New Money Honey holds off Sistercharlie in Belmont Oaks

ELMONT, N.Y. -- New Money Honey led a clean sweep of the top three positions in Saturday's $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational for trainer Chad Brown, posting a neck victory over 8-5 favorite Sistercharlie, with Uni finishing another 1 3/4 lengths back in third.

New Money Honey benefitted from a perfectly judged ride by regular jockey Javier Castellano, who eased the 2016 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner back off a rapid and contested early pace set by Dynatail and Key To My Heart. New Money Honey rallied steadily four wide on the final turn, overtook the new leader, Grizzel, nearing the furlong marker, then, after edging clear, withstood a late surge by Sistercharlie.

Sistercharlie, who joined Brown's barn this week, was last down the backstretch of the 1 1/4-mile Oaks after breaking a bit tardily from the far-outside post. She angled five wide while launching her bid into the stretch, finished well down the center of the track, but could not quite get to the winner.

Uni, who like Sistercharlie was making her U.S. debut, also broke slowly, raced near the rear of the field for more than six furlongs, and worked her way a bit closer entering the stretch before rallying belatedly near the inside to best the others.

New Money Honey, a daughter of Medaglia d'Oro, is owned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds. She paid $7 after negotiating the distance over a firm course in 1:59.89.

"They all ran terrific," said Brown. "This filly [New Money Honey] had good position early up in the front. She got first run and kicked great.

"My other two fillies, the two first-time Euros, both broke a little slow and were pretty far back. The way Sistercharlie broke, I'm not sure the post really mattered. She was going to wind up back there anyway. But it certainly didn't help. She really ran courageously, particularly off just three weeks' rest and having to travel as she did."

Brown said he hadn't made any plans beyond the Oaks for his three fillies but added that they likely will go in different directions for their next starts.