Spirit of St Louis soars in Hudson Valley Stakes

Sunday, July 7th, 2024

Spirit of St Louis racks up fifth straight victory in Sunday’s Hudson Valley at Aqueduct. NYRA Photo.

Spirit of St Louis extended his win streak to five with a powerful victory in Sunday’s $121,250 Hudson Valley Stakes on closing day of the Belmont at the Big A meeting.

Under the meet’s leading jockey Manny Franco, the 5-year-old Medaglia d’Oro gelding won the 1-mile turf stakes by 3 lengths over the late-running Dakota Gold. Owned by Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb and Richard Schermerhorn and trained by Chad Brown, Spirit of St Louis won in 1:35.83 over the firm turf.

“He is just a winning machine,” Franco said. “He likes to run, and every time he gives you 110 percent. I’m just happy to be on him right now and to get the ‘W’ once again. He had a nice turn of foot, and every time you ask him for something, he’s there. When you ask him for all, he gives you a nice kick. I think that has made him special.”

A full brother to New York-bred Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Bar of Gold, Spirit of St Louis improved to 8-for-10 with two seconds and pushed his bankroll to $590,650.

Spirit of St Louis’ win streak has come exclusively in stakes company dating back to last year when he won the Ashley T. Cole and Mohawk Stakes, both during the Belmont at the Big A fall meeting. Spirit of St Louis made a successful venture into open company two starts back when he won the April 20 Danger’s Hour Stakes at Aqueduct, a victory the preceded his score in the off-the-turf Kingston Stakes during the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Saratoga Race Course.

Hammered down to 1-2 in the field of five, Spirit of St Louis and Franco set up shop just behind 13-1 outsider Itsallcomintogetha early and around the first turn. Itsallcomintogetha led through the opening quarter-mile in :24.17. Spirit of St Louis inched up to challenge for the lead, along with Jerry the Nipper entering the backstretch before Itsallcomintogetha opened up again by about a length through the half in :47.82.

Spirit of St Louis continued to advance around the far turn, challenged for the lead through 6 furlongs in 1:11.51 and took over turning for home. Spirit of St Louis lengthened his advantage through the lane and won going away. Dakota Gold rallied to finish second, just ahead of Itsallcomintogetha and City Man.

Bred by Chester and Mary Broman and foaled at their Chestertown Farm in Chestertown, Spirit of St Louis is out of the Grade 3-winning New York-bred Lemon Drop Kid mare Khancord Kid. Bar of Gold, New York-bred champion female sprinter and older dirt female in 2017, won seven of 25 starts and earned $1,551,000 for the Bromans.

Khancord Kid is also the dam of the stakes-placed New York-bred duo Land Mine and Homeland among five winners from five foals to race, including the two-time winning New York-bred 4-year-old Justify filly Im Just Kiddin. Khancord Kid is also the dam of the 2-year-old New York-bred Uncle Mo filly Starship Pegasus who sold for $200,000 at the OBS March sale.

A second-generation Broman-bred, Spirit of St Louis sold for $300,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September yearling sale. He made his first two starts for owner Peter Brant and trainer Chad Brown – winning that maiden and finishing second in a 9-furlong allowance – before being sold for $280,000 at this year’s Keeneland April horses of all ages sale.

Brown hinted before the Hudson Valley that Spirit of St Louis could venture back to open company, perhaps even in graded stakes, down the road. Franco said the gelding would be ready.

“He did it [open company] once already and I think it doesn’t matter,” Franco said. “\Right now, he’s doing great, and he’s in the best hands with Chad Brown.”

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