Brown primes Bricks and Mortar for 'big' Breeders' Cup finale

October 24, 2019 11:13am

When Chad Brown committed to training Bricks and Mortar up to the Breeders’ Cup off a victory in the Arlington Million (G1), he did so with the thinking that a shorter championship option — the $2 million Mile — made sense to cap the Horse of the Year candidate’s career.

Nine workouts later, Brown felt confident enough to make a more sporting decision this week, establishing the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf as the race preference for Bricks and Mortar.

“I had gone back and forth,” Brown said Wednesday during a national media teleconference. “…The more I watched him train, I’ve been very pleased with how fit he’s stayed and the way he’s relaxed in his works and finished.

“So I decided to go to the mile and a half race. My hope is the layoff won’t bother him.”

A 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway campaigned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, Bricks and Mortar has won six straight races, including all five of his 2019 starts. Those victories dating back to a Dec. 22 allowance victory at Gulfstream Park have ranged from a mile to 1 1/4 miles in distance at five different tracks.

The only racing resume that seems to stack up with Bricks and Mortar heading into the Breeders’ Cup is that of likely Distaff favorite Midnight Bisou, the 4-year-old filly who’s 7-for-7 this season, all in graded stakes company.

“He’s earned the right to be in that conversation,” Brown said of Horse of the Year. “He’s had a really remarkable campaign — one of the best I can remember in recent years for a male turf horse — and I think he deserves to be there.”

There will be plenty for Eclipse Awards voters to ponder leaving the Breeders’ Cup should both leading contenders win their championship events. The 3-year-old Code of Honor could also nudge his way into the picture pending results of the Breeders' Cup Classic.

A winner of 10 races from 12 starts, Bricks and Mortar took more than a year off following his two defeats, a pair of thirds in Grade 3 company.

“He’s finally 100% healthy and stayed healthy through this campaign,” Brown said. “He’s also matured quite a bit physically and mentally. I’ve been extremely pleased with his durability and consistency this year.”

In the Breeders’ Cup Turf, Bricks and Mortar will take his distance test against a few formidable domestic runners, mainly the last out Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) winner Arklow. Trainer Aidan O’Brien will also send the Epsom Derby (G1) winner Anthony Van Dyck, and Charlie Appleby is importing Old Persian, an impressive winner of Woodbine’s Northern Dancer Turf (G1).

Bricks and Mortar last raced on Aug. 10, posting a few works between races alongside of Sistercharlie, the Brown barn’s top Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf contender. 
Following his Nov. 2 race at Santa Anita Park, Bricks and Mortar will begin preparing for a stallion career in Japan.

“I thought it was the right time to just freshen him a little bit for his big finale in the Breeders’ Cup,” Brown said. “I think he deserves that. My feeling was he’d run his best race doing it that way. We’ll see if that turns out to be true.”

2019 Breeders' Cup Turf (G1)

 

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