2017 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour: Chad Brown

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Chad Brown’s win total at last year’s Saratoga Race Course meeting matched the number of racing days and even though he didn’t win a race every day it certainly seemed like it. (Originally published in July 22 issue of The Saratoga Special)

Brown’s 40 victories – which included Grade 1 scores with Flintshire in the Sword Dancer, Dacita in the Diana and Practical Joke in the Hopeful – came in just about every division on the turf and dirt, short and long, 2-year-olds and older horses.

The 2016 Eclipse Award winner figures to be strong again this year in defense of his first Saratoga training championship, but he knows it’s a tall order.

“It’s hard; we had everything go right last year,” Brown said Friday morning while he watched a set that included Preakness winner Cloud Computing train from his usual spot on the far turn. “I don’t know how things are going to go. I could be very slow the first two weeks or I could say, ‘I didn’t think I was that strong’ and win eight races.”

After a busy Thursday, when he was “buried, all into the night, and now I’m finally caught up,” and another typically hectic day Friday training sets and dealing with clients, Brown took a few minutes in the early-morning hours to talk about some of the top members of his sizable stable with The Special’s Tom Law.

Lady Eli: One of the country’s most popular horses thanks to overcoming a near-fatal bout with laminitis in 2015, the 5-year-old Divine Park mare brings an 8-for-11 record (with three seconds) into today’s Diana. She won the Gamely at Santa Anita Park in late May, her fourth Grade 1 victory, and boosted her earnings to $2,419,800. “She’s doing very well, there’s not much more to say about her and everything she’s overcome. We’re really looking forward to running her in the Diana. She’s a remarkable horse that’s won Grade 1s four straight years in a row with a little laminitis in between. She’s an extremely rare horse and she seems to be able to run a lot of ways.”

Cloud Computing: The Preakness winner galloped past almost on cue, showing similar energy that he displayed at Belmont and Pimlico leading up to his victory in the second jewel of the Triple Crown. “He’s on target for the Jim Dandy. The horse is doing great. He’s been working down at Belmont and will have his last work for the Jim Dandy here on the main track over the weekend. We’re excited about running him there and then hopefully in the Travers. He arrived earlier in the week. The horse has done really well since the Preakness, we’re thrilled. The Jim Dandy makes sense for the horse, a prep for the Travers and I want to get him a race over the track. That’s important.”

Paulassilverlining: A multiple graded stakes winner when purchased privately by Juddmonte Farms late last year, the 5-year-old Ghostzapper mare won the Grade 1 Madison and Grade 1 Humana Distaff in Kentucky this spring for her new connections. “She’s won two Grade 1s for us this year and she’s on target for the Honorable Miss Wednesday. She breezed (:48.89) on the main track (Friday). Since she’s been transferred to us she’s been such a pleasant addition to the stable. Her first two starts for us, to win two Grade 1s you can’t do any better than that. I really respect her. I tell you something; she’s like a little pit bull. She’s a kind horse, but competitively, put her to work with a horse or if you watch her two races for us, she tries so hard, 110 percent every day, training and in the afternoon. And in the barn she’s so kind to be around. You put a horse eye-to-eye with her and she’s, whew. You’re going to see the competitiveness come out in her. What a really, really nice filly.”

New Money Honey: Winner of last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita, the 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro won the $1 million Belmont Oaks at the end of the Belmont meet. “She’s doing really well. I’m not sure what we’re going to do with her yet. She’s going to come up this weekend from Belmont. She came out of the Belmont Oaks in really, really good shape. Possibilities include the Lake Placid (Aug. 19). She’s always trained OK on the dirt, so a race like the Alabama is not impossible for me to consider. It all depends on how she trains up here. Or we have the option of just resting for the fall and going to a race like the Sands Point down at Belmont.”

Practical Joke: Last year’s Hopeful and Champagne winner bounced back from a fifth in Kentucky Derby to win the Grade 3 Dwyer at Belmont in early July. “Came out of the Dwyer in super shape. He’s still down at Belmont and will have a breeze this weekend to determine if I’m going to run him back on short rest in the Haskell. That would be a turnaround in three weeks. He’s probable to do that, but not definite. If he didn’t do that he’d probably train up to a race like the Allen Jerkens (the new name of the Grade 1 King’s Bishop on the Travers undercard) and just keep him around one turn. The reason for the Haskell is it’s a mile-and-an-eighth, his race in the Blue Grass was pretty good when he was second.”

Timeline: Woodford Racing’s 3-year-old son of Hard Spun is 4-for-4 after back-to-back Grade 3 victories this spring and summer in the Peter Pan at Belmont and Pegasus at Monmouth Park. The Kentucky-bred was unraced at 2, but has made up for lost time since making his debut in March. “He’s a definite for the Haskell (July 30 at Monmouth Park). After that he’s likely to work his way up to Saratoga. He’s also still down at Belmont. Some Saratoga Stable Tour . . . Seriously though, he’s training super for the Haskell and that’s the race we’ve always targeted with that horse.”

Twisted Tom: A two-time stakes winner in Maryland this year, the New York-bred gelding by Creative Cause finished sixth in the Belmont Stakes. “He’s a horse who runs in the New York Derby (today) at Finger Lakes and hopefully that sets him up for the Albany later in the meet. He’s a horse that really developed over the winter. My staff, the Belmont division in the winter, really did a tremendous job with this horse. To bring him along and figure him out, and it’s unfortunate in the Belmont he just had no chance. On the first turn another horse clipped him and he was really cut up bad. Really bad. Fortunately the horse didn’t sustain any permanent injuries from that and he’s back training well. Hopefully you’ll see him in the Albany later in the meet.”

Antonoe: Juddmonte’s 4-year-old First Defence filly flew home to win the Grade 1 Just A Game in her U.S. stakes debut on the Belmont Stakes undercard. She’s 2-for-2 since being transferred to Brown’s care after starting her career in France with Pascal Bary. “Another one for the Diana. She ran a great race in the Just A Game last time. Unfortunately we’ve got to run two great horses against each other, but with limited opportunity at the Grade 1 level it’s always been my philosophy if the horse has earned the right to run in a specific race it doesn’t matter to me what other horses I have in the race. That horse deserves to run, that owner deserves to run. So I’ll run them both and they can settle it out on the track. Juddmonte has been really sending me some outstanding horses, I’m so lucky.”

Dacita: The Grade 1 winner finished sixth as the second choice in Grade 2 New York at Belmont in June, her third straight loss since winning last year’s Diana. The Chilean-bred mare has breezed twice on the Oklahoma Training Track since the New York and might venture out of town for her next start. “Last year’s Diana winner, coming off an uncharacteristically weak performance, which is not her. She came out of that race with a couple weak things, nothing major but now she’s back training well again. I didn’t have time to get her ready for the Diana so I’m going to probably point her to the Beverly D (at Arlington Park Aug. 12).

Fourstar Crook: The New York-bred daughter of Freud stepped up to open company last time and won the Grade 3 Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx to maintain her winning streak dating back to a maiden victory Oct. 8, 2015. Owner Michael Dubb and partners purchased the 5-year-old at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale in 2014 and have been rewarded with $544,050 in earnings. “She’s won eight straight, a New York-bred who won an open company Grade 3 at Parx. She’s going to run a little later in the meet going for her ninth straight win. She’s an exciting horse.”