If Chad Brown is ever looking for a new home, the 41-year-old trainer might want to think of the Southern California circuit strongly as a new pounding ground.
Brown, who has been named an Eclipse Award as the nation’s best trainer for the past four years, won the $ 300,000 Grade I Hollywood Derby at Del Mar Saturday with a 4-1 shot at Domestic Spending for his third Turf Festival win this holiday weekend.
East Coast jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. all three winners drove for Brown, former assistant to the late Bobby Frankel, who has now won 11 stakes races at Del Mar in a career that has certainly led him to the Hall of Fame one day.
Brown also won the Grade III Red Carpet Handicap on Thursday with favorite Orglandes and took home first place in the Grade III Jimmy Durante Stakes with another favorite, Fluffy Socks, four races before the Hollywood Derby.
So far this weekend, all five races have been won by the Eastern invaders, including a 1-2-3 sweep in Friday’s Hollywood Turf Cup, a race won by trainer Brad Cox’s Arklow.
For Domestic Spending, a son of Kingman, the Hollywood Derby was his first win on the highest stakes and his fourth win in five starts when he raised his bankroll to $ 520,900 with the first place check of $ 180,000.
The winner finished early in the 11-horse field from the 10th, beating Smooth Like Strait, the 5-2 favorite, with a header as he ran the 1 1/8 mile in 1: 47.15 after 30-1 pacer Get Smokin and jockey Mike Smith pulled out splits of 23.87, 48.23 and 1: 12.38 before fading to finish fourth.
“When I asked him for his run on the three-eighth (pole), he was done,” said Ortiz. “He has really given a nice kick. He was a little green in his earlier races, but he keeps getting better. ”
Brown has a big chance to add to his lucrative weekend today, when he sends out three horses in the $ 300,000 Grade I Matriarch Stakes as Del Mar’s fall Bing Crosby encounter comes to an end with a 10-races ticket set at noon. hour starts.
Count Again made it four for four to the Eastern invaders at this weekend’s Turf Festival, working hard to get up in the final jumps and beat Flavius by three-quarters of a length in the $ 200,000 Grade II Seabiscuit Handicap.
Count Again, an 8-1 outsider, ridden by Juan Hernandez and trained by Philip D’Amato, last rode at Woodbine in Toronto and won for the fourth time in eight starts while covering the 1 1/16 miles over a firm . turf course in a betting record 1: 40.84.
Awesome Again’s 5-year-old son took the second win of his career at the highest level, coming out of 12th place after the first quarter mile to take Flavius, 5-2 second-choice, to earn first place prize of $ 120,000 .
“(Previous trainer) Gail Cox gave me this horse in excellent condition and I was very happy to have it,” said D’Amato. ‘She really got him going and his confidence increased too, and I trained a little on that. I’m lucky to have it. ”
Another for Brown
Brown took two wins this holiday weekend as Fluffy Socks’ 8-5 favorite rallied to win the $ 100,000 Grade III Jimmy Durante Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.
Both Brown’s winners had to face questions, these submitted by the owners of fifth place ended Consternation as Slumber’s daughter who gathered after the first half mile of the ninth after the first half mile to beat Javanica by half a mile. defeat.
The winning time for the 1 mile on grass was 1: 35.35 when Fluffy Socks won for the third time in five starts while taking the check for $ 60,000.
“I didn’t expect anything to happen to the investigation,” said Brown assistant Jose Hernandez. “I really thought this filly would win. She’s a really nice one. ”