Brown says Fierce Scarlett fits in Jessamine Stakes

Courtesy of Marty McGee of


LEXINGTON, Ky. – You’re minding your own business, mulling all the handicapping variables in regard to the Jessamine Stakes on Wednesday at Keeneland, when quite possibly the most compelling factor pops up when you get to the No. 10 horse, Fierce Scarlett.

She’s trained by Chad Brown.


Yep, there’s that. All Brown did last weekend on his way to what’s likely to be a third straight Eclipse Award as champion trainer was win four Grade 1 races, yet another huge accomplishment to further distort the way bettors view any race in which he has a starter.

Fierce Scarlett, a sharp maiden winner last month over the Belmont turf in her second start, is “an improving filly” who “fits with this field,” Brown said. Indeed, as the 7-2 program favorite in an oversubscribed lineup of 2-year-old fillies entered for the Grade 2, $200,000 Jessamine, Fierce Scarlett would seem to stand a solid chance to give Brown his third victory in this 1 1/16-mile turf race, following Kitten Kaboodle (2013) and Rushing Fall (2017).


The 28th Jessamine is a Win and You’re In event toward the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, a race Brown has won four times. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call on Fierce Scarlett, a chestnut Scat Daddy filly owned by a four-way partnership.

In all, 16 are entered in the Jessamine, which goes as the seventh of eight races on a Wednesday card that starts at 1:05 p.m. Eastern. Only as many as 14 can start.


Among Fierce Scarlett’s capable opposition are several fillies with stakes experience, including a pair assigned the two outside starting gates: My Gal Betty (post 13, Javier Castellano to ride), second as the favorite in the Grade 1 Natalma last month at Woodbine for trainer Roger Attfield, and Monkeys Uncle (post 14, Julien Leparoux), the unbeaten winner of the Selima at Laurel Park for trainer Arnaud Delacour.

Monkeys Uncle, by Uncle Mo, is “a very honest filly, very classy, very smart,” Delacour said. “Obviously we would love to have a better draw, but hopefully she can negotiate a good trip and take it from there.”


Other contenders in a deep cast include Zalia (post 2, Shaun Bridgmohan), an impressive debut winner last month at Kentucky Downs for trainer Brad Cox; Concrete Rose (post 4, Jose Lezcano), whose 82 Beyer Speed Figure from her winning debut at Saratoga is highest in the field; last-out New York maiden winners Speedy Solution (post 3, Jose Ortiz), Pakhet (post 6, John Velazquez), and Princess Carolina (post 7, Ricardo Santana Jr.); and the uncoupled Jorge Abreu duo of Moravia (post 9, Manny Franco), an English-raced filly getting first Lasix for her U.S. debut, and Espresso Shot (post 12, Flavien Prat), who won a New York-bred maiden race at Belmont Park.

Pakhet is trained by Todd Pletcher, who won the male counterpart to the Jessamine, the Grade 3 Bourbon, when Current was up in the last jump in a three-way photo on Sunday.


The Jessamine, sponsored by J.P. Morgan, is the last of 10 Win and You’re In events at this 17-day fall meet. It’s part of a $1 pick six sequence (races 3-8) offering a $43,039 carryover pool that resulted from no perfect tickets throughout the opening three-day weekend.

Three allowances (races 1, 5, 6) are part of a terrific Wednesday undercard. In race 6, Dak Attack and Noble Commander make eagerly awaited comebacks in a full field of 3-year-olds entered in a $71,000 second-level allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs.

The Wednesday forecast calls for possible thundershowers and a high near 80.


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