10/26/2008 11:00PM

One year later, Brown gets his own Cup win


ELMONT, N.Y. - A few days after the 2007 Breeders' Cup, one in which he saddled Ginger Punch to victory in the $2 million Distaff for his absent boss Bobby Frankel, Chad Brown packed up his truck, and along with his wife, Terrill, headed to Kentucky to begin life as a public trainer.

Brown had worked for Frankel for six years - and trainer Shug McGaughey before that - and had been an annual participant at the majority of racing's major events, including the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup. As a rookie trainer, Brown wasn't sure how long it would take to get back to a big race.

As it turned, it took just one year.

Last Friday, at Santa Anita Park, Brown scored a Breeders' Cup victory of his own when Maram held off a late charge from Heart Shaped to win the inaugural running of the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. As it turned out, Brown and Frankel were the only New York-based trainers to win any of the 14 Breeders' Cup races run last week.

"It didn't really set in until I got home last night," Brown said Monday morning outside his Belmont Park barn. "I got on the computer; it was the first time I watched the replay of the race. I kept watching it over and over hoping she wasn't going to get beat. It was tight."

The victory capped a whirlwind week for Brown, a 29-year-old native of Mechanicville, N.Y., a town located near Saratoga Race Course. On Oct. 18, Brown's grandfather, Elmer "Smokey" Maynard, suffered a stroke and was hospitalized. Scheduled to saddle a horse that afternoon at Belmont and fly to Southern California the following morning, Brown headed straight to Saratoga to visit his grandfather.

"He couldn't talk too well, but he understood what I was saying," Brown said. "We discussed the race, he knew what I was doing. He was more or less telling me to go, so I went."

Brown flew to Southern California on Tuesday and when he got off the plane there was a message to call home. Maynard, 84, had died. Brown thought about returning home, but after consulting with his family, he stayed in California.

"They said just stay, he'd want you to stay," Brown said.

The funeral was the same day as the race. Brown took that as an omen.

"When they told me they were going to bury him on Friday, I knew we were going to win the race," Brown said.

Maram is an Arabic word that translates to destiny, wish, or dream.

Brown dreams Maram's success can enhance his wish of becoming a regular player in racing's big events. Brown has 40 horses - 30 at Belmont and 10 at Monmouth - and plans to split his stable this winter between New York and south Florida. Brown trains for such owners as Gary and Mary West, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Seth Klarman, and Bill Lawrence - and of, course Karen Woods and Saud bin Khaled, the owners of Maram. He has also recently picked up some horses for New York-based owner Michael Dubb.

"I don't have as many dirt horses as I'd like right now," Brown said. "That's what I'm searching for, to claim some. Hopefully, business picks up a little bit and they want to send some. Right now I have a lot of grass horses, which was the hand I was dealt so I'm going with it. If I can get more dirt horses I'll leave more in New York.

Maram was due to return to New York on Tuesday and will not race again this year, Brown said. Maram, who is 3 for 3, will likely return to training around Christmas time at the Palm Meadows training center in Florida, Brown said, with an eye on a spring return. Brown said he would not try Maram on dirt, but would possibly consider running her on synthetic surfaces, so the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland in April is a possible early-season objective.