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Breeders' Cup 2017

Brown Has Special Relationship With Ramseys

Having 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 Ramsey.


"When 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.


"It's 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.


Ridden 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.


"We 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 anniversary meet.


It 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.


"We 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."


Sent 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.



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