11/03/2016 10:26AM

Brown just might get his Eclipse this year

Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Chad Brown has 12 runners entered in the Breeders' Cup this year.

ARCADIA, Calif. – It has already been a memorable year for trainer Chad Brown, who recorded his 1,000th career victory and captured his first Saratoga training title, which had eluded him for several years.

Now, Brown could be in line for his first Eclipse Award as he enters Breeders’ Cup weekend as the North American leader in purse money won ($19.4 million), stakes races won (56), and graded stakes won (38).

Brown has 12 runners in this year’s Breeders’ Cup, including major contenders on Saturday such as Lady Eli and Sea Calisi (Filly and Mare Turf), Practical Joke (Juvenile), A Lot (Turf Sprint), and Wavell Avenue and Irish Jasper (Filly and Mare Sprint).

Brown said he’s not focused on statistics or personal awards.

“It’s nice to be on top in money and graded stakes and all that, but we’re just focused on developing these horses and getting through the Breeders’ Cup,” Brown said. “Wherever that puts us statistically, it does. I don’t consider it too much. Eclipse Awards, I don’t even understand that whole process.”

Brown has been a finalist for the Eclipse Award the last two years. In 2014, he won three Breeders’ Cup races and thought that might have been enough to deserve recognition, but the award went to Todd Pletcher, who led the nation with $22.4 million in purses won and was sixth in wins with 240. Brown was second in earnings that year with $15.3 million and 15th in wins with 147.

“You win three Breeders’ Cup races and finish second in earnings, and they award it to someone who had no Triple Crown wins and no Breeders’ Cup wins,” Brown said. “I was interested that year because I thought maybe our team would get recognized. I just want to run my business, and whatever system there is, if it awards my team, great, but I don’t even think about it.”

In 2015, Brown finished sixth in wins (203) and second in purse money won ($20.2 million). Bob Baffert won the Eclipse Award as the trainer of American Pharoah, who became the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.