Digital Age Gives Chad Brown Back-To-Back Turf Classic Triumphs

Rallying from far back under Javier Castellano, Klaravich Stable’s Irish-bred Digital Age ran down pace-setting Factor This to win the Grade 1, $1-million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic by three-quarters of a length on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., giving trainer Chad Brown back-to-back victories in the Kentucky Derby day grass fixture for older runners.

Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar won the 2019 renewal.

Factor This, trained by red-hot Brad Cox, held second after controlling the pace through fractions of :23.24, :47.17 and 1:11.16. Brown’s two other runners in the race, Irish-bred Rockemperor and French-bred betting favorite Sacred Life, finished third and fourth, respectively.

Digital Age covered the nine furlongs on firm turf in 1:47.79 and paid $19.20.

Castellano took ahold of Digital Age shortly after the start, allowing the 4-year-old colt by Invincible Spirit to race near the back of the pack while saving ground. Factor This was engaged by True Valour and Spectacular Gem in the run down the backstretch, but shook free from those two under Shaun Bridgmohan and set sail for home.

Castellano gained ground moving into the final turn, swung Digital Age toward the outside turning into the stretch and ran down Factor This in the final sixteenth.

“This is such a crazy, strange business our sport,” said Castellano. “It’s a rollercoaster. I rode for (owner), Seth Klarman two really good horses today and of course we thought they both had a chance to win. But I predicted for myself ‘I can’t lose with Newspaperofrecord (in the Distaff Turf Mile)’ and we just got beat. And this horse (Digital Age) is like 8-1 and ended up winning the big race. That’s what makes this game fun, you never know what is going to happen with the horses.

“Thank God, I got lucky,” the rider added. “I had a beautiful, beautiful trip. I saved all the ground and cut the corner turning for home and it paid off. My horse he liked the ground, he handled it so well. I’m very satisfied with the way he did it. I felt that they went pretty quick (up front) and I took my time. I didn’t want to rush it and be close to the pace. I wanted to ride with a lot of patience and finally it paid off.”

The win was the fifth in 11 career starts for Digital Age but first in a G1 stakes. His only previous graded stakes win came over the same grass course in the G2 American Turf on the 2019 Kentucky Derby day program.

“He had a beautiful trip,” said Whit Beckman, assistant trainer for Brown. “This horse loves this course. I think Chad discussed race tactics with the jockeys and they all know what they’re doing going into this spot. It’s always good to win races like this at home here on Derby Day.”

“Turning for home he had a good position, got a nice trip and this horse likes this turf course,” Beckman added. “He shipped down from New York but just watching him train here the last few days, he looked super relaxed. He looked like he was doing better than I had ever seen him do.

Out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare, Willow View, Digital Age was bred in Ireland by Merry Fox Stud Limited.

Bridgmohan, aboard runner-up Factor This, said: “You can’t ask him to do much more than what he did. He put his heart out there again. Unfortunately we didn’t get the win today, but he’s a trier.”

The post Digital Age Gives Chad Brown Back-To-Back Turf Classic Triumphs appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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