Barn Notes

Breen and the Halls Hope to Win Their Third Sorority

Posted Friday, Aug 31, 2012

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It was September 3, 2005 but it could just as well have been yesterday for trainer Kelly John Breen.

            “I won the Sorority with Keeneland Kat,” he recalled. “It was one of the first stakes that the Halls (owners George and Lori) ever won. Then I won it again for them two years ago with Truth and Justice.”

            Now Breen and the Halls are back at their home track with Mr. Hall’s Opus, one of eight 2-year-old fillies who will contest the $100,000 Sorority Stakes at six furlongs at Monmouth on Sunday. In her only time out of the gate, she won despite catching a muddy track at Belmont Park on May 12.

            “Her race was much better than it looked on paper,” said Breen. “The track was slow that day. After the race she ran a fever so we missed some time with her. Now she’s ready to go and I hope we can win the Sorority for the third time.”

            I’mclassyandsassy might have something to say about that. Owned by Alex and JoAnn Lieblong and trained by Steve Hobby, in her only start she broke her maiden here at first asking by a stunning 6 ¼ lengths.

            “I expected it, but maybe not to win as impressively as she did,” said Hobby. “This race is a natural step to take with her. It’s right here at our home track and going the further distance (one-half furlong) is the logical thing to do.”

            Noting that I’mclassyandsassy has been firing bullets in the mornings, Hobby said that the speedy filly has been moving that quickly without being asked and there is plenty more in her tank.

            When the Lieblongs privately purchased the Kentucky-bred daughter of Master Command out of the Relaunch mare Launch Site, they knew what they had in mind.

            “We have two of her brothers and she’s a full brother to Launch Command,” said Hobby. “He won in New York and was second in a stakes race and had a lot of talent, but then he got a chip in his knee and had to be retired. We went looking for her because of him. She is a very nice filly.”

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