Fifty Five delivers again at 1-2 in Mount Vernon Stakes

Monday, May 27th, 2019

NYRA/Coglianese Photos

By Bill Heller

Consistency separates good horses from great ones, and Peter Brant’s outstanding 5-year-old mare Fifty Five proved again on New York-bred Big Apple Showcase on Memorial Day Monday at Belmont Park just how great she has become under the tutelage of trainer Chad Brown.

Sent off the 1-2 favorite on the rail under Javier Castellano in the field of 11 contesting the one-mile $125,000 Mount Vernon Stakes on turf for New York-bred fillies and mares, Fifty Five rallied from seventh on the far turn to a one-length score, extending her win streak, which began last September, to four. In doing so, she blazed her final quarter-mile in about :22 flat, winning in 1:34.09 on the “yielding” Widener Turf Course.

Fifty Five has finished in the money in nine straight races with six victories, two seconds, including a neck loss in last year’s Mount Vernon Stakes, and one third, a remarkable run for a consistent closer who may always run into traffic problems. She avoided them Monday in the capable hands of Castellano, who has ridden her in six of her last seven starts.

Munchkin Money, who was 13-1 under Junior Alvarado, nipped 18-1 Kreesie and Jose Ortiz by a neck for second. Three-quarters of a length behind Kreesie, the 34-1 gray Wegetsdamunnys and Eric Cancel finished fourth after walking out of the starting gate and spotting the field two lengths.

Fifty Five, a daughter of Get Stormy out of Soave by Brahms, began her win streak last fall with a two-length victory in the $125,000 John Hettinger Stakes September 23. She added on a one-length triumph in the $200,000 Ticonderoga Stakes October 20 in her final start as a four-year-old.

NYRA/Chelsea Durand

Fifty Five made her five-year-old debut with a length and three-quarters victory in an open stakes at Aqueduct April 14 at odds of 1-2 under Irad Ortiz  Jr.

Castellano regained the mount and delivered a typically patient ride on the classy closer Monday, not panicking when she still had a lot left to do heading into the far turn.

Castellano got her away near mid-pack in the bulky field of 11 as 52-1 Vip Nation and Mike Luzzi took the field to an opening quarter-mile in :24.08, a half-mile in :47.88 and three-quarters of a mile in 1:11.04.

Then the longshot leader tired and the pack closed in. Moving fastest of all was Fifty Five, who took command past the sixteenth pole, opened a clear lead and kept the others safe to the wire. [VIDEO]

Fifty Five, who was bred by Empire Equines, LLC, is now nine-for-18 with three seconds and five thirds in her all-turf career with earnings now of more than $780,000. Her only finish out of the money in her entire career was an eight-wide fifth in the Grade 2 Sands Point Handicap on September 16, 2017. That’s 20-months straight of finishing in the money with six wins, two seconds and a third, a great accomplishment for a great grass mare.

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