Trainer Chad Brown is enjoying his best year since going out on his own at the end of 2007. He leads all North American-based trainers in purse-money earned, stakes and graded stakes won.
Brown has won seven Breeders’ Cup races including three in 2014 and two last year. He has a dozen horses pre-entered for the 33rd Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita this weekend.
Flatter colt FAVORABLE OUTCOME was among the most impressive debut winning two-year-olds on dirt at Saratoga this summer. He then finished third, six and a half lengths behind stablemate Practical Joke in the Grade 1 Champagne.
Brown had an inkling the horse would like the turf and Brown was pleased with the way Favorable Outcome worked on yielding ground on October 29th at Belmont Park, when he finished a neck in front of Ticonderoga at the wire.
“I saw enough from Favorable Outcome for sure to go,” Brown said. “I thought he breezed well. I think he’ll act better on firm.”
TICONDEROGA has a win and two seconds from his first three starts. In the Grade 3 Bourbon at Keeneland, he was lugging in during the stretch run which compromised his chances of catching Keep Quiet.
Since that race, Brown has equipped Ticonderoga with a cage bit to help give the rider better control.
“You don’t know til you run them but I’m confident he’s accepted that bit well,” Brown said. “That may straighten him out down the lane.”
JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
French-bred filly RYMSKA began her career in her native land, winning two of three starts for trainer Pia Brandt.
She shipped to the U.S. where she finished second in the Grade 2 Miss Grillo and shortly after the race had majority interest in her purchased by Sheep Pond Partners.
She has breezed three times for Brown.
“Every day she seems to be improving, her works are improving, physically I think she’s improving,” Brown said. “She’s a live longshot in the race.”
NEW MONEY HONEY Finished second in debut came back to win the Grade 3 Jessamine at Keeneland and is running back in this race.
As a maiden, New Money Honey won the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont. Brown won the Juvenile Fillies twice with horses who won the Miss Grillo including Lady Eli in 2014.
“It was also nice to see her in her second start lay close,” Brown said. “It was a slow pace but she broke better, much more professional. I think this filly trains with some positional speed. The more I run her I think she’ll get more tactical.”
Brown toyed with the idea of switching her to the Juvenile Fillies on dirt, but ultimately opted to keep her on the turf.
FILLY AND MARE TURF
One of the more remarkable stories in U.S. racing this year is LADY ELI, having overcome the sometimes fatal disease laminitis to return to Grade 1 winning form. Overall, she is seven for eight in her career.
Yes, she suffered her first career defeat in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa in August, but that was her first start in 14 months and she made a premature move into a fast pace.
She bounced back from that to win the Grade 1 Flower Bowl by three-quarters of a length.
She returns to Santa Anita where in 2014 she won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. On October 30th, she was totally in hand during a five furlong workout in 1:03.17 that Brown said was “as good as I’ve seen her breeze maybe ever…she’s a remarkable horse.”
Based in France with Francois Doumen last year, SEA CALISI has two wins, a second and a third in four starts for Brown this year. She won the Grade 1 Beverly D on August 13th at Arlington then ran a good second to Lady Eli in the Flower Bowl on October 8th.
“That gap was just about two weeks longer than I wanted,” Brown said. “She’s really moved forward off that race.”
FILLY AND MARE SPRINT
WAVELL AVENUE, the reigning Breeder’s Cup Filly And Mare Sprint champion, her form has been spotty this year with just one win from six starts.
She is coming off a third-place finish in the Gallant Bloom at Belmont Park, the same race in which she finished second last year before upsetting the Filly And Mare Sprint at 10-1.
Her four-furlong workout in 47.17 seconds on October 29th at Belmont Park was reminiscent of her works prior to last year’s Breeders’ Cup.
“I think she’s coming into this race the way she came in last year,” Brown said. “She’s getting good at the right time. “
IRISH JASPER has only run three times this year owing to physical issues that delayed the start of her season. She is two for two on dirt this year including a victory in the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland despite stumbling at the start. The horse she beat that day, Stonetastic, came back to win a stake race at Belmont Park on October 30th.
“It took a little while to figure her out then she needed some time off for a couple of minor problems last year,” Brown said. “She came back really good this year.”
A LOT will try the unique down-the-hill configuration of the Santa Anita turf course for the first time.
He has won twice at seven furlongs and is coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Fourstardave at Saratoga on August 20th.
Brown won the 2014 Turf Sprint with Bobby’s Kitten, a horse who had been a bit headstrong early in his career, but learned to relax and rallied from last to win that day.
“It’s the right distance for him and the race potentially could set up for him,” Brown said. “He fits the profile of the horse that I’ve seen run well and down the hill and we’ve had run well.”
Undefeated in three starts, PRACTICAL JOKE won the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga and Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont very fast and very stubborn Syndergaard.
“The thing about Practical Joke, to go along with his handsome looks, the horse has always trained like he’s a three-year-old, mentally,” Brown said. “Nothing seems to rattle him at all.”
Brown believes the horse will appreciate going two turns, which he will do for the first time in the Juvenile.
One of the best horses in the world, FLINTSHIRE has finished first or second in 19 of 23 starts, many at the highest level including a runner-up finish in the 2014 Turf when it was held at Santa Anita.
He was sent from Andre Fabre to Chad Brown for a 2016 U.S. campaign with hopes of running on firm turf. He caught such ground in the Grade 1 Manhattan at Belmont, and the Grade 2 Bowling Green and Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga.
He was upset in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, in part due to soft ground and a pedestrian pace.
His workouts at Belmont Park continue to show he’s in top form even though his last two were done over less than firm turn.
“He’s just a remarkable horse, he’s got a very explosive move,” Brown said.
MONEY MULTIPLIER has finished second in the Grade 1 races this year including to Flintshire in the Sword Dancer at Saratoga when he had a troubled trip.
Most recently, he finished last of four in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic where he got soft ground.
“He’s run into Flintshire a couple of times over here and then ran into a couple of trips that weren’t great, had a little hard luck or he might have more than one Grade 1 next to his name already,” Brown said. “He despises soft turf so much I’m going to throw his last race out.”
Has been working with Flintshire the last few weeks and the two have been head and head.