2017 Fasig-Tipton Stable Tour with Bruce Brown

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The first win always provides a bit of a relief, not that Bruce Brown was showing any signs of pressure before You Like That broke his and the barn’s maiden Thursday. You Like That won for $40,000 and immediately got his trainer, owner and breeder thinking about what’s next. Such is the life of a horseman. (Originally published in Aug. 20 issue of The Saratoga Special.)

“Now that we’ve got one we want to get two,” Brown said Friday morning, staying out of the rain under the shedrow during one of the breaks on the Oklahoma Training Track.

Brown is bedded down in his usual spot inside Horse Haven on the Oklahoma, the same barn he ran Spring To The Sky from to victories in the 2014 Lucky Coin and Troy Stakes and where his runners won three races in each of the last two meetings. Spring To The Sky is back, along with a few other horses owned by loyal owner Anthony McCarthy. A large roster of owners that include Epona Racing Stable, Dark Horse Racing Stable, CJC Racing, Our Sugar Bear Stable and Manhattan Racing keep the barn stocked with a mix of promising youngsters, stakes and allowance runners and claiming horses.

Brown stood between his office and his dry erase board listing the runners in his barn and in a nearby barn Friday with The Special’s Tom Law.

Extinct Charm: Epona Racing Stable’s and Dark Horse Racing Stable’s 4-year-old American Lion gelding placed in four straight stakes – the Grade 3 Pegasus, New York Derby, Albany and Temperence Hill Invitational – to close his 2016 campaign. He sports a steady work pattern, including 5 furlongs in 1:03.29 last Sunday on the Oklahoma for his return. “He could possibly run at the very end of the meet. He was the big horse last year, second in the New York-bred races, had a knee issue, returning from that but doing very good. He’s going to be ready right at the end if there’s a race. Doing super.”

You Like That: Brown’s homebred Justenuffhumor gelding put the barn in the win column in a maiden claimer Thursday, going to the front and staying put for Brown and jockey Kendrick Carmouche. “It’s funny his mother, Australis Princess, who I ended up being partners with and took over ownership of, she always won wire-to-wire. She loved Saratoga and she did it that way here.”

Spring To The Sky: Old faithful. Anthony McCarthy’s 8-year-old Langfuhr gelding is 8-7-4 in 42 starts with $635,789 in earnings. Winner of the 2014 Troy and Lucky Coin, he finished third after a slow start in 5 1/2-furlong turf allowance July 22. “He’s pointing for the Lucky Coin. He ran great last time, got left and came running. He’s kind of got his groove back. I was surprised when he got left and did that, because usually he’s got to be up front. He showed another dimension.”

Same Kinda Crazy: Posse filly finished fifth in allowance July 21 and fourth in allowance Aug. 13. “She’s had some bad luck up here with breaking bad. She always runs hard and she’ll get one more race up here. Something short on the grass, New York-bred a-other-than. With some racing luck she should be good.”

Incorporate: Winner for $40,000 tag at Belmont Park July 15, New York-bred Include gelding is entered in Monday’s seventh race, an allowance going 1 3/16 miles on the grass. “He’s one we’ve always had high hopes for and he finally got it together and won right before we came up here. He’s in and we’re hoping for a good effort with him.”

Belle Of The Spa: McCarthy’s 3-year-old homebred by Pure Prize is 2-for-4 and comes off win in 1 1/16-mile allowance at Belmont June 30. “Really nice New York-bred filly that won a couple races down at Belmont. She’s going for an allowance race at the end of the meet. She’s classy and has some real upside. Still putting things together but she’s got some talent.”

She’s Delightful: Our Sugar Bear Stable bought 2-year-old daughter of Mission Impazible for $40,000 this year. She’s worked twice at Saratoga, including a half in :50.04 on the Oklahoma Aug. 14. “She’s a really talented New York-bred who could run toward the end. I thought she’d be ready but the race they put up was seven-eighths and I don’t know. She’ll run at the very end or when we first get down to Belmont. She seems more like a quick, speedy type. Seven is a tough trip, especially with a firster.”

Unparalleled: Epona Racing Stable’s, Dark Horse Racing Stable’s and CJC Racing’s 2-year-old filly by Line Of David finished seventh on debut Aug. 2 going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf. She cost $16,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale. “She was on the lead and didn’t corner too well. She probably would have hit the board in that race but we kind of made some equipment changes. She’ll run toward the end of the month and should be live. We put a ring bit on her, she had just a regular bit. Dylan (Davis) rode her in the race and he worked her the other day, liked her, said it seemed to do the trick. She was in a 5 1/2 turf race and it was almost like she was going too fast and he had to check her to make the turn, she overreacted and it really cost her the race.”

Manifest Destiny: Brown signed $150,000 ticket for City Zip gelding at 2015 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. He’s 1-for-9 with two seconds and a third and finished second in Aug. 6 allowance going 1 mile on the inner turf at 30-1. “He’ll run back in that same kind of race. He’s a turf horse, I have a lot of turf horses. Somebody said to me, ‘you have a lot of turf horses, you must be a good turf trainer.’ I said, ‘that does me a lot of good in February at Aqueduct.’ ”

King Of Spades: Manhattan Racing Stable’s 5-year-old Street Cry gelding finished sixth in Aug. 2 starter allowance going 9 furlongs on the turf. “He ran in a really tough starter allowance, finished even. Typical turf, sixth and got beat 2 lengths. Nice horse, he’s more of a marathon kind of guy. The race they put up is a mile-and-a-sixteenth but I think he wants longer.”

Battle Ready: Brown and Manhattan Racing claimed Union Rags gelding from Twin Creeks Racing and Todd Pletcher for $30,000 when second in 1 1/8-mile maiden claimer on the dirt Aug. 10. “He ran a good second when we claimed him. Not sure if they’ll have any races for him but we’ll put him MTO wherever we can. He’s a 3-year-old maiden who wants to go long. Those are tough up here, especially with the mile and an eighth. He’s a real stayer, so we’ll put him in as an MTO and hope to get lucky.”