Brooklyn Strong Profile
|Born||Jan 20, 2018|
Following a promising start to his career, Brooklyn Strong needed scratches and withdrawals to qualify for the 2021 Kentucky Derby.
In the early days, Mark Schwartz's Brooklyn Strong was one of the key names on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby, but ultimately faded. It is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that Brooklyn Strong finished 15th at Churchill Downs, 18 lengths behind the winner, Medina Spirit.
The three-year-old gelding from Wicked Strong is trained by Daniel Velazquez and he has a career record of 3-0-1 from six races. His total purse earnings sit at $225,000.
2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby
Brooklyn Strong finished in 20th place on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 10 qualifying points, meaning he narrowly squeaked into the big race.
Brooklyn Strong gained all 10 of his Derby qualifying points in one sweep. The colt won the December 5 Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack. The Remsen field was small, only reaching five entries - Ten for Ten, Known Agenda, Pickin' Time and Erawan, as well as Brooklyn Strong.
Joined by rider Joel Rosario, Brooklyn Strong broke alertly before stalking and chasing the pace three-wide. As the field ran into the stretch, he pushed forward and battled Ten for Ten in mid-stretch. Brooklyn Strong held off the challenger to cross the wire first. He was followed by Ten for Ten in second, Known Agenda in third, Pickin' Time in fourth with Erawan last.
The Remsen was not only a Kentucky Derby qualifying race for the runner, but it was also undoubtedly his best career performance. He registered a career-high 99 Speed Figure. The one-and-one-eighth mile Remsen Stakes was Brooklyn Strong's second run at two turns and an eighth of a mile longer in distance than his previous outings.
The race was also Brooklyn Strong's first at the graded stakes level and the open stakes competition was a big test for the runner. On top of everything, the track was sloppy for the first time. Therefore, his success saw him enter 2021 as a serious Kentucky Derby contender, but he ultimately failed to deliver as his next race was a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Wood Memorial Stakes on April 3.
Brooklyn Strong strong out of the traps
Prior to his Remsen Stakes victory, Brooklyn Strong scored the October 24 Sleepy Hollow Stakes at Belmont Park. In that outing, he was guided to victory by Jose Ortiz. He outran names like Eagle Orb, Breadman and Hold the Salsa.
Brooklyn Strong ran third in the October 2 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes at Belmont Park. The race was his only start in a sprint and it was his only defeat in 2020. In the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes, Brooklyn Strong broke slowly and was never able to overcome winner Hold the Salsa and runner-up Lookin for Trouble.
Brooklyn Strong's career debut was another start around two turns. In the one-mile race on September 12, 2020, at Delaware Park, he won by three lengths ahead of Alwaysinahurry in second and Shoulda Had It in third.
Brooklyn Strong's connections
Brooklyn Strong is trained by Daniel Velazquez, who took his first career win in a graded stakes with the runner. Velazquez, who comes from a family involved in training racehorses, received his trainer's licence in 2009.
By the end of 2020, Velazquez had 173 race victories. He doesn't have as many horses as some of the other names on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby, like Hall of Famers Bob Baffert and Steve Asmussen. However, he is responsible for other notable names like Laobanonaprayer.
Brooklyn Strong had not secured a regular rider going into the Kentucky Derby, being guided by four different jockeys in four outings. He was joined by one of the sport's greats, Joel Rosario, in the Remsen Stakes victory, but in the end was ridden by Umberto Rispoli at Churchill Downs.
The New York-bred horse is owned by Mark Schwartz, a fairly new graded stakes-winning owner.
He had a career record of four wins, four seconds and three thirds from 31 starts after the 2021 Kentucky Derby on May 1. His horses had brought in $260,763 in total purse earnings.
Besides Brooklyn Strong, he also owns Wind Clan Warrior and the Irish-bred Angela's Dream.
Brooklyn Strong's pedigree
The three-year-old gelding is a son of sire Wicked Strong and mare Riviera Chic by Medaglia d'Oro.
The Kentucky-bred Wicked Strong is a son of Hard Spun and was trained by James Jerkens. He retired with a career record of 3-4-3 from 19 starts and total purse earnings of just under $2million. Wicked Strong ranked ninth by earnings in 2014.
His last performance before retirement was a fourth-place run in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland on October 30, 2015.
Some of the runner's other top performances included second in the 2015 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes, third in the 2015 Woodward Stakes, second in the 2014 Travers Stakes and first in the 2014 Jim Dandy Stakes.
The Kentucky-bred Riviera Chic was also trained by Michael Maker.
She retired with three wins, two seconds and five thirds from 20 lifetime starts. She had total purse earnings of $89,690.
Riviera Chic's last race was an eighth-place finish on December 10, 2011, in the My Charmer Stakes at Turfway Park.
Her other runs include third in the 2011 Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf Stakes at Kentucky Downs and seventh in the 2010 Santa Anita Oaks at Santa Anita Park.
Medaglia d'Oro is considered one of racing's top horses. Another Kentucky-bred runner, he retired with eight wins and seven second-place finishes from 17 career starts, with total earnings of $5.75million.
He finished second in the 2002 Belmont Stakes and ranked third and fourth by earnings in 2002 and 2003 respectively.