05/22/2017 12:40PM

No day off for busy Brown following Preakness win

Barbara D. Livingston
Chad brown was back at his Belmont Park barn the day after Cloud Computing won the Preakness.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Chad Brown did not rest on his laurels following Cloud Computing’s upset victory in Saturday’s 142 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. In fact, there was little rest at all for Brown, who drove back from Baltimore late Saturday night, arriving on Long Island about 1:30 a.m.

There was plenty of work to be done Sunday morning at Belmont Park, what with Grade 1 stars such as Lady Eli, Connect, Time Test, and Sea Calisi needing breezes for upcoming stakes engagements.

“We’re in a fortunate spot with a lot of great horses, and you make a commitment to the clients to make sure we stay on top of everything – me and my staff – so we had to get back here for Sunday works, which is fine,” Brown said Monday at Belmont Park. “That’s just the nature of the business. It’s a lot easier to stay awake coming back still charged up from winning a race like the Preakness.”

Brown said he was “very appreciative” of winning his first Triple Crown race when Cloud Computing edged out Classic Empire by a head. Brown said he followed a path blazed by his former boss and mentor, Bobby Frankel, to get the job done.

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Brown could have run Cloud Computing in the Kentucky Derby following his third-place finish in the Wood Memorial. Instead, he chose to wait six weeks for the Preakness. It was reminiscent of Frankel skipping the Preakness with Kentucky Derby runner-up Empire Maker in 2003 to await the Belmont, which Empire Maker won, denying Funny Cide the Triple Crown.

“Sitting out, waiting is hard,” Brown said at his desk, above which hangs a photo of the late Frankel. “He was the master of patience and long-term planning. The master.”

Brown learned his lessons well, which is evident by the job he’s done with a horse like Connect. Connect won the second race on last year’s Belmont Stakes card, a first-level allowance. The horse has gone on to win four stakes in his next five starts, including the Grade 1 Cigar Mile last fall. He likely will be the favorite for the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on this year’s Belmont Stakes card. Economic Model, who won the Easy Goer Stakes on Belmont Day last year and was second in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop, also is targeting the Met Mile for Brown.

Brown, the reigning Eclipse Award-winning trainer, must now sit down and plan the future for Cloud Computing. The Belmont Stakes on June 10 hasn’t been officially ruled out, but Brown is considering waiting and pointing him to a summer campaign.

“I’m going to think about it all week, get the horse back to the track in a couple of days and have a discussion with the owners by next weekend and let them know which way I’m leaning,” said Brown, who trains Cloud Computing for Seth Klarman and William Lawrence.

Whereas Brown once was trying to plot out spots for just turf horses, he now has to find spots for an increasing number of dirt horses. Practical Joke, the two-time Grade 1 winner who finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby for these same connections, likely will make his next start in the Grade 3, $400,000 Dwyer at Belmont on July 9. Timeline, the undefeated winner of the Grade 3 Peter Pan on May 13, is targeting the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell on July 29, with a possible prep in the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth on June 18.

If there is a horse Brown is interested in running in the Belmont Stakes, it’s the New York-bred Twisted Tom. A gelding by Creative Cause, Twisted Tom won the Private Terms and Federico Tesio stakes at Laurel Park. Twisted Tom is not nominated to the Triple Crown, and it would cost $75,000 to supplement him to the race. It is something Brown must discuss with owner Gary Biszantz of Cobra Farm.

“Whether he’s good enough or fast enough to run a mile and a half well enough to win a race like the Belmont, I’m not sure, but he’s a horse that’s always struck me that he’ll run all day, and it’s a rare opportunity to run a mile and a half on the dirt,” Brown said.

Regardless of which horse – if any – he runs in the Belmont, Brown will be a major player in the other Grade 1 races on the card. In addition to the Met Mile, Brown will run Time Test, Beach Patrol and Wake Forest in the $1 million Manhattan, a race he won last year with Flintshire; Roca Rojo and Antonoe in the $700,000 Just a Game; and Paid up Subscriber in the Grade 1, $750,000 Ogden Phipps.

Belmont Stakes Day figures to be another big day for Brown, only he won’t have to travel too far to enjoy it.