worked for Hall of Fame trainers Bobby Frankel and Shug McGaughey, Chad
Brown had a solid foundation when he opened his own stable not quite
six years ago. One of his first clients was the outgoing, outspoken Ken
he hired me, he said, 'I'll give you a few horses to get started and,
man, I want to be the first winner for you, because you're going to have
a good career,'" Brown recalled Thursday morning. "He was very positive
about me going on my own and was confident I'd do well as a trainer."
Brown's relationship with Ramsey came full circle on Wednesday, when he sent out Granny Mc's Kitten, a Kitten's Joy homebred, to win the P.G. Johnson stakes for Ramsey's Saratoga Race Course record 19th victory as an owner. Brown has won three stakes for Ramsey at the meet, including the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational with Big Blue Kitten, and the John's Call with Hyper.
really great to be a part of that for the Ramseys," said Brown, a
native of nearby Mechanicville, N.Y. "Ken and Sarah have been with me
since I went out on my own. I'm at my home track. The horse is by their
flagship stallion. It all came together, and I'm so happy to be a part
of it for them. The guy trusts me with a lot of his better horses, and
it feels good when you come through for him."
It was Ramsey who gave Brown his first career victory, with a gelded son of Jules named Dual Jewels. Making his 41st
career start, Dual Jewels came 10 wide down the stretch and won by 4 ½
lengths as the favorite in an 11-horse field at Churchill Downs on
November 27, 2007.
by Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux, Dual Jewels took the $8,680 winner's
share of the $14,000 purse, and was promptly claimed for $5,000 by
owner-trainer Mike Johnson.
were dropping the horse a couple levels because he really wanted to own
the first winner I trained," Brown said. "He said, 'Here's one right
here. I want you to drop that thing as far as you can,' and we did. We
dropped it in and the horse won, and there was a bunch of claims for it,
at least a dozen. He didn't care. He was fine with it. They've been
with me ever since. From having just a couple horses with me to now
having about a dozen horses, they're not only great clients of mine, but
great owners for the game in general."
* * *
The Grey Express
took command heading into the far turn on Thursday afternoon and pulled
clear after the final hurdle to take the $75,000 Mrs. Walter M.
Jeffords Stakes, the final steeplechase race of Saratoga's 150th
was the first stateside victory in four starts for the 8-year-old gray
mare, who began her career in Ireland and now is trained by Hall of
Famer Janet Elliot for Gregory Hawkins.
bought her last year, actually, specifically to run in Saratoga," said
Elliot of The Grey Express, who was second in the Mrs. Ogden Phipps
steeplechase earlier in the meet. "[When she was turned out] the other
mare kicked this mare in the shoulder and gave her two chips, so that
was her out for the rest of the year. So, this has really been her first
year. In a way it's helped, because she's had a year to acclimatize."
off at 5-1, The Grey Express returned $13 for a $2 win bet. With Ross
Geraghty aboard, she completed the 2 1/16 miles over fences in 4:52.44.
Cat Feathers finished second, with Take Her To the Top third.