Manhattan Runners Have Brown To Down

Friday, June 7, 2019 at 1:55 pm |

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Updated: June 7, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Bricks and Mortar | Horsephotos

By Alan Carasso

If it’s a turf Grade I in New York–or most other jurisdictions, for that matter–the race likely goes through trainer Chad Brown. That will certainly be the case when the conditioner saddles four of the 10 entrants in Saturday’s GI Manhattan S., a race won by the stable in four of the last seven years.

Bricks and Mortar (Giant’s Causeway) is perfect in four starts since returning from a 14-month vacation and has assumed the mantle of America’s best turf horse. Impressive in his Dec. 22 allowance comebacker at Gulfstream, he relished the easy underfoot conditions to land the $7-million GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Jan. 26. Taken out of his best game when necessarily ridden close to the pace in the GII Muniz Memorial H. at Fair Grounds Mar. 23, he gutted it out to score by a nose and exits a half-length defeat of longshot Qurbaan (Speightstown) in the GI Old Forester Turf Classic on Derby Day May 4.

Robert Bruce (Chi) (Fast Company {Ire}) takes in the Manhattan for the second year in a row, having hit a major traffic jam in the final furlong before settling for sixth, beaten a length 12 months ago. He atoned for that luckless effort with a half-length victory in the GI Arlington Million, but was second to loose-on-the-lead Channel Maker (English Channel) in the GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and seventh in the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf, each time over ground softer than he prefers. The going went against him when only fifth to unheralded barn companion Olympico (Fr) (Rajsaman {Fr}) in defense of his title in the GIII Fort Marcy S. May 4, but a sounder surface enhances his chances and he could offer some pari-mutuel value.

The last of the Brown quartet is GI Hollywood Derby hero Raging Bull (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}), who has spun his wheels a bit in two starts against older horses this season. He adds blinkers for this appearance and also looms a bounce-back candidate.


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