COLONEL E. R. BRADLEY H. | PURSE: $125,000 | 4-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 3 | 1 1/16 MILES (TURF)
Cathy and Bob Zollers' Daddy Nose Best got up just in time to win by a neck in Saturday's Grade 3, $123,750 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap, giving the five-year-old horse his first graded victory since capturing the Sunland Derby as a three-year-old.
The Steve Asmussen trainee was relaxed in the back of the field in the early going as String King, the 2013 runner-up of this race, set leisurely fractions of :24 ⅖, :51 and 1:15 ⅖.
Adios Nardo, the 8-1 fourth choice, sat in stalking position just outside the pacesetter from the beginning and took over the lead near the top of the stretch. He dug in late to gain a small advantage on the field and looked to be the winner, but Daddy Nose Best came out of nowhere on the far outside to score at the wire as the 9-5 favorite.
"I was very, very blocked at the top of the stretch," jockey Rosie Napravnik said. "[He] had a lot to do in the lane but he finished really nicely for me."
Adios Nardo settled for second, a half-length in front of third-place finisher Speaking of Which, who got up by a neck over String King in fourth. Pure Tactics, Slip and Drive, Zenji and Potomac River completed the order under the wire. Agent Di Nozzo, Grand Contender, Marine Patrol and Runaway Stephen were all scratched.
Daddy Nose Best covered about 1 1/16 miles over the yielding turf in 1:46 ⅖ to capture the sixth stakes of his career. He paid his backers $5.80 for the win and banked $75,000 to boost his bankroll to $942,303 from a 24-9-3-2 line.
Daddy Nose Best broke his maiden over the grass at Saratoga in his fourth start as a two-year-old, then traveled north of the border to be third in the Summer Stakes at Woodbine before returning stateside and finishing a closing sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. The bay captured the El Camino Real Derby by a nose at Golden Gate in his three-year-old debut and followed that score up with a win the following month in the Sunland Derby to earn a spot in the 2012 Kentucky Derby, where he finished 10th.
The son of Scat Daddy would finish ninth in the Preakness in his next start. He returned to the grass two months later in the American Derby at Arlington, finishing fourth by a length, and then got third the following month in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes over a sloppy Saratoga track after the race was taken off the turf.
Daddy Nose Best was a well-beaten second in June in his second start of 2013 over a sloppy Churchill Downs track in the Opening Verse Stakes, another race that was taken off the grass. He scored in the Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Handicap and Remington Green Stakes, both over Remington Park's turf course last year. He was exiting a victory over this course in the Buddy Diliberto Memorial Handicap just last month.
Bred in Kentucky by Patricia Ann Elia Trust, Daddy Nose Best is out of the Thunder Gulch mare Follow Your Bliss. His third dam is Money Player, who produced Grade 2 scorer Follow the Money and Grade 1-placed stakes winner Wealthy.
Daddy Nose Best RNA'd as a weanling for $34,000 at the Keeneland November sale and was sold as a yearling for $35,000 at the Keeneland September sale.