Change of plan sends Proud Run to length victory in All Brandy

5-year-old surges to lead, holds off Earth to Jackie

June 28, 1999|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Sometimes, planning can be fruitless.

It was for Proud Run in the $75,000 All Brandy Stakes yesterday, as the 5-year-old mare altered her game plan by surging to challenge for the lead, capturing it, then holding off Earth to Jackie for a convincing length victory over a firm turf course at Laurel Park.

The daughter of Proud Truth completed 1 1/8 miles in 1 minute, 46 2/5 seconds while scoring her first victory of 1999 after a string of five seconds and thirds.

"We planned to lay off the speed, but it didn't work out that way," said jockey Mark Johnston. "I started asking her a little bit at the half-mile pole and put her into a full drive at the quarter pole. Once she had the lead, she started looking around for other horses.

"When she heard that other horse coming [Earth to Jackie], she pricked her ears and just kicked on again."

The favorite in a balanced field of 11, Earth to Jackie came speeding from eighth at the half-mile point to garner second by 1 3/4 lengths over long shot Maria's Tiara.

The race marked a return to grass for Proud Run, who is 5-for-11 over the inner oval with two seconds and two thirds. She had not run on the turf this year.

"I liked her switching back," said trainer Ricky Hendricks. "She had a nice work at Fair Hill on the grass. We've been pointing her for this race for some time. We're always looking to get her into these Maryland-bred races, and our main goal is the Maryland Million race for fillies and mares in the fall."

Absolutely Queenie, who had won this stakes twice, pressed the early pace, then faded after three-quarters of a mile. She was ninth.

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