Fifty Five Wins her third straight Ticonderoga Stakes

Saturday, October 19th, 2019

NYRA/Janet Garaguso

By Bill Heller

What separates good horses from great ones is consistency. And Peter Brant’s five-year-old New York-bred mare Fifty Five is a shining example.

On Saturday on Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park, Fifty Five backed up her 1-5 odds under Javier Castellano in the field of six with a professional, one-length second consecutive victory, which was her sixth straight New York-bred stakes victory and her third straight Ticonderoga Stakes. Her victory made Fifty Five racing’s newest millionaire.

These days, any horse even running in the same stakes three successive years is rare. Winning them all? That’s special.

“She’s been super consistent for us,” her trainer Chad Brown said. “What a pleasure to have in the barn. I can’t think of a horse who deserves to be a millionaire more than her because she earned it the hard way, a lot of starts and a very consistent record.”

Probably the safest record in all sports is the one New York-bred Fourstardave set, winning a race at Saratoga for eight consecutive years.

Fifty Five won’t match that, but Brown indicated that Brant would like to race Fifty Five next year at the age of six. That would give her a shot at four straight Ticonderoga Stakes.

She won her third one Saturday by wearing down front-running longshot Wish Upon and Luis Saez, who went off at 26-1 on the rail in the field of six.

War Canoe, who was 5-1 under Jose Lezcano finished third, three-quarters of a length behind Wish Upon while 2 3/4 lengths ahead of 7-1 Munchkin Money and Junior Alvarado.

Coglianese Photos

Empire Equines bred Fifty Five, a daughter of Get Stormy out of Soave by Brahms who followed a fourth by a half-length in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga with a three-quarters of a length score in the $125,000 John Hettinger Stakes for New York-breds.

Likely because of the small field, Castellano kept Fifty Five closer to the early pace than usual, two to three lengths off while racing in fourth as Wish Upon led War Canoe by less than length through splits of :24.19, :48.20 and 1:11.73.

Wish Upon then put away War Canoe as Fifty Five charged up three-wide to challenge the frontrunner. Wish Upon proved a stubborn foe, but Fifty Five had her measured and won comfortably, edging away at the wire. [VIDEO REPLAY]

“She showed her versatility today,” Brown said. “She laid a little bit closer. I think the runner-up ran particularly well. She was tough to get by in the lane.”

Castellano was proud of his filly: “She’s very classy and she showed it today.”

Fifty Five is now 11-for-22 in her all-grass career with four seconds and five thirds. That’s 20 finishes in the money from 22 starts.

Her victory today pushed her earnings past the $1 million mark.

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