Regal Glory and Modern Games Take Top Turf Prizes

Both Regal Glory and Modern Games (Ire) won Grade I races to close out 2022, as the former heads to the breeding shed, while the latter looks to return this year.

In discussing the rationale for keeping TDN Rising Star‘ Regal Glory (Animal Kingdom) in training for a 6-year-old campaign following her victory in Keeneland’s GI Jenny Wiley S., trainer Chad Brown recalled a conversation with owner Peter Brant.

Said Brown, “I probably would have bred her and he said, ‘No, she’s in good form and I want to see her run another year. I have a feeling this is her year.”

It turned out to be the most prescient of comments when the chestnut mare outpointed her commonly owned stablemate and fellow Rising Star In Italian (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) and War Like Goddess (English Channel) to take home the statuette. Regal Glory is a seventh female turf champ–the fifth in the last six years–conditioned by Chad Brown and a third for Brant, joining Just A Game (1980) and Sistercharlie (Ire) (2018).

Acquired by Brant for joint-best $925,000 out of the Paul Pompa dispersal at Keeneland January in 2021, Regal Glory closed the season with a win in the GI Matriarch S., but the best was yet to come. Having kicked off the year with a decisive victory in the GIII Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf, the chestnut made best work of her superior turn of foot to beat stablemate Shantisara (Ire) (Coulsty {Ire}) in the Jenny Wiley. Making her third straight appearance in the GI Just A Game S., Regal Glory powered home as much the best but was beaten into second when heavily favored in her next two–in the GI Fourstardave H. against the boys and to In Italian in the GI First Lady S. Fractionally disappointing when 10th to champion Modern Games (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) in the GI FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile, she turned in arguably the best performance of any turf distaffer when whooshing home by better than five lengths in the Matriarch, becoming the first since Flawlessly to repeat in the event.

Regal Glory has joined Brant’s high-class broodmare band and is set to visit Into Mischief this season.

–Alan Carasso

One of the marks of an Eclipse Award winner is the ability to successfully take on older, more experienced company, and that is certainly what Modern Games did during his 3-year-old trans-Atlantic 2022 campaign when he was guided every step of the way by regular rider William Buick. Off his Del Mar Breeders’ Cup victory in the GI Juvenile Turf, in which he ran only for purse money for trainer Charlie Appleby, the chestnut tuned up in mid-May at ParisLongchamp against his own age group in the G1 Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

In late July, after finishing second to the now-retired powerhouse Baaeed (GB) (See The Stars {Ire}) in the G1 Qatar Sussex S. at Goodwood, the colt shipped to the U.S. for the GI Ricoh Woodbine Mile in September. Taking on a well-matched field, Modern Games rallied for an impressive 5 1/4-length victory. Returning to the Breeders’ Cup for the GI FanDuel Mile, this time at Keeneland, the Godolphin homebred angled out at the top of the lane and mounted a furious charge to secure a 3/4-length win in what was his final race of the year.

Modern Games is expected to return to racing as a 4-year-old.

“Next year, the Queen Anne [at Royal Ascot] is the obvious target,” said Appleby after the Breeders’ Cup win. “He’s getting fanfare around the world and it was great to see him applauded this year, not like last year, which was no fault of his own. We’ll look to bring him back here [Breeders’ Cup] next year.”

–J.N Campbell

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