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Brown Ready for Turf Assault

After winning Grade 1 turf races in 2011 with European imports Stacelita and Zagora, trainer Chad Brown is primed to make a similar assault on major grass events in America this year after receiving an influx of talented international runners.


“It’s important that different people have seen that we know what to do when you send us the right horses,” said Brown. “We have a program that seems to work, and I had always hoped to take on some of the European horses who had shown some talent over there.”


One of the new additions to Brown’s stable is Desert Blanc, who last year won a listed stakes in France . Now 4, Desert Blanc will make his stateside debut for new owner Swift Thoroughbreds in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Fort Marcy at Belmont . The son of Desert Style turned in a 1:02.22 five-furlong turf breeze at Belmont on Sunday.


“He came straight into Palm Meadows, and he trained pretty well down there,” said Brown. “He’s been right there in group races, and he’s been holding good company over there. He’s a good-looking horse, so I’m anxious to get him started. I think he could be a factor in some of these big turf races for boys.”


While Brown believes Desert Blanc can be effective at the Fort Marcy’s 1 1/16-mile distance, the trainer plans to race the colt, who was Group 3 placed at 1 ¼ miles, in longer races later in the year.


“He’s run as far as a mile and a quarter over there, but I think I think this is a good comeback, a mile and a sixteenth, to see where we’re at with him,” said Brown. “He’s a versatile horse, but I’ll be looking to stretch him out after this race. He should handle the mile and a sixteenth.”


Brown considered running Dealbata, another 4-year-old French listed stakes winner who is unraced in the United States, in Saturday’s Grade 3 Beaugay before withdrawing her from consideration following a 50.78 four-furlong breeze on turf Sunday morning at Belmont. Dealbata was bought privately by Martin Schwartz, the owner of now-retired Stacelita.


“I think [Dealbata] is going to need more time after watching her breeze,” said Brown.


Yet another talented import in Brown’s barn is Banimpire, a five-time group winner in England and Ireland . Banimpire, who also has a pair of Group 1 placings to her credit, was purchased at auction in Ireland by Schwartz for approximately $3 million in November.


“She came up here [from Palm Meadows] and kind of took one step backwards,” said Brown of the 4-year-old. “Minor stuff, just adapting. She had been doing super in Florida . There’s a different environment up here, a different climate, different tracks. I felt she took one step backwards, so we’re regrouping with her and are going to focus on a summer campaign. She should be fine, and we have a few horses coming up behind her.”



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