HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Thirty minutes after watching his Kurilov fall a neck short of winning the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf, trainer Chad Brown rebounded in a big way by sending out Elysea's World and Dream Awhile to finish first and second, respectively, in Saturday's $150,000 Suwannee River Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Elysea's World rallied from mid-pack to run down her uncoupled stablemate Dream Awhile in deep stretch to register a neck decision under jockey Javier Castellano. The win was the first in 10 starts for Elysea's World dating back to her second-place finish in the 2017 Suwannee, a streak during which she was graded stakes-placed on six occasions.
Dream Awhile stalked the early pace of Midnight Crossing, edged to command leaving the final turn, was clear through mid-stretch but could not quite contain the winner at the end while finishing a half-length in front of the rail-skimming Ultra Brat to be second. Kitten's Roar, the 8-5 favorite, broke a bit awkwardly, recovered to force the early running, but could not muster a closing rally after being hung wide throughout.
Elysea's World, an Irish bred daughter of Champs Elysees, completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.75 over firm turf and paid $8.80.
"It's such a tough situation, both horses were training so well, they come to the wire noses apart and you just hope for a dead heat," said Brown, who trains Elysea's World for the partnership of Sheep Pond Partners and All Pro Racing LLC. "But Elysea's World being the older horse and being the bridesmaid so many times, it's a real breakthrough for her in her last year of racing to win that graded stakes."
Brown said he was pleased with the trips both his horses received in the Suwannee River.
"Dream Awhile was a little closer than I thought, in a good way. I was hoping she'd leave out of there and assert herself, and she did," said Brown. "Elysea's World didn't quite get the break again that we had hoped. She's not too good from the gate, but Javier found a way to tuck in and be about two wide most of the way and waited patiently on the turn. I think that was the difference right there. He waited until they straightened away to tip her out and it conserved just enough horse to get up."