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
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,
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
“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
Ireland . Banimpire, who also has a
pair of Group 1 placings to her credit, was purchased at auction in
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