Trainer Brown has huge day with 3 wins, including Arlington Million
Even before he became a trainer on his own, Chad Brown always looked up to Arlington Park chairman Richard Duchossois.
"I've had enormous respect for Mr. Duchossois," said Brown, an upstate New York native who has won a whopping 36 graded stakes this season. "That was handed down from my mentor (Late hall of Famer and New Yorker Bobby Frankel) to me to think that way. He always looked forward to these race every year at Arlington Park and I drew off that and applied it to my business."
For the second straight year, Brown was all business at Arlington Park.
In fact, after becoming the first trainer to win the Arlington Million and Beverly D. in the same year (2018), Brown one-upped himself on Saturday.
The 40-year-old conditioner pulled off an International Festival of Racing Grade I triple, capped by Bricks and Mortar's ¾-length victory over Magic Wand in the Arlington Million.
Brown also won the Beverly D. with Sistercharlie and the Secretariat with Valid Point.
And for good measure, Brown finished the day by winning the Grade 3 Pucker Up with Cafe Americano to complete one of the all-time greatest days as a trainer in Arlington Heights.
"I love Arlington Park," Brown said. "I know I keep saying that but it's true. I love the place. I know of course I'm winning here, but win or lose, it's the most beautiful track to go to."
Brown isn't sure where he'll go next with Bricks and Mortar.
"It's a tricky decision," he said. "I know normal protocol is to say after a race where you're going next but I don't think it applies in the situation with this horse."
"He's undefeated this year. I don't want to make a mistake. This horse has not made a mistake, and I don't want to be the one to make him lose by picking the wrong race. So I want to think a little longer about this."
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. doesn't think going longer is a problem for the 5-year-old son of Giant's Causeway, owned by the Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence.
"Whenever I ask him, he is there for me," Ortiz said. "So I don't have to worry about anything. He has really relaxed and calmed down in his last few races. Before that he was a little head strong.
"As long as he relaxes, he can go as far as he wants. To be honest, he can do a mile and a half."
Bricks and Mortar, the 1-2 favorite ($3 to win) charged from sixth on the final turn. He found an opening and moved three wide to chase down pacesetter Bandua (Arlington Handicap champ) and Irish-bred Magic Wand in 1:59.44 for the 1¼ miles.
The No. 1-ranked horse in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Top Thoroughbred Poll, Bricks and Mortar has won six races in a row since his December 2018 return off a 14-month layoff.
It was his fifth win (four Grade 1 and one Grade 2) this year.
"He gave me a great feel when I left the tunnel," said Brown, who went on his own in 2007 after working for Frankel (won the Million in 2005 and 2002) as an assistant for five years. "It was as good as I've felt saddling this horse."