News & Barn notes

Chad Brown-Trained Distinctlypossible Outduels Leader Of The Band To Win Sunday’s $100,000 Serena’s Song Stakes

May 14, 2023

After a couple of years with limited starts, the patience shown by Bradley Thoroughbreds and Gary Finder with Distinctlypossible is finally starting to pay off.

The 4-year-old daughter of Curlin, a $670,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders’ Spring Sale of 2-year-olds, notched her first stakes win in her seventh career start, pulling away late in the stretch from Leader of the Band to win Sunday’s $100,000 Serena’s Song Stakes at Monmouth Park before a Mother’s Day crowd of 13,764.

Limited to two starts at both 2 and 3 – but showing promise both years – Distinctlypossible won her second straight start. The Chad Brown-trainee has won three of her seven lifetime starts.

With 8-5 favorite Leader of the Band gunning to the lead under Paco Lopez after being idle since Nov. 24, Distinctlypossible sat off her flanks throughout, shrugging off the determined late challenge by Leader of the Band to win by 1¼ lengths.

The winning time for the mile and 70 yards was 1:40.43.

“The track is really fast and there was not much speed in the race and we thought Paco Lopez would go with the favorite (Leader of the Band),” said Luis Cabrera, who oversees Brown’s division at Monmouth Park. “The plan for us was to stay with him and keep the pressure on and it worked out perfectly. She’s a late developer but she looks to be very good right now. She ran great this race.”

Sent off as the 9-5 second choice – Leader of the Band was the 17-10 favorite – Distinctlypossible paid $5.60 to win in the field of seven fillies and mares three and up.

It was another 5½ lengths back to Shotgun Hattie in third.

“I’ve never ridden this filly but Chad Brown is giving me a great opportunity to ride first call for him at Monmouth Park this summer,” said winning rider Samy Camacho. “When I talked to Chad just before the race he said he thought the only speed in the race was (Leader of the Band) and he said `I want you to put her next to him.’ That’s what I did.”

John Servis, the trainer of Leader of the Band, said he was pleased with the way his mare performed after a lengthy layoff while being press throughout by Distinctlypossible.

“I thought she ran great,” said Servis.

Leader of the Band was gunned to the front through fractions of :23.87, :47.14 and 1:10.87 for six furlongs. She and Distinctlypossible separated from the field then, with Distinctlypossible drawing alongside Leader of the Band entering the final turn.

The two battled to mid-stretch before Distinctlypossible began to draw clear.

“At the three-eighths pole I started asking and she responded,” said Camacho. “But then I looked over and saw Paco still had his hands still and I was thinking `What’s going on here?’ But she kept trying. When she put a half-length in front in mid-stretch I thought I had it but Leader of the Band came right back. My filly was just too strong this time.”

In MonmouthBets fixed-odds markets, Distinctlypossible opened up as the favorite at $2.20 to 1 but drifted up to $3.80 to 1 before being backed to be the $2.50 to 1 top pick when the gates opened.