Coach Chad Brown leads the spring/summer meeting at Belmont Park with a 39-26-16 record in 121 starts for purse earnings of more than $4.8 million heading into Sunday’s card.
The four-time Eclipse Award-winning conditioner swept both Saturday stakes, taking the Mother Goose (G2) 1 1/16 miles on dirt with Gerrymander, and the Wild Applause Stakes on Widener Turf with Eminent Victor to increase his encounter – the main stakes total 13.
His 39 wins include 22 on grass and 17 on dirt – the two numbers that lead the competition for the surface – which speaks to Brown’s success on the double surface.
As noted in the Daily race form On Saturday, Brown is just five wins away from David Jacobson’s record 44 wins at Belmont’s Spring/Summer 2013 meet, which was accomplished with 168 starters over a 56-day competition.
“My team did a great job and so did my horses. They really showed up,” Brown said. “My staff are incredible in all divisions. Once again they have stepped up and focused their day-to-day talents on performing their duties and doing so at a high level.
Brown, who won 32 races at last year’s Belmont Spring/Summer meet to clinch his sixth consecutive title, said he was particularly proud that his 13 wins in this competition, including 10 on grass, were spread over seven runners, including Manny Franco. Flavien Prat Irad Ortiz, Jr. Jose Ortiz  and one each for Eric Cancel, Trevor McCarthy and Joel Rosario, who rode Gerrymander to victory on Saturday.
“This is a deep and diverse group of horses and I’m very proud of their efforts. Several different members of the jockey colony contributed, so it’s good to spread it out. It’s such a talented group and for so many of them to have success with our horses is always rewarding,” said Brown.
Franco enjoys a particularly successful meeting in tandem with Brown, posting a record of 13-5-4 on 37 mounts for a return on investment of $2.60.
Brown is arguably best known for his impressive list of champions on grass, which includes Stacelita [2011 Turf Female]Zagora [2012 Turf Female]Dayatthespa [2014 Turf Female]big blue kitten [2015 Turf Male]Flintshire [2016, Turf Male]Lady Eli [2017 Turf Female]sistercharlie [2018 Turf Female]United [2019 Turf Female]bricks and mortar [2019 Turf Male and Horse of the Year]and Hasty Fall [2020 Turf Female].
But this year he could add to his only main track champion [Good Magic, 2017 2-Year-Old Colt] with his talented trio of sophomore colts in Early Voting, Jack Christopher and Zandon.
Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister, Coolmore Stud and undefeated Peter Brant’s Jack Christopher won the Grade 2 Pat Day Mile on his seasonal debut on the Kentucky Derby (G1) undercard at Churchill Downs and followed with a spectacular 10-length romp last in Belmont freshman Woody Stephens who earned a career-best 107 Beyer speed figure.
Jack Christopher completed a half-mile on Saturday in: 49.49 at Belmont in preparation for his first two-lap test in the Grade 1 Haskell on July 23 at Monmouth Park.
Jeff Drown’s Zandon won the Grade 1 Blue Grass in April at Keeneland before a third-place finish in the last Kentucky Derby. He worked a solo half-mile in: 48.41 Sunday at the main track in preparation for a start in Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy on July 30 at Saratoga Racetrack.
Early Voting of Klaravich Stables, the latest Grade 1 Preakness winner, worked five-eights along with several highly motivated 4-year-old placed grade stakes in 1:01.05 at the main Belmont track on Sunday. He kicked off his second season at Aqueduct by winning Year 3 Withers in February before a neck loss to eventual Year 1 Belmont Stakes winner Mo Donegal at Year 2 Wood Memorial. A decision on a future start of early voting has not yet been decided.
While Brown has had many past successes on the dirt, including a victory in the 2017 Preakness with cloud computing and a trio of Grade 1 Champagne winners in Practical Joke , Complexity and Jack Christopher last year, the conditioner admitted he was achieving new prominence on the main track with his current band.
“It really depends on what you have in your harvest. My feeling is that we’ve been so dominant on the grass since we arrived in New York that it’s always the first thing people are going to look at,” Brown said. “But when you look back over the years, it’s not just this culture. We’ve had dirt horses in the past, but I understand it’s more evident this year to have maybe three of the top five dirt colts in the country. I know we haven’t had that many in one crop—that’s fair—but it all depends on what you have. When you don’t have them all in the same crop, it might not be as obvious that my team is as good at training dirt horses as turf horses.
Brown said he was pleased with the work of the two star colts on Sunday, noting that “Zandon worked very well. It was a maintenance move and he’s on target for the Jim Dandy.
He said the breeze from Early Voting was, “Good solid work to continue to maintain where it is, and that’s what we got. His next start is between the Haskell or the Jim Dandy.
Brown added to her credentials on Saturday with Gerrymander’s Mother Goose three-length score that earned a career-high 95 Beyer as the sophomore filly made the grade. The in mischief bay, out of the graduated stakes placed hard spun the mare Ruby Lips, is a half-sister to marathon runner Lone Rock, winner of multiple graduated stakes.
Gerrymander, winner of the nine-stage Tempted in November at Belmont, came into Saturday’s Test after an off-the-table effort in the Grade 2 Eight Belles on May 6 at Churchill.
“She trained well all winter,” Brown said. “She had a little setback which cost us some time, but we got back on track. The race at Churchill just didn’t work out for her. It was a wet track and kind of a fast seven-eights [stuck] down inside and she never lifted her feet. We brought her back to Belmont and she trained brilliantly before this race.
Brown said he wouldn’t hesitate to coach Gerrymander for the 10-stadium, $600,000 Alabama on Aug. 20 at the Spa, a feat he also accomplished in 2019 with Dunbar Road.
Michael Dubb, The Elkstone Group, Louis Lazzinnaro and Michael Caruso’s Eminent Victor recorded a career-high 88 Beyer for his half-length score over stablemate Oakhurst in the one-mile Wild Applause.
Eminent Victor will likely make his next Spa start in the 1 3/16-mile Grade 3, $700,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational on August 7 or the 1 1/16-mile Grade 2, $200,000 Lake Placid on August 20.
“I don’t know what we’ll do with her yet – whether we’ll try the Saratoga Oaks or wait for the Lake Placid,” Brown said.
Brown ran 10 horses on the indoor turf at Belmont on Sunday, including multiple-time Grade 1 winner Regal Glory, who worked a half-mile company in: 49.02 with the winner of the graduated stakes In Italian [:49.05].
Regal Glory, a 6-year-old Animal Kingdom mare, captured the last Grade 1 Just a Game for owner Peter Brant. She’s aiming for the Grade 1, $500,000 Fourstardave on Aug. 13 in Saratoga, which offers a “Win and You’re In” spot at the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile.
“They looked good,” Brown said. “Regal Glory will go to the Fourstardave. I’m not sure yet with In Italian, but it is possible for the Diana.
The nine-stage Grade 1, $500,000 Diana is scheduled for July 16 at the Spa.
Brant’s In Italian, winner of the Grade 3 Honey Fox in March at Gulfstream, upped the pace at Leggs Galore for the final time in the Just a Game, finishing third.
” She is very good. She got caught up in a pacing duel last time out,” Brown said. “If she’s able to relax and be clear on the leash, she’s dangerous.”
WS Farish homebred Highest honors [1:01] preceded Brant’s Napoleonic War [1:01.08] in a breeze of five furlongs.
Highest Honors, a 6-year-old son of Tapit, is targeting the $150,000 Grand Couturier of 12 furlongs on July 4. 10-furlong Grade 1, $1 million Caesars Belmont Derby Invitational for sophomores on July 9.
European Group 3 winners Louis Lazzinnaro’s Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb and Adhamo finished second to last in Manhattan’s Grade 1. The 4-year-old Brainy colt ran a half mile in: 49.96 with Tokyo Gold, a 4-year-old Kendargent colt, who transferred to Brown after finishing tenth in Manhattan.
Brown said Adhamo will stretch for the first-year United Nations 11 stadia on July 23 at Monmouth.
“Adhamo points the finger at the United Nations. With Tokyo Gold, I get to know the horse. He will probably race in Saratoga next,” Brown said. “Adhamo is a well-trained horse. I thought he ran well last time. He had a somewhat troubled trip without rhythm in Manhattan. He is becoming a top horse.
Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, Wonder Stables, Michael Kisber and Michael Caruso’s Rockemperor, winner of the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in October at Belmont, finished fifth in Manhattan. He completed a half-mile in: 48.85 solo with an eye on the Grand Couturier or 11-furlong Grade 3, $250,000 Bowling Green on July 31 at the Spa.
“I don’t know if I’m going to bring him back on a short rest in the Grand Couturier or just wait for Bowling Green,” Brown said. “He looked great this morning. It is very important that he has firm ground.
The multiple graded stakes from Klaravich stables placed McKulick [1:01.45] and Bradley Thoroughbreds, Belmar Racing and Breeding, Cambron Equine and the Hanley Team Graded Stakes placed Haughty [1:01.40] won five eighths in company in preparation for the $700,000 Belmont Oaks Freshman Invitational for 3-year-old fillies on July 9.
Brown said the Caesars Turf Triple Series, which offers $5.1 million in combined purses over six races, will be very competitive.
“It’s a nice addition to the schedule and I’m just happy to have horses competing again,” Brown said. “Both fillies have worked very well and are on track for the Oaks.”
Technical analysis, a winner of multiple graduated stakes from Klaravich Stables, worked a solo five-eighth in 1:02.41.
Belmont’s 44-day encounter ends July 10 and Brown will soon be looking to add to his wealth in Saratoga where last year he recorded his fourth H. Allen Jerkens award as top coach with 41 wins and his third in the last four meetings. The Mechanicville, NY native set a Spa Meet record for conditioners with 46 wins in 2018 and he said he’s already looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s a super competitive meet and there’s not much room for error up there. Hopefully we’ll have good weather and a good meet,” Brown said.
The 40-day summer meet at Saratoga Racetrack, which will feature 77 stakes worth a total of $22.6 million, opens Thursday, July 14 and ends Monday, September 5.