Sports

Serious Grace wins Free Press Stakes, has shiny long run at Downs




“I bought the horse correct right here, The title is…” ~ Fugue for Tinhorns, Guys and Dolls (1955)

Authentic Grace.

If you are seeking for a horse that “can do” this summer season at Assiniboia Downs, this male could be your ticket. Consider of a young Brett Favre, hard as nails, but speedier.

Authentic Grace won the 62nd running of the $35,000 Free Push Stakes on Tuesday evening at the Downs following a desire journey within trip under jockey Renaldo Cumberbatch, but he actually had to do what several horses and jockeys will not — push by means of alongside the rail in the stretch to acquire.

Conditioned by Shelley Brown, the first and only lady to ever gain the teaching title outright at Assiniboia Downs in 2012, Real Grace is owned by Brown, Jean McEwen, and Jean’s daughter Bette Holtman.

Initially offered as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Pick out Yearling Sale in 2018 for $100,000, Brown was by some means in a position to steal Real Grace for $38,000 in the Ocala Winter Combined Sale as a 3-yr-old for $38,000.

His to start with life span begin at Tampa Bay Downs as a 3-12 months-old was an 11th place nightmare following bobbling at the crack and finishing 21 ¼-lengths powering the winner at 77-1. Four commences later on he scored his to start with life span victory in his to start with-ever begin at Assiniboia Downs in the Derby Demo. Sent off as the 2nd preference in the Manitoba Derby in his upcoming commence, True Grace dueled and light to finish fifth beaten 4 ¾-lengths. A few starts off later he wired his subject in the $100,000 Canadian Derby (G3) likely 1 1/4-miles at Century Mile in Alberta and the recreation was on.

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True Grace crosses the end line in the Free of charge Push Stakes Tuesday night time. (Jason Halstead Image)

The strapping bay gelding now appears to be like like he might be turning into a “superior” horse at the age of five, which is about 20 in human a long time. Not that the 4-time stakes winner wasn’t quite darn superior currently, but some thing was distinctive about him on Tuesday.

He’s developed up and stuffed out. He understands in which the wire is and he would like to get there 1st, but he appears to be far more affected person now, keen to wait for his cue to fireplace. He showed indications of turning pro previous yr, and he may well now be prepared to choose the upcoming phase. Could be fantastic karma time for Brown and her partners. Serious Grace is the to start with stakes winner for the 80-yr-old McEwen, who has owned race horses for 5 many years, and equally Holtman and Brown are cancer survivors.

Brown was identified with most cancers in the tumble of 2020 and it is been an uphill struggle ever considering that, which include two lung operations, several more techniques, 52 supplements a day and now chemotherapy each three weeks.

“Chemo is really hard,” explained Brown. “I’ve received no hair, and nearly no eyebrows left. The 7 days soon after chemo is quite tough. And some days all individuals tablets can be actually tricky to swallow. But it is what I have to do to continue to be alive. The doctor states the most cancers is ‘stable’ suitable now, which indicates it’s either the same measurement or has lowered and some spots have disappeared, but at the stop of the day, I even now have a good deal of most cancers in my entire body. We’ll do this until eventually it stops functioning. Then we’ll consider one thing else.”

Brown said she was in tough condition mentally a couple of months ago just after an added powerful dose of chemotherapy, but they have considering that dropped her dosage down, and she was even in a position to joke about the point that she can eat whichever she wants and in some cases wears a wig.

“I have no exclusive diet program,” mentioned Brown. “For the reason that they want you to preserve your bodyweight up. Dropping my hair was hard, but I do have some actually amazing wigs, which is nice if you’re in a hurry. You just choose which one you want to place on and go.”

Brown even now gets to the barn at 5 a.m. to tend to her 30 horses, with support from an exceptional staff of grooms that incorporates assistant coach and Real Grace’s groom Scott Creighton, Colleen Garrett, Tyler Anderson and Roy Fedee. “I’m truly grateful for the crew that I have,” said Brown. “They’ve all been with me for several years. Without having them I couldn’t do this.”

Owning a horse like Serious Grace in the barn also offers a mental improve, and there may well be yet another purpose he looks like an improved horse this year. “He had throat medical procedures past tumble,” explained Brown. Will it be enough to get him a Gold Cup this tumble?

“Can do.”

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