I'll never forget standing at the paddock at Churchill Downs during the 2018 Breeders' Cup and overhearing a man say, "Never bet against Chad and Irad!" And honestly, we pretty much nailed it. There were many that they didn't win that year.
This year, Chad Brown is prepping 13 probable starters, although he feels like he's had slightly better lineups in previous years. After personally watching BRICKSANDMORTAR as well as NEWSPAPEROFRECORD win rather epicly, I can't really disagree. And he's disappointed that he doesn't have a horse in the $4 million Turf race.
However, he does have RUSHING FALL, SISTERCHARLIE and MY SISTER NAT in the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf. Surely one out of the three right? MY SISTER NAT has had two runner up finishes to CIVIL UNION in the Flower Bowl and the Glen Falls, but she did score and Grade 3 win back in early August with the Waya at Saratoga. She was very game in the Flower Bowl, CIVIL UNION just got ahead by half a length for the win. An interesting sidenote is that MY SISTER NAT and SISTERCHARLIE are half siblings, both out of STARLET'S SISTER.
RUSHING FALL and SISTERCHARLIE just competed against each other in the Grade 1 Diana where RUSHING FALL pulled out the win and SISTERCHARLIE came in third. SISTERCHARLIE also had a third in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa Handicap back in July. However, those are the only two races she's run in this year since the last Filly & Mare Turf.
RUSHING FALL has been a bit on fire. She's scored wins in the Diana, the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley and the Grade 3 Beaugay this year.
Then there's UNI. She is defending her title in the $2 million Mile and Brown says, "Uni seems to be rounding back into form." She is lightly raced this year winning the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes and she came in third in the Grade 1 Just A Game. In that race, NEWSPAPEROFRECORD scored the win, so still a good finish for the Chad Brown team.
However, in the Mile, she will be joined by a few other stablemates. RAGING BULL has had four starts this year with wins in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile, a third in the Grade 1 Maker's Mark Mile and a second in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile. Then there's WITHOUT PAROLE, who has had five starts this year but not any wins. He was third in the Shoemaker, fourth in the Maker's Marks and third in the Shadwell Turf Mile. DIGITAL AGE has only had one Grade 1 start and that was in the Turf Classic. His two starts prior to those were Allowance Claiming races, one with a win and one with a place. These came after a rough streak in 2019. However, Brown says DIGITAL AGE "has never been doing better."
REINVESTMENT RISK will have another shot at JACKIE'S WARRIOR in the $2 million Juvenile. Brown says that JACKIE'S WARRIOR "looks like an amazing horse," but he hopes the added distance and different pace will help. The colt as placed second to JACKIE'S WARRIOR twice - in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes and the Grade 1 Champagne after winning his first start as a maiden at Saratoga.
COMPLEXITY is looking at either the Dirt Mile or the Sprint. The four year old colt has raced three times this year with two wins, one an allowance and the other the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap at Belmont. He came in second to WIN WIN WIN in the Grade 1 Forego.
FLUFFY SOCKS is looking at the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf. She is fresh off a win in the Selima.
PUBLIC SECTOR is looking at the Juvenile Turf after coming in second in the Grade 2 Pilgrim, his second start after breaking his maiden in August.
FRONT RUN THE FED is a four year old that just placed second in the Grade 3 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint Stakes. He is looking at the $1 million Turf Sprint.
DUNBAR ROAD is a probable for the $2 million Distaff. The big question here being if she will be running against the super filly SWISS SKYDIVER or if they will choose to run the Preakness winner in the Classic. The trainer likes the Classic distance, the owner likes the Distaff. We will see but a lot of the "experts" are talking like she'll be in the Classic. In that case, DUNBAR ROAD better get ready. The four year old mare recently placed third in the Grade 2 Beldame, but did win the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap and the Shawnee Stakes this year. She placed fifth in the Distaff last year against some tough company in BLUE PRIZE, MIDNIGHT BISOU and SERENGETI EMPRESS. Maybe it's better for her if SWISS SKYDIVER runs in the Classic.
Chad Brown and his team has been racing for 13 years and they have won 15 Breeders' Cup races. That's quite a testament to their ability as well as the quality of horses they've been able to obtain.
Photo: Jackie's Warrior & Reinvestment Risk by Dom Napolitano/NYRA