Cambier Parc and Dunbar City proved worthy favorites in the Del Mar Oaks on August 18 and Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on August 17 respectively. They maintained the momentum of a sensationally successful sequence for handler Chad Brown in top level contests.
Cambier Parc was sent off as the 6/5 favorite in the Del Mar Oaks. This daughter of Medaglia d’Oro out of a Point Given dam is owned by OXO Llc. She was ridden mid-pack by John Velazquez and saved ground for most of the one mile and a furlong distance, hugging the rail until he angled her out six wide going into the stretch. Most of her rivals found little for pressure but Cambier Parc managed to gain the lead in eye-catching style 100 yards from the wire.
The race-caller said she ‘exploded’ into the lead. Her owner Larry Best was particularly impressed by the way she settled during the race allowing her to show devastating speed when it mattered most to gain her first Grade 1 win.
Cambier Parc beat the 9/1 shot Hidden Message ridden by Flavien Prat for Simon Callaghan by just over a length. The 15/1 long shot, Lady Prancealot took third under Joseph Talamo for Richard Baltas followed by another outsider, Jonathan Wong’s Keeper Ofthe Stars sent off at 23/1. She took the lead a furlong from home but ran out of gas 100 yards from the wire.
Dunbar Road started at a surprisingly generous price of 7/4 in the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes considering her trainer’s exceptional form. She won more easily than the winning distance of almost three lengths suggests. This daughter of Quality Road gave her owner Peter Brant his second win in the Alabama. It was a long time between drinks as it was 1983 when Spit Curl triumphed for Brant in 1983.
The 5/2 second favorite Point Of Honor ridden by Javier Castellano was no match for Dunbar Road on the sodden, sloppy track. Both fillies were held up and were brave enough to gallop through the rain-soaked kickback as Dunbar Road comprehensively outclassed her closest rival in the betting market.
Street Band (15/2) had been nearer to the pace and finished only a nose behind Point Of Honor under Sophie Doyle for her handler J Larry Jones. Todd Pletcher’s 27/1 long shot Off Topic took fourth, three lengths behind her ridden by Manuel Franco.
Dunbar Road was not Brown’s only winner at Saratoga that day. Regal Glory was the 23/10 second favorite in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes for three-year-old fillies a little later on the same card and dead-heated with Graham Motion’s 7/4 favorite, Varenka. Owned by Paul Pompa Jr, Regal Glory is a daughter of Animal Kingdom. Brown’s other trainee Blowout took third place, a neck behind the winning pair. Not a bad day at the office.
Dream Day for Brown at Arlington
Three high class wins from fillies in a single weekend is just part of the story. Brown’s most talented trainees seem to be scoring with extraordinary regularity even by his exceptional standards right now. The handler had an incredible day at Arlington Park on August 10. He saddled the winners of all three Grade 1 races and the victor of the only other graded race on the card.
Sistercharlie started his winning streak by scoring as a 2/5 favorite should in the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes. Valid Point then triumphed in the equally prestigious Secretariat Stakes whilst Peter Brant’s Cafe Americano took the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes at the end of the day.
Brown’s most significant and valuable win occurred when Bricks and Mortar lived up to his name by proving he was a rock solid red hot favorite in the 37th running of the Arlington Million. The colt had won his five previous starts and had no difficulty gaining another victory.
Run over a mile and a quarter on the turf, this five-year-old son of Giants Causeway owned by William H Lawrence and Klavarich Stables Inc was ridden patiently mid-pack by Irad Ortiz Jr. Ortiz had to wait for space to become available in the stretch but his willing partner had the speed to make good use of it when it appeared, taking the lead 100 yards from the wire.
Bricks and Mortar beat the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly Magic Wand (9/1) partnered by Wayne Lordan three quarters of a length. The European shipper finished second behind him in the Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park in January too.
Jack Sisterson’s four-year-old 17/1 shot Bandua had been the pacesetter from flag fall in the Arlington Million and gave everything under Adam Beschizza to finish third, a length behind Magic Wand. Brown’s other trainee, Robert Bruce (4/1) took fourth under Javier Castellano.
Bricks and Mortar’s story demonstrates why Brown has topped the trainer’s table for so many years. Towards the end of 2017 this colt had an issue with a hock that required surgery. His bodywork was given plenty of time to heal in Florida and Brown managed to retain Bricks and Mortar’s enthusiasm for racing. That is not always easy after a horse has suffered an injury that has probably caused it pain for some time before it became apparent.
After a long absence from the racetrack Bricks and Mortar made a winning comeback at Gulfstream Park in December 2018 and has put together an impressive sequence of Grade 1 victories since. Seth Klarman from Klavarich was full of praise for Brown and his staff describing his colt’s form on return to the racetrack as ‘remarkable’. Bricks and Mortar is now a genuine Horse of the Year contender providing additional excitement for Teruya Yoshida who has purchased his breeding rights for Shadai Farm in Japan.
Yoshida and his agent were at the track to watch him win. Klarman mentioned that Bricks and Mortar’s next major target is the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita in November but added that Brown will decide if and when he runs elsewhere in the interim period. Meanwhile US bettors need to take Brown’s runners in Grade 1 contests very seriously as his winning streak may continue.