Smart Shopper

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Steve Young and Chad Brown went shopping – like hundreds of other horsemen from around the globe – at the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale. 

 Working for their own respective clients, both men bought prospects and were outbid on others. Hip 1031, a filly by Flatter bred and offered by Claiborne Farm, turned out to be one they both set their sights on during the fourth of 12 sessions at the marathon auction. 

A half sister to stakes winners Well Monied and Jimmy Simms, filly would be in demand thanks to her full brother Economic Model breaking his maiden on debut for Brown and Klaravich Stable and William Lawrence early on the Whitney Day card and about a month before the sale. Backed by their clients, Young and Brown went to work separately and battled it out with bids for the bay filly out of the Quiet American mare Queen Of America.

Bidding quickly rose above $300,000, then $350,000, then $400,000 and finally Young won out on a bid of $425,000. 

“I actually outbid Chad for the filly,” said Young, who bought the filly for Paul Pompa Jr. “He was probably bidding for Klaravich, because they had Economic Model.”

Almost three years removed from being on opposing sides in the auction ring, Young and Brown celebrated the filly’s first stakes victory in Wednesday’s $100,000 Shine Again at Saratoga Race Course. Your Love, now the fourth stakes winner produced by Queen Of America, won the 7-furlong feature for older fillies and mares who have not won a stakes in 2018 other than a state-bred by a length over Cairenn with Heavenly Score third in the field of eight. 

“That’s true, he did outbid me. I don’t know if Paul Pompa knows that. He might not have sent her to me, I cost him some money,” Brown joked as he watched the replay with Young from the winner’s circle. “We had Economic Model in the barn and we liked him, so we looked for this filly in the consignment and we liked her. Luckily Steve bought the horse for Paul and they sent the horse to me. We’re lucky to have her. She’s always trained like a good one.”

Your Love showed similar promise to Economic Model, who has since become a Grade 3 winner with $614,625 in earnings. She won her first two starts in May and June of her 3-year-old season last year at Belmont Park.

Brown threw Your Love into deeper water for her third start – the Grade 1 Test on the Whitney Day card – and she finished sixth of 10. 

“I showed a lot of confidence in her, that’s something I normally don’t do,” Brown said of the decision to run in the Test. 

The Test didn’t throttle the filly’s confidence, however, and she came back to finish second to older mare Ring Knocker in an optional claimer in the mud on Closing Day. Your Love raced twice more to finish the season, winning a late October optional at Belmont and finishing second to Berned in the $100,000 Safely Kept in mid-November at Laurel Park. 

“We took a big swing and missed there, so we had to regroup for a while,” Brown said. “The owner Paul Pompa is a veteran, he’s had horses for a long time and he knows what to do. He’s patient as far as resting them and regrouping. He gave her all the time she needed and she came back bigger and stronger. She’s set up for a big year.”

Your Love went to the post for the Shine Again, won by Brown in 2016 with Wavell Avenue and 2017 with Carina Mia, as the slight 2-1 second choice behind Heavenly Score. She’d raced only once in 2018, a runner-up finish in an optional over a muddy track at Belmont June 28.

Javier Castellano, who rode Your Love in that optional and again Wednesday, let the filly track Come Dancing and Heavenly Score through the opening quarter-mile in :22.51 and a half in :45.69. They inched up while three wide around the turn and approaching the stretch.

Come Dancing, running back on seven days’ rest for Carlos Martin, still led into the lane and outside the eighth pole with Heavenly Score to her outside and Your Love another path out. Castellano cracked her three times right handed and Your Love accelerated to the lead approaching the sixteenth pole. 

Castellano gave Your Love two more taps in deep stretch and she held off Cairenn to win in 1:23.70 to improve to 4-for-8. 

“I liked the way she did it,” Castellano said. “I sat right off the pace a little bit. Two horses set the pace and I was second, third, and that’s what I was looking for. I just wanted to manage her in the last part of the race and it worked out great. 

“The post (8) helped me to win the race. I think if I would’ve been inside, I would have had to chase to get my position. I know now that with the outside post, I’m able to basically control the pace.”