Chad Brown, 39, is the reigning Eclipse Award-winning trainer in North America. Known primarily as a successful turf trainer, in 2017 Brown won his first American Classic race on dirt when Cloud Computing won the Preakness Stakes.
Brown has eight wins from 58 starters in the Breeders’ Cup and this year he is running 13 horses, which along with Aidan O’Brien is the most among any trainer.
VOTING CONTROL (Juvenile Turf): Son of Kitten’s Joy won his debut at Belmont on September 10th then came back 20 days later with a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes, also at Belmont. In the Pilgrim, Voting Control got bumped at the break and found himself well back off a slow pace. He rallied for second, beaten a half-length.
“I had to run that horse back on short rest in the Pilgrim and he had a rough start getting cut off at the start,” Brown said. “The extra time now I’m really seeing the benefit in this horse; he’s putting weight on.
Brown called Voting Control’s half-mile work in 49.88 seconds on October 28th at Belmont “as good as he’s ever worked.”
RUSHING FALL (Juvenile Fillies Turf): Inclement weather during the Saratoga meet meant this one got started about two weeks later than planned, not making it to the races until September 16th when she won her debut at Belmont Park by 1 1-4 lengths. Came back to win the Grade 3 Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland on October 11th in a visually impressive performance when rallying from well off the pace.
“She caught some bad luck at Saratoga, putting us behind,” Brown said. “She’s so talented that she might be able to overcome that bad luck. Her race at Keeneland was definitely eye-catching.”
SIGNIFICANT FORM (Juvenile Fillies Turf): Though she was disqualified from first for interference in her debut at Saratoga, she ran an incredible race, stumbling entering the first turn and racing wide throughout and ultimately finishing first by 2 1-4 lengths in what Brown called “a remarkable” performance. Treating the race as a win, Brown entered her in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont Park, a race she came from off the pace to win by a length.
Brown has won three runnings of the Juvenile Fillies Turf, all with horses that won this race including New Money Honey in 2016.
Significant Form’s breezes since that race have been superb.
“She’s one we identified by mid-summer as a potential Breeders’ Cup caliber filly and it was just a matter of how you get there,” Brown said. “She’s gotten there.”
PRACTICAL JOKE (Dirt Mile): Tricky read on this one as he is 5-for-5 in races run around one turn including three Grade 1 victories and 0-for-5 in races run around two turns including a third-place finish in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
At Del Mar, the Dirt Mile is run around two turns.
Some of his two-turn races have been decent, most notably his third-place finish in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth, when he was beaten just a half-length.
Brown had thought about cross-entering in the six-furlong Breeders’ Cup Sprint but ultimately decided against.
“I really believe a mile is his best distance,” Brown said. “So, he’s going to have to win for the first time around two turns, but I’d rather have more track to work with I think.”
After racing three times in seven weeks, Practical Joke has not run since he won the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens at Saratoga on August 26th.
SEPARATIONOFPOWERS (Juvenile Fillies): Used up in a speed duel when finishing third in the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga on September 2nd. Bounced back with an off the pace victory in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont on October 8th, a day in which she was a bit on-and-off-the bridle.
Brown believes this daughter of Candy Ride will be better around two turns.
“She’s certainly bred that way and she’s always trained like a horse that would be better two turns. She’s a real kind filly.”
Has had two relatively easy works since the Frizette.
“She’s not a big, robust filly and I didn’t want to do too much with her between the Frizette and the Breeders’ Cup,” Brown said. “The two works she had I thought went perfect.”
LADY ELI (Filly & Mare Turf): Winner of the 2015 Juvenile Fillies Turf and runner-up to Queen’s Trust in this race last year, this five-year-old mare looks to complete her career with her sixth career Grade 1 victory.
Lady Eli brings a three-race winning streak into the Filly and Mare Turf, with two Grade 1 victories and, most recently, a score in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa at Saratoga. Brown chose that Grade 2 race over the Grade 1 Flower Bowl because it was run over firm turf and he didn’t have to worry about catching less-than-firm ground in the Flower Bowl at Belmont in October.
Lady Eli is 3 for 3 at 1 1-8 miles, the distance of this year’s Filly and Mare Turf and she enters the race off a series of works that Brown believes are her best ever.
“Every time I work her lately I leave the stand saying it’s the best I’ve ever seen her work and every time she tops it,” Brown said. “At her age, it’s scary what kind of animal she is.”
DACITA (Filly & Mare Turf): Won the Grade 1 Beverly D earlier this year and is coming off a head loss to War Flag in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl run over ground that was less than firm.
“She’s very consistent, you have to respect her and you can’t ever really count her out because when you do here she comes again,” Brown said. “She works out good trips, she finds a way to be right there every time.”
GRAND JETE (Filly & Mare Turf): Went 3-for-5 in North America this year and while her two losses were in Grade 1 stakes, she was involved in a dead-heat for second in the Beverly D with a terrible trip and finished third in the Flower Bowl after setting the pace in a paceless race.
“Her last two trips were not ideal for her and she’s a horse I hold in high regard,” Brown said. “I think she’s improved a ton from where she started the year. I think post position for her is key to maybe find some cover early and get her back to her more preferred way of running. I believe the mile and an eighth distance will suit her just fine.”
CARINA MIA (Filly & Mare Sprint): Finished ninth of 11 in this race last year and has only one win from her last nine starts since taking the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont in the summer of 2016.
Had her training earlier this summer interrupted by a quarter crack which Brown said has healed.
“Carina Mia seems to be over that quarter crack, it’s growing down nicely, she’s hitting the ground very sound and strong,” Brown said.
PAULASSILVERLINING (Filly & Mare Sprint): Purchased earlier this year by Juddmonte Farms to be a future breeding mate for Arrogate, this daughter of Ghostzapper has two Grade 1 wins this year, each by a neck.
She finished fifth in the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga, a race she also finished fifth in last year before finishing third in the BC Filly & Mare Sprint.
Brown believes her performance in this year’s Ballerina may have been a result of running back in four weeks after her hard-fought victory in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss. Thus, Brown is bringing Paulassilverlining to this race off a 10-week layoff.
“I continue to feel very comfortable with our decision to bring ‘Paula’ in fresh to the Breeders’ Cup,” Brown said. “She’s training as well as I’ve seen her train.”
GOOD MAGIC (Juvenile): A maiden after finishing second in his first two starts, Brown believes he sees continued improvement in this son of Curlin to take a swing against presumably heavily favored Bolt d’Oro in the Juvenile.
He finished a solid second, beaten a half-length, by Firenze Fire in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont.
“Good Magic has a pedigree to improve with some more distance,” Brown said. “His numbers are improving. I feel like he’s a horse that’s going to run even better in this start than he did in the second. And, if that happens, based on the numbers I’m looking at, that could put him right there.”
BEACH PATROL (Turf): Has really developed into a top-notch turf horse this summer with victories in the Arlington Million and the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, a race in which he tried 1 1-2 miles for the first time and dominated.
“He’s very workmanlike, always been an overachiever this horse,” Brown said. “If you look at him, he’s not big in stature and he’s not super flashy working, but he’s ultra reliable and very, very consistent. He has positional speed and in a race like that, that could allow him to get first jump on some of the other runners.”
FANCIFUL ANGEL(Turf): Came to Brown after his second to Beach Patrol in the Arlington Million, after which Sol Kumin’s Head of Plains Partners purchased majority interest in the gelding.
In his one start for Brown, he finished second, beaten five lengths by Beach Patrol. Brown said afterward that if he felt he was seeing improvement in his training he would be inclined to give Fanciful Angel a shot in the Breeders’ Cup. Though Fanciful Angel can be a bit headstrong in the mornings, he has shown Brown what he needed to see.
“We’re probably seeing the best of him and he’s improving over the wide turns at Belmont, so it’s slightly concerning for this particular horse to go to Del Mar around tighter turns,” Brown said. “That’s one of the big things he’ll have to overcome in addition to this being the biggest class test of his life. I think he’s a live longshot to at least get a piece if he draws well and settles early.”