Bruce Brown is ready to get rolling and turn things around. Now if only the weather would cooperate.
Sound familiar? It should, as every trainer on the Saratoga Race Course grounds is dealing with the soggy summer of 2018. Brown is no exception and he’s looking to break into the win column with his string bedded down in its usual spot inside Horse Haven on the Oklahoma Training Track.
“It’s been rough,” said Brown, who sported two seconds and three thirds from 20 starters through Thursday. “And it’s not even just racing, just training in general and trying to get good tracks, to breeze on the grass.
“Here’s hoping some dry weather the next few weeks can hopefully get me going.”
A native of Maryland who came up in New Jersey and New York under Tim Hills, Brown won three races at the 2015 and 2016 meetings and two last year. He took some time during training Wednesday morning to chat about his 2018 Saratoga contingent with The Special’s Tom Law. (Originally published in Aug. 24 edition of The Saratoga Special.)
Spring To The Sky: The big horse. Anthony McCarthy’s 9-year-old Langfuhr gelding finished second for a $62,500 tag in 5 1/2-furlong turf optional July 29 in his 13th Saratoga appearance. The first came way back in 2012 when he finished third in the defunct Duluth Stakes. He won an allowance in 2013 and the Troy and Lucky Coin at the 2014 meet. “Let’s start with the big boy. He ran great the other day. I’m probably going to shoot for the Lucky Coin at the end of the meet. That’s where we’re shooting. He’s doing great for 9 years old. He breezed (Wednesday) and went super.”
Handle With Care: Epona Racing Stable’s, Dark Horse Racing Stable’s and CJC Racing’s 3-year-old Tapizar filly cost $45,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. She’s 0-for-2 with a seventh and sixth in maiden races downstate. “She’s going to run next week. We ran her at Belmont and she ran OK. Hopefully she can improve up here. She’s one that could make some noise.”
Dancinwthdaffodls: Epona Racing’s 3-year-old daughter of Giant Oak finished third and second in maiden claimers already at the meet, the most recent Aug. 11. “She will probably run back up here on the grass. Same thing as Handle With Care, she’s a maiden. I’ve got a lot of maidens, which is a good thing and a bad thing.”
Foolish Ghost: Pinnacle Farms Racing’s homebred 3-year-old Mineshaft gelding also has made two starts at the meet. He’s 1-for-7, the win coming three back at Belmont June 3. “He was a good third, really seems to be thriving up here. He’ll run back in the same kind of race, 16 never won 2. Should be live.”
She’s Delightful: Our Sugar Bear Stable’s 3-year-old New York-bred filly by Mission Impazible exits back-to-back fourths in allowance company at the meet. She’s out of the Grade 3-winning Elusive Quality mare Chimichurri, who broke her maiden here in 2002. “Her last race she kind of had a rough trip. I’d like to get her back in before the end of the meet, same kind of race. She’s New York-bred 1x, nice filly. She’s got some value as a broodmare being out of a nice family so we need to keep her in allowance races.”
Aikenetta: Claimed for $40,000 and third at Churchill Downs June 21, Epona Racing’s Aikenite filly finished fifth in starter allowance July 25. “She ran kind of an even fifth up here but should improve next time. She’s got a race over the course now and we’re looking forward to running her next week.”
She Makes Me Smile: Unraced 2-year-old New York-bred filly by Include out of the Siphon mare Verona Dale cost $10,000 as a yearling. She’s breezed three times on the Oklahoma, including a half on the grass July 30. “She could run at the very end of the meet. A little turfy, so maybe we’ll try her on the grass at the end.”
Unparalleled: Same ownership group as Handle With Care, 3-year-old filly by Line of David cost $16,000 at 2016 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale. She finished fourth in $40,000 maiden claimer going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf July 30. “Another New York-bred maiden filly, same thing, she’s more of a sprinter. The other maidens are long but she’s a sprinter. Fast filly. Hopefully we can get a firm course. She’s ran on the grass, her last two starts have been on softer turf and she just doesn’t like it. Hopefully we can get a firm turf for her and make some noise at the very end.”
Hushion: Brown’s 2-year-old homebred gelding by The Lumber Guy is named for retired trainer Mike Hushion. Second in his debut June 22, he finished fourth in Rockville Centre Stakes July 14. “He’s hurt unfortunately. He has a bright future, just have to get him back good. He’s by The Lumber Guy so we named him after Mike. We were in the barn together, I worked for Timmy Hills and we were in the same barn. I became friends with Mike so I thought it would be cool to name one after him.”
Oh K Funnybone: Our Sugar Bear Stable’s 2-year-old New York-bred by D’Funnybone finished fifth, beaten 7 1/2 lengths by Bustin To Be Loved at 82-1, in Aug. 6 maiden. “He ran up here, I thought he would need a race but ran a pretty good race. If a fifth is good. He didn’t get beat far and learned a lot. He probably won’t run back here but could run the beginning of Belmont.”
Belle Of The Spa: McCarthy’s homebred 4-year-old Pure Prize filly won two of six last season and returned in 2018 with a second and fourth in an optional at Belmont and allowance at Saratoga. “I ran her off the turf the other day, she ran OK but hopefully we can get her back on the grass before the end of the meet. I wasn’t keen on doing it, but it scratched down to a four-horse field. Hopefully it was just like a paid workout.”