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Thursday, February 09, 2023

Keri Brion has two flat winners and a stakes placed 2-year-old, Houghton, Jenkins and Motion have winners

FAIR HILLS, Md.--Steeplechase's Leading Trainer, Money Won Keri Brion has said that she wants to have successful flat horses as well as jumpers, and she's already well on her way to doing that.

Afjan TrackPhotoAfjan winning at Laurel (Photo by TrackPhoto)During the past week, Brion saddled two flat winners and a Stakes placed 2-year-old.

Three Diamond Farm's Afjan won a $52,000, 1 1/16 mile Maiden Special Weight for 3, 4 and 5 year olds at Laurel on Nov. 18.

"That was my first winner for Three Diamonds," said Brion, who was only saddling the gelding the second time for Three Diamonds.

Previous to that, Afjan had raced nine times with a couple of seconds and thirds.

"I also have a filly, Every Time, for Three Diamonds, who was third in a maiden race at Aqueduct in October," said Brion.


JORDAN WYCOFF'S Shaolin won a $28,815, 1 1/16 mile Claiming race for fillies and mares 3 an up at Laurel on Nov. 25.

Brion had run Shaolin over fences at Aiken, which was her first race training the 3-year-old grey filly.

Prior to that, Shaolin had won a maiden claiming race at Churchill in July and other than that had run five other times with her best finish a fifth.

"I'll probably run her back in a high level claiming race or an allowance race," said Brion. "Both Afjan and Shaolin have really improved, with both running their best races to date."

Maram LLC''s Dandy Handyman finished second in the $120,000, 1 mile Central Park Stakes for 2 year olds on the turf at Aqueduct on Nov. 26.

This was Dandy Handyman's third race after winning a maiden special weight at Colonial Downs in September and then finishing second in the Awad Stakes at Aqueduct in October.

"He ran great," said Brion. "He didn't get the best trips in either stakes. In this race, he got boxed in on the turn. He's a big horse, so he needs running room."

Dandy Handyman was boxed in on the turn, and it didn't open up until he was in the stretch, when he went wide to pass horses, but by that time Jose Ortiz on the Todd Pletcher trained Bat Flip was in front and went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

"He's owned by Karen Woods, who had a horse with Jonathan while I was assistant trainer," said Brion. "I kept in touch with her, and she has three in training with me now."

"Dandy Handyman is going to get a break now," said Brion. "Karen was good not to push to keep him running. We'll have him ready for a 3-year-old campaign. We'll have a better, stronger 3-year-old."

The commentator on TVG after Dandy Handyman's race was very complimentary about him and said he expects to see good things from him next year.

Parker Hendriks, Brion's just turned 19, leading Steeplechase Jockey, is in Ireland until Christmas and rode in his first race there for Gordon Elliot on Sunday, Nov. 27 at Navan in a Grade B Handicap Chase, where he finished fourth on a 43-1 shot in a 19 horse race.

"Parker had never ridden over brush fences before," said Brion. "He had only schooled over them. That race was like a grade 1 race here. He was just thrown into the mix."

Ireland has naturally grown, big brush fences with ditches and water in steeplechase races as well as hurdle races, while in this coutry almost all races are over artificial brush jumps designed to be moved from track to track.

Hendriks, riding Coko Beach, moved up gradually early in the race, moving up to second over the last few fences and then was outrun to the finish where he was just caught for third.

That very good ride on a rank outsider should earn him more and better rides from Elliot.

BERNIE HOUGHTON had two winners at Penn National on Nov. 23.

Daniel Lunceford's Shutup and Hang On won a $31,600, 6 furlong Maiden Special Weight for fillies and mare 3 and up by 1/1/2 lengths.

Shutup and Hang On tracked the pace, swung three wide on the turn and edged clear late for the win.

Edward Madden's Screen Star won a $10,330, 6 furlong Claiming race by a length.

Screen Star stalked the pace four wide, hit the front with a furlong to go and won under a drive.

GRAHAM MOTION saddled Newcal Stable's homebred Chulainn to win a $90,000, 1 3/8 mile Allowance race on the turf at Aqueduct on Nov.19.

Chulainn raced just off the pace, swung five wide into the stretch and gamely got the bob to win by a nose.

RODNEY JENKINS saddled Hillwood Stable's Treasure Tradition to win a $61,680, 7 furlong Allowance race at Laurel Park on Nov. 21.

Treasure Tradition saved ground while leading throughout the race and went on to win by 3 lengths.






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