Death. Taxes. Chad Brown horses in big turf races.
Armed to the teeth with talent on the grass, it’s become expected of trainer Chad Brown to have some big names rarin’ to go for one of the biggest purse weekends of the year in New York with the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival less than two weeks from today. With so many riches waiting on the wire, Brown has multiple entries ready to hit the entry box for several of the graded turf races set for Thursday June 9 through Saturday June 11 including the big one– the $1 million Woodford Reserve Manhattan (I), which he won last year with Slumber [GB] and a grand total of three times in the past four years.
“We have a good group of horses and I’m happy with the way each of them is training,” said Brown. “There’s a lot of purses that week. You’re going to have to earn it, and I’m sure every race will be a difficult, but we’re lucky to have some horses that fit.”
Man o’ War Stakes (I) 1-2 finishers Wake Forest and Money Multiplier are under consideration for the Manhattan while Mrs. McDougal is likely headed to the one-mile $700,000 Longines Just a Game Stakes (I) for fillies on the same day. The four-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro won her seasonal debut in the Plenty of Grace Stakes at Aqueduct and is already a Grade 2 winner after capturing the Lake George Stakes last year at Saratoga.
Rainha Da Bateria, who will be making her second start for Chad Brown, is also likely for the Just a Game following her runner-up finish to divisional champion Tepin last out in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (II).
Also on deck for graded glory on the grass is recent stakes winner A Lot, winner of the Elusive Quality Stakes on opening weekend, who will be targeting the Jaipur Stakes (III) on Belmont Day to try to repeat at seven furlongs. Sheepshead Bay Stakes (II) winner Sea Calisi [IRE] will point for the New York Handicap (II) on Friday, June 10 with graded winners Dacita and Olorda possible.
On the dirt, Brown will potentially send recent four-length Belmont Park allowance winner Economic Model to the typically under-filled $150,000 Easy Goer Stakes. The son of Flatter hopes to get his first win at the stakes level while cutting back in distance following a ninth place finish in the Tampa Bay Derby (II) at Tampa Bay Downs and a runner-up in the Swale Stakes (II) at Gulfstream. It is a sensible move for the colt, who broke his maiden going six furlongs in Saratoga last summer.
As for stable star Flintshire [GB]— who has only finished worse than third three times in nineteen starts at the top level– a start on Belmont’s biggest weekend is still up in the air after breezing five furlongs on the turf in 1:03.86.
“He breezed very well,” said Brown. “We’re still trying to figure out where to get him started. Not out of the question he makes a start this meet but we’ll see how he comes out of this work and go from there.”
Flintshire [GB], who was second in last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe [FR-I] following a blowout win in the Sword Dancer Invitational (I) at Saratoga, will loom large once he does return to the races, whenever that may be. If he doesn’t make a start during the racing festival, however, there are few decent spots on the Belmont card that appear to be open, with thoughts drifting to the possibility of a run in the United Nations Stakes (I) at Monmouth in early July.