Complexion Dazzles for Gargan in Aqueduct Maiden Win

A few weeks ago, trainer Danny Gargan called John Velazquez with a special request.

“He told me, ‘I’ve got something for you to work, you’re going to like her,’ ” Velazquez told NYRA racing analyst Richard Migliore.

Not only did Velazquez like the filly following that work, but he rode her to victory in her June 14 debut at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The filly, a 2-year-old daughter of Complexity   named Complexion , annihilated her rivals in a five-furlong maiden special weight. Evoking the image of her older half sibling, Jack Christopher  , with her fiery red coat and white-splashed face, Complexion became one of the most exciting juvenile fillies to watch heading into the summer Saratoga meet after her 6 1/2-length romp.

“I was expecting this out of her today,” Velazquez said. “You get a horse like this, you work a horse like this in the morning, you get excited, right? You get that fire and that’s what keeps you coming back.”

Velazquez worked Complexion for the first time on Belmont Stakes morning June 8 at Saratoga Race Course. The pair breezed three furlongs in company from the gate in a bullet :35.80 in what would be the filly’s final tune-up for her debut.

Although she bobbled coming out of the gate, Complexion collected herself within seconds and strode to the front. There she would remain, shrugging off her competition around the far turn and galloping to the wire with her ears pricked under Velazquez. She stopped the timer in :58.20 for five furlongs over a fast main track.

Complexion was purchased by Arnmore Thoroughbreds for $400,000 out of the 2023 Keeneland September Sale from the Paramount Sales consignment. Arnmore races the filly in partnership with Carl and Yurie Pascarella.

The filly is the third winner out of the Half Ours mare Rushin No Blushin, a mare co-breeder Castleton Lyons picked up for $70,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Rushin No Blushin’s best progeny to date is the multiple grade 1 winner Jack Christopher.

Jack Christopher proved to be a fine sprinter/mile type for trainer Chad Brown. The flashy son of Munnings   scored in the Champagne Stakes (G1) at 2 and the Woody Stephens (G1), H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1), and Pat Day Mile (G2) stakes at 3. He was retired in 2022 and joined the stallion roster at Ashford Stud in Kentucky, where he stood the 2024 breeding season for a $40,000 fee.