Once Again, Chad Brown is Loaded for the Diana

Bleecker Street preparing for the Diana last month at Belmont
Sarah Andrew


SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – It is pretty much impossible to overstate just how invested trainer Chad Brown is in the Diana S., the first Grade I of the Saratoga season, which will be run on Saturday.

Brown earned the first Grade I victory of his career when Zagora (Fr) (Green Tune) prevailed in 2011. He has won the race five more times, all in a row, for a stakes record six. He has entered the race for 13 consecutive years and had at least one horse in the top three for 11 straight years, a streak that ended last year.

The depth and strength of the turf fillies in Brown's stable is no secret and was made clear again this summer when he was responsible for 10 of the 14 nominations for the race. He will saddle four of the six horses that were entered, three of them owned or co-owned by Peter Brant. Brown also had four starters in 2019 when his runners swept the top three spots.

Brown's lineup for the 1 1/8-mile race Saturday is led by Brant's unbeaten Bleecker Street (Quality Road). The seven-time winner earned her first Grade I in the New York S. June 10 at 1 1/4 miles. Bleecker Street will start from post three, just to the inside of Brant and Michael Tabor's Rougir (Fr) (Territories {Ire}), who is making her third start in the U.S. Rougir was a Group 1 winner in France last year. Brant's speedy In Italian (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) drew the outside. She was most recently third to stablemate Regal Glory (Animal Kingdom) in the GI Just A Game S. On the rail is Klaravich Stable's Technical Analysis (Ire) (Kingman {GB}), winner of the GIII Lake George S. and GII Lake Placid S. at Saratoga last summer.

Brown said his crew of 4-year-old Diana runners have arrived at the race from a variety of directions.

“There are the horses that we develop from scratch, so to speak, like a Bleecker Street that we had as a baby,” Brown said. “We bought her across the street [at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga 2019 Yearling Sale for $400,000], Mr. Brant and I. She's an overachiever. When we bought her, we thought she was going to be a dirt horse. She didn't really train well on it. We started her off kind of at 'Triple A' down there between Monmouth and the Meadowlands and then she just got good. And we gave her a shot in the big leagues, and this horse is undefeated.

“Then we have some European horses to go along with her that are really good. You know, like Rougir and Technical Analysis and In Italian.”

Brown said that many of his turf stakes fillies arrive as young horses and grow in his program.

“You go through the list and they're all different types of horses,” he said. “Fluffy Socks is a homebred with a modest pedigree. She's by Slumber (GB). Bleecker Street is a horse we bought across the street. Yes, there's some European horses that we bought. Technical Analysis I bought as a yearling and broke her. In Italian was the same. Rougir was a horse Mr. Brant paid a lot of money for. It gets a little bit misconstrued in the press sometimes, like 'these guys get sent the best horses.' We develop them.”

Though he nominated Regal Glory for the Diana, Brown has a more ambitious plan for the multiple Grade I winner he has handled throughout her career. Brown trained her for her breeder, Paul Pompa, and recommended that Brant buy her at the dispersal following Pompa's death.

“Probably run against the boys in the GI Fourstardave. I have another horse for the race, Masen (GB) (Kingman {GB}). They're probably going to have to run against each other. I think at this point, Regal Glory, I think she's best at a mile, a mile and a sixteenth. I really do. My long-term target for her is the Breeders' Cup against the boys at a mile. So, I'm leaning that way, but not for certain.”

Saturday's Saratoga card also features a loaded renewal of the GIII Sanford S. for 2-year-olds. 'TDN Rising Stars' Forte (Violence) and Andiamo a Firenze (Speightstown) lead the way in the 12-horse field following sparkling debuts downstate.

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