08/18/2013 12:35PM

Saratoga: Brown celebrates career highlight with two Grade 1 wins Saturday

Barbara D. Livingston
Big Blue Kitten and jockey Joe Bravo win the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational for trainer Chad Brown on Saturday at Saratoga.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – It was business as usual at trainer Chad Brown’s barn Sunday morning, less than 12 hours after his team celebrated not one but two Grade 1 victories Saturday, with Big Blue Kitten at Saratoga in the Sword Dancer Invitational and Real Solution, who won the Arlington Million via the disqualification of The Apache.

Big Blue Kitten rallied from last off a surprisingly slow pace, considering that owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey also had the speedy Stormy Lord in the race, to win the Sword Dancer under a well-timed ride by Joe Bravo.

Real Solution appeared to have hung late when finishing a head back of The Apache after being jostled several times by the apparent winner near the wire in the Million. But the stewards ultimately reversed the original order of finish, giving Brown and the Ramseys their second Grade 1 win of the memorable afternoon.

“I watched the Million along with a lot of our crew in my office at the barn, and when it appeared we’d been beat, I slammed my hand on the desk and broke my watch,” Brown said Sunday. “I went for a walk to cool off, but then a couple of my guys called me back when the foul claim was announced. And after watching the head-on [replay], it was clear to me my horse stopped his run after being bumped several times. You never know which way the stewards might go in these types of situations, but thankfully they made what I believe was the right call and put up the horse who should have won.”

Brown said he actually got several messages and calls from friends Saturday night and Sunday morning consoling him for having lost the Million.
“I got a bunch of texts from clients saying, ‘Great win yesterday at Saratoga, but tough beat in the Million,’ ” Brown said with a grin. “A lot of people just walked away after the finish. Hey, so did I. I’m just happy [jockey Alan Garcia] claimed foul, and the stewards got it right.”

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Brown said winning two Grade 1 races in the same day is obviously the highlight of his training career.

“It was just a tremendous feeling,” Brown said. “And both my staff and my two riders yesterday deserve a lot of the credit. I’m the guy out front, but a lot of people helped me. So much planning goes into these races. You mark them on the calendar and work backwards from there.  We pointed to these two races a long ways out, and, fortunately, we hit them both.” 

Brown couldn’t say enough about the rides Bravo and Garcia gave his two horses Saturday.

“How about my two jockeys yesterday?” Brown said. “I couldn’t be prouder of these guys. We do all the work at the barn, then turn the reins over to them, and they gave us two beautiful rides.”

Brown said Big Blue Kitten likely will have one more start prior to the Breeders’ Cup Turf. He was less certain what might be ahead for Real Solution.

“Real Solution will be back this afternoon,” he said. “We’ll look him over and make sure both horses are happy and training well coming out of these races. Then I’ll sit down with Mr. Ramsey and see what might be next for the two of them. All I can say for sure now is that I’d like to try to keep them separated, if we can.”