MINERAL SPRINGS, N.C.--Keri Brion saddled Upland Flats Racing's Freddy Flintshire to win the $50,000 Queen's Cup Novice Hurdle Stakes at the Queen's Cup Steeplechase on April 29.
Parker Hendriks rode Freddy Flintshire, and he kept tthe 5-year-old gelding in the back of the six horse field, beginning to make his move running down the hill, swiftly went to the front and won by 14 1/2 lengths over Cool Jet, trained by Jack Fisher.
"He's a really nice horse," said Brion. "I've had him since he was a 3-year-old. Originally,we weregoing to wait withhim until Saratoga, but he cameout of this race so weelwe're going to sendhim to Nashville in the Novice Stakes."
Freddy Flintshire won an allowance race at Saratoga last summer and then placed second by 1/2 length to Theocrat, also trained by Brion.
In 2021, her first year as a trainer, Brion trained an Eclipse Award winner, The Mean Queen, and was Leading Trainer, Money Won and was also Leading Trainer, Money Won in 2022, but so far this year she has had only three winners.
"I HAVEN'T run any of my best horses yet," said Brion. "Last year, I started off early, and when you start in March you rarely have horses in the fall. I've only been doing this for two years, and plans are evolving."
It matters to me to win the big stakes," said Brion. "The Queen's Cup was the first big stake this year, My business model and plan is to win the big races; one, there's more money there, and two, that's what gets you noticed. At the end of this year,, I expect the results will be about the same as last year."
"I didn't win a race at Nashville last year, and I want a chance to win there this year," she said. "My best maidens haven't been out yet. You'll see them in Nashville."
"The Mean Queen is back in training," said Brion. "The plan for her is still to go to Cheltenham next year. I doubt she'll go to Saratoga this year, she'd get too much weight. There are two filly and mare stakes at Colonial, and she'll probably go in one of those."
Leslie Young saddled two winners, both in maiden races.
Runnymore Racing's Eternal Story (Fr), ridden by David England, won the $30,000 Maiden Hurdle by 3/4 length over Barbados, trained by Arch Kingsley.
Go Poke The Bear Syndicate's Go Poke the Bear, ridden by Mark Watts, won the $20,000 Maiden Claiming Hurdle by 10 3/4 lengths over Webb, trained by Janet Elliot.
Jack Fisher saddled Bruton Street-US' Ziggle Pops (GB), ridden by Jamie Bargery, to win the 25,000 Ratings Handicap Hurdle by 1 length over Cainudothetwist, trained by Kingsley.
Haint Blue (Fr), trained by Kate Dalton and ridden by Bernie Dalton, won the Training Flat by 2 3/4 lengthsover Kiyomori, trained by Elliot.