Fifty Five kicks off 5-year-old campaign with Plenty of Grace score

Sunday, April 14th, 2019

NYRA/Elsa Lorieul

By Sarah Mace

Peter Brant’s ultra-consistent Fifty Five successfully launched her 5-year-old campaign at Aqueduct Racetrack Sunday with an authoritative victory in the fifth edition of the $100,000 Plenty of Grace, a one-mile turf contest

Trained by Chad Brown, Fifty Five followed a familiar playbook coming into the race. The daughter of Get Stormy concluded both 2017 and 2018 campaigns with a one-length victory in the Ticonderoga Stakes on Empire Showcase Day. Following a winter freshening, she returned both years in the Plenty of Grace and, both times, drew the rail in a field of five. In 2018, however, she had to play second fiddle and runner-up to her stablemate Uni, who won the race under Irad Ortiz, Jr. before going on to become a Grade 1 Matriarch winner. This year, Uni was not in the picture and Fifty Five was teamed up with Ortiz. The pair was favored to win at 50 cents on the dollar.

Exiting the gate uneventfully, Fifty Five – a confirmed closer – assumed her customary position at the tail end of the group, about five lengths off Coffee Crush, who carved out honest early fractions of 23.44 and 47.55.

Relaxed at the fence along the backstretch, Fifty Five waited until the turn to launch her bid, coming off the rail. Splitting horses and advancing into second late in the bend, she drew a bead on the pacesetter once she straightened away.

Powering to the front in mid-stretch, Fifty Five cruised to a 1 3/4-length victory in a final time of 1:36.10 over the “good” turf.

The competition for the remaining spots behind the winner was fierce. Ultimately, New York-bred Conquest Hardcandy, who saved ground throughout, earned second after a determined drive, finishing a half-length ahead of Coffee Crush. A neck back Thais (also running for Brant and Brown) finished fourth. Silent Sonet completed the order of finish. A pair of MTOs – New York-bred Frostie Anne and Crimson Frost – were scratched.

Coglianese Photos

“Everything went perfect for her,” Ortiz said. “She went easy and there was not too much traffic. Never had to stop, she had horse, so it was really easy. She always tries, she’s honest and does everything right.”

Chad Brown, for whom this was a fourth consecutive training victory in the Plenty of Grace, said, “[Fifty Five] had a good trip. Irad rode her beautiful. She had been training super. My crew at Payson Park, assistant Luis Cabrera and his team, really did a great job over the winter. She looks great. It was a good first race back. She should move forward off of it.”

For Fifty Five’s next start Brown is eyeing the Mount Vernon on the Big Apple Showcase card at Belmont on the Memorial Day, May 27: “We know she loves Belmont, so we’ll probably go there next. After that, everything is in play. She’s certainly fast enough and good enough to win in open company, she’s proven that before.”

Dylan Davis, aboard runner up Conquest Hardcandy, commented “She likes to be aggressively ridden but the pace was pretty quick. She put herself in a great spot and saved ground both turns. We got through a nice tip and got up to finish second. She ran a great race, looking forward to seeing what she can do later on.”

As honest and consistent as they come, Fifty Five has won five of her last eight starts, eight races in all and finished on the board in sixteen of seventeen career outings. Winner of her lone start at two on November 1, 2016, she took the Grade 3 Florida Oaks in stakes-record time and restricted Ticonderoga Stakes at three. At four Fifty Five annexed the John Hettinger and repeated in the Ticonderoga. Her earnings currently stand at $716,288.

Bred by John and Sandy Crowe’s Empire Equines and foaled at Berkshire Stud in Pine Plains, Fifty Five is one of two winners out of Empire’s homebred mare Soave by Brahms out of New York-bred Cozzene mare Cozzekiki.

Fifty Five RNA’d for $24,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sales only to emerge as Get Stormy’s first stakes winner when she won the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs. Brant purchased the filly privately from Empire Equines’ John Crowe after the Florida Oaks, which she won for trainer Tom Bush.


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