Big Brown filly Neat Package lived up to her name with a straightforward maiden victory at Saratoga turf on the weekend.
Despite racing for the first time this year, she was always travelling like a winner throughout the 1700 metre test.
Neat Package (3f Big Brown – Miss Loren by Numerous) broke alertly to shadow pacesetter Seductive Charm. Equibase reported she picked up interest approaching the corner and then wrested the lead in short order before establishing a winning break in the straight. Jockey Joel Rosario kept her finding to score by three-quarters of a length.
Rosario won this year’s Dubai Gold Cup on Animal Kingdom and he’s the leading rider at Saratoga with 31 wins half-way through the six-week meet.
Neat Package was knocked down to owner William Backer for $80,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale. She was back in action for just the third time on Saturday – it had been 34 weeks since going down a neck to Time Is Forever at Tampa Bay late last year.
Her dam Miss Loren was Champion Mare in Argentina with credits at Group 1 (x2), Group 2 (x3) and Group 3 (x3). Subsequently exported to North America, she added another Group 1 as a six year-old in the 2004 Santa Maria Hcp at Santa Anita.
Neat Package is an early February foal, however, her trainer Jonathon Sheppard has been patient with the filly at his farm in Pennsylvania. The English expat made his name with steeplechasers although he did prepare precocious colt Storm Cat to win the G1 Young America Stakes in 1985.
Vinery sire Big Brown continued the good work at Fasig-Tipton’s New York bred yearling sale at Saratoga on Saturday night. His colt from Diamond Dina (Adcat) was purchased by Xavier Bloodstock for $100,000.
Xavier Bloodstock founder Christopher Brothers is a big fan of Big Brown. He bought boom colt Darwin for $220,000 as a yearling before Coolmore Stud paid $1.30 million at the Ocala 2YO Sale in March last year.
Brothers also weighed in with $200,000 for a colt by Vinery sire Congrats from Relativa (Arg) on Saturday evening. He was the second most expensive colt on the leader-board.
Big Brown was a Group 1 winner of the 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and he returns to Vinery this year.