Goodbye Brockley says “Hello” to NYSS Statue of Liberty winner’s circle after a squeaker

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

By Sarah Mace

It took the skills of the Saratoga placing judges to determine the outcome of an extremely close head-bobbing finish in Thursday’s $100,000 Statue of Liberty division of the New York Stallion Series (NYSS), but when their review of the photo was complete, 9-5 favorite Goodbye Brockley (Cosmonaut) ended up on the winning end of the thrilling finish. Wegetsdamunnys (D’Funnybone) had to settle for the tough beat in a race where both fillies ran too well to lose.

In the early stages of the one-mile turf contest for eligible New York-sired 3-year-old fillies, Goodbye Brockley settled in fourth in the second flight under Luis Saez, while three early-speed types — Byself, Miss Jen and Crashing Connie — stacked up across the track in a fierce battle for the lead through the first turn.

After Byself clocked a first quarter-mile in 25.01 over the yielding course pressed along by her pursuers, Goodbye Brockley shifted off the fence three-wide as the half went in 50.98 and readied a challenge to the two survivors of the duel, Byself at the fence and Crashing Connie two-wide.

NYRA/Susie Raisher

Coming under a ride in the bend, Goodbye Brockley responded in upper stretch and advanced between horses in tandem with Wegetsdamunnys who closed from sixth. They passed the two leaders past the furlong marker and were left to decide the issue in the final sixteenth.

Goodbye Brockley appeared to have a slight edge late, but in the final stride the pair were inseparable to the eye. The photo showed Goodbye Brockley’s nailing down the victory by a short nose.

The final time for the mile over the yielding inner turf course was 1:39.25. Kreesie finished third, and completing the order of finish were Barrel of Destiny, Crashing Connie, Byself and Miss Jen. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Luis Saez gave a “play-by-play” account of the action in late stretch. “[There was] a lot of bumping everywhere,” said Saez. “At one point, I thought she gave up, so I just kept trying and try and she responded when I switched my stick and I saw Manny [Franco on Wegetsdamunnys] come outside I said, ‘Man, he’s beat me.’ But when I switched my stick, she tried to come back and she did. She responded and that was the way we won the race.”

Saez added, “Manny surprised me, because I never thought that he was going to come flying from outside, so I just kept riding to see if she can give me another gear and she did.”

Trainer Phil Serpe gallantly paid tribute to the competition. “That [photo finish] was very tight. At first, when I was watching the race I actually thought she won, but then you start looking at the slow-motion views and they might make you crazy. You’re like, ‘Did we? Didn’t We? Maybe?’ I had no idea,” Serpe said. “My hats off to [Wegetsdamunnys].”

Serpe also observed that the condition of the course might not have been ideal for Goodbye Brockley. “She’s a nice filly and obviously, the two turns helps her. I think she may have been struggling, the turf’s a little bit soft. I think she likes to hear her feet rattle a little bit, but a win is a win and she did great.”

Serpe is very familiar with the entire family of Goodbye Brockley, who is a homebred for Hilly Fields Stable and was foaled at Irish Hill Century Farm in Stillwater.  He trained her sire Cosmonaut for Flying Z Stable, in addition to her first dam Ladywell Court (a winner also bred by Hilly Fields) and second dam Commander’s Lady. He also trains her half-sister by Courageous Cat, Lady Joan. Serpe said that the win felt “special.”

Goodbye Brockley was unveiled at Belmont on May 3, 2017. She broke her maiden third out when she tried the grass for the first time on July 1, but spent the next 10 months on the bench before embarking on her sophomore campaign.

The filly shook off the rust in a fourth-place finish while going a route of ground and two turns for the first time at Belmont on April 21. After dominating a state-bred allowance, on June 24 she got her her first taste of stakes competition in the Cupecoy’s Joy division of the NYSS, finishing just a half-length behind Kreesie and earning her career-best Beyer of 83. From three wins, two seconds and a third from seven career starts, Goodbye Brockley has earned $176,900.

Her dam Ladywell Court has a yearling colt by Courageous Cat named Crofton Court and this year foaled a colt by War Dancer on May 9. Ladywell Court has been bred back to the same sire for a 2019 foal.

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