Trainer Chad Brown has finished second in the trainer standings to Todd Pletcher in each of the past five years at Saratoga, but this could finally be the summer he gets on top after winning seven races over the past two days and opening up a five race lead in the trainer standings.
Brown won three races on Friday and four on Saturday, now with 17 wins at the meeting from 55 starters, winning at a 31% clip. Pletcher has saddled a dozen winners from 57 starters.
The only thing that appears likely to stop Brown from winning the Spa training title this year is the weather. With an abundance of turf runners, as long as there are not too many races taken off the grass due to the weather, Pletcher may not catch him this year.
Of Brown’s 17 winners, 14 have been on the turf. He has won eight stakes races, six on turf. He has won five graded stakes including the Grade 1 Diana with Dacita.
Brown leads all trainers with purse earnings at the meeting with $1,756,356.
Last summer Brown finished with 31 winners at the meeting, three shy of catching Pletcher. In 2014 he won 23 races, finishing five behind Pletcher.
Brown has runners in six races on Sunday’s card, and in one race on Monday. Pletcher has starters in four races on Sunday and in three on Monday.
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. is seeking his second title at the Spa, and has opened up an eight win lead over John Velazquez. Ortiz has won 24 races from 105 mounts. Javier Castellano is third with 15 winners.
The Kiaran McLaughlin trained Frosted regressed from a 123 Beyer Speed Figure in his Met Mile (G1) victory on June 11 to a 107 in Saturday’s Whitney (G1), but the colt had no trouble disposing of his five foes, winning by two lengths.
Under jockey Joel Rosario the strategy changed, as the colt went out to the lead, set solid fractions of 46.42 and 1:09.65 and had plenty left to hold off the late running Comfort, returning $3.00 to win.
2016 Whitney (G1) Replay
The victory earned Frosted a fee-paid starting spot in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) this November at Santa Anita. His win in the Met Mile earned him a spot in the $1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), but after Saturday’s performance at nine furlongs the Classic seems likely.
Next up for Frosted could be the Woodward (G1) on Sept, 3 at Saratoga or the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park on Oct. 8. McLaughlin did not rule out training him up to the Classic.
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