him.”

Offering Plan is now five-for-13 in his all-grass career with one second, three thirds and earnings of more than $380,000. [VIDEO REPLAY]


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