Chad Brown’s is feeling the pressure heading into the 36th day of racing at Saratoga Race Course and the $100,000 P. G. Johnson Stakes.
Not because he’s clinging to a three-win lead over Todd Pletcher in search of his first training title at Saratoga.
And not because he’s about to run a maiden full sister to Grade 1 winner Real Solution in a 2-year-old turf stakes for an outspoken and opinionated owner.
No, Brown is feeling the pressure from the unlikeliest of sources – his young daughter Ava.
“She already told me, if I don’t win, I’m fired,” Brown said as he watched training on the Oklahoma Training Track Wednesday morning. “She’s harsh isn’t she?”
Ava Brown, sporting a pink t-shirt with the appropriate phrase “I’m So Big Time,” reiterated what her father knows to be true as they drove back to the barn in the golf cart.
“If she doesn’t win you’re fired,” she exclaimed, laughing the way only children can as dust kicked up from under the cart’s tires.
The source of Brown’s pressure is Ava’s Kitten, a filly by Kitten’s Joy owners and Ken and Sarah Ramsey named after Brown’s daughter and a filly her trainer has always had high hopes for when she debuted Aug. 9. Brown wasn’t under the gun for that race, when Ava’s Kitten finished third behind fellow P. G. Johnson entrants Thrilled and Harmonize, or at least he didn’t let on about what was said over the dinner table back at home.
To read the rest of the P. G. Johnson Stakes preview, download Thursday’s digital edition of The Saratoga Special presented by Keeneland.