Held Accountable perfect on dirt and turf with Gimma score

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred juvenile filly Held Accountable (Exchange Rate) debuted a 2 1/4-length winner in a 5 1/2-furlong state-bred turf contest on August 17 at the Spa, finishing with an extra gear after stalking the pacesetter.

Even before her debut, however, she performed well enough on dirt in the morning to leaver trainer Phil Serpe second-guessing his decision to start her on turf.

“We were at the starting gate with Mr. Broman, his farm manager Greg, and myself, and the filly was about to get her gate card,” said Serpe. “She popped out of the gate and we watched her outwork two of our other 2-year-olds that were pretty nice horses in-hand. We’re all looking at each other, asking ‘So, why are we running this filly on the turf first time out?’ But, she had turf pedigree and we had another filly to run on the dirt.”

Flash forward five weeks to Wednesday’s 7-furlong, $150,000 Joseph A. Gimma Stakes at Belmont Park. Serpe and the Bromans were all-in to take a shot with a surface switch.

Relatively dismissed at odds of 9-1, Held Accountable stumbled at the start out of post two under Luis Saez, but collected herself by the third stride, and ran the 47.13 first half-mile in the clear in fifth, four-wide and four lengths behind 94-1 pacesetter Beaux Arts.

Saving a little extra ground in the two-path midway around the far turn, and asked for run by Saez, Held Accountable rallied past two fillies, moved out into the four-path in upper stretch and targeted fellow Broman runner Pauseforthecause, then Berning Rose, who took over the lead in succession.

With a sixteenth of a mile left to run, Held Accountable took over, then edged away to win by 2 1/4 lengths. After six furlongs in 1:12.66 over the fast racetrack, Held Accountable completed seven furlongs in 1:25.27.

Berning Rose, who had closed from midpack, ended up second, followed by 6-5 favorite Newport Breeze 1 1/4 lengths back. Completing the order of finish were Pauseforthecause, Miss Mystique, Aunt Babe, Girl’s Dance Party and pacesetter Beaux Arts.

“The last time she ran, she was a little green running on the turf, but today was a different story,” said Luis Saez, giving the jockey’s perspective. “She was rating well and when I had the opportunity to put her in the clear she took off. It was the perfect distance for her. She broke pretty good and everything came together.”

Phil Serpe said, “We were very confident today that this filly could do this. We were not surprised that she won this race. You have to be hopeful and we’ve always thought a lot of this filly.”

Serpe also thinks that dirt success opens some doors for Held Accountable this fall. “I would say [she’ll stay on dirt], given that for 2-year-olds at this time of year, there really isn’t a lot of turf races available, especially for the New York-breds until they turn three. I’ll have to talk to Mr. Broman about it. She’s another nice-bred horse by the Bromans.”

Finally, the winning trainer acknowledged the good start Held Accountable had with the recently retired Mike Hushion. “I’m sorry that Mike Hushion retired, but it created an opportunity for us. This was a horse Mike had and he always thought a lot of, for the record. It’s just great training for people like the Bromans. They’re all well-meant horses and they’re very good people to deal with.”

Held Accountable, who has earned $133,800 from her two victories, is one of six winners produced by New Harmony, an unraced daughter of A. P. Indy purchased in foal to Smart Strike by Chester Broman at the 2008 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale for $190,000.

The resulting foal, Strike Accord, is a stakes-placed turf runner and earner of $263,523. The following year, New Harmony produced multiple stakes-placed In Harm’s Way (Hook and Ladder), third in the 2012 Grade 2 Saratoga Special. The female family includes Grade 1 stakes winner Military, multiple graded stakes winner Parade Ground and graded stakes winners Parade Leader and Speed Dialer. The Bromans sold the mare for $20,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York Mixed sale in 2015.


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