Brookside Wins Merial Texas Distaff Challenge

The homebred 4-year-old mare earns a spot in this year's Grade 1 Merial Distaff Challenge Championship.

Q-Racing Journal

Making the first start of her 4-year-old season, Linda Tobias' Brookside won Saturday's $28,440 Merial Texas Distaff Challenge. PHOTO: Coady Photography

Brookside, a homebred daughter of Brookstone Bay trained by Leon Bard for owner Linda Tobias, began her 4-year-old campaign with a head victory in the $28,440 Merial Texas Distaff Challenge Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday.

Owner/breeder Linda Tobias (third
from left) accepts the trophy for
Brookside's victory. PHOTO: Coady

Aided by a reported 16-mph tail wind, Brookside went 400 yards in :19.546 and earned a 110 speed index under jockey Francisco Calderon. In addition to banking the $12,798 winner's share of the purse, the mare landed a spot in the October 14, 400-yard Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) at Prairie Meadows.

Brookside was coming off of a Lone Star Park fall campaign during which she won a pair of allowance races, both at the 330-yard distance. The mare is out of I Fly American, a homebred winning 15-year-old daughter of the Jolie's Halo (TB) stallion American Champ (TB). Her second dam, the homebred winning On A High mare Call Me On A High, was a finalist in the 1990 Lone Star State Derby at Bandera Downs."

"We’ve had her for two years, so we kind of have her figured out,” said Bard. "She can be quirky, but she always seems to run well fresh.” 

“She was ready,” said Calderon. “The filly on my outside (Barefoot Beach) was with her, but she never gave up. She’s a little mean, but she puts her energy into her race.”

Brookside has won five of nine starts, and her resume includes a third-place finish in last year's Adequan Retama Derby Challenge at Retama Park.

"It's a long tradition with the family line we breed," Tobias said. "I thank Leon and Francisco. They've done a spectacular job with her."

Sent to post at odds of 7-1 in the field of 11, Brookside returned a $16.40 runner-up and teamed with runner-up and 7-5 favorite Barefoot Beach for a $33.60 ($2) exacta. Hr Chatter Wagon, an 18-1 longshot, ran third to complete a $1 trifecta payoff of $290.70.

Zenergetic, Mary Me Anna, Whosgonegirl, Million Dollar Kiss, Phoebesdynasty, Sr Esmerelda, Dynasty Of Habits, and Shyza Miracle completed the order of finish.

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