Day At The Track

Brian Brown to keep good times rolling

09:26 AM 29 Oct 2015 NZDT
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Brian Brown is enjoying the best season of his harness racing career.
Brian Brown is enjoying the best season of his harness racing career.
USTA Photo
Freehold, NJ --- Brian Brown is enjoying the best season of his harness racing career, and it got even better last weekend when the Ohio native won his first Breeders Crown trophy with older female pacer Color's A Virgin.

Now the 51-year-old conditioner will look to keep the good times rolling when he sends three horses to stakes engagements Friday at Hoosier Park; Lost For Words in the $285,500 Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers and Serious Filly and Triple V Hanover in the $100,000 USS Indianapolis Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers.

Also on Hoosier's card Friday are the $265,000 Carl Erskine for 3-year-old trotters, $165,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older pacers, and $140,000 Crossroads of America for 3-year-old filly trotters. The Monument Circle features the pride of Indiana, Breeders Crown champion Freaky Feet Pete, and the sport's No. 1-ranked horse, Wiggle It Jiggleit. The two stars split two previous encounters.

Brown has been a force on the Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania sire stakes circuits, but is now also making noise on the Grand Circuit. Last year's highlight came when Color's A Virgin won the Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, which is Brown's base in central Ohio, providing Brown with his top open-stakes victory at the time.

Of course he has seen some disappointments along the way since then.

Color's A Virgin had a chance to give Brown his first Breeders Crown last year, winning her elimination but then finishing fourth in the final as the 1-2 favorite. This year, he saw Lost For Words lose the Little Brown Jug by a nose to Wiggle It Jiggleit in an epic battle. Lost For Words also finished second to Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Milstein Memorial and was second, by a neck, to Artspeak in the Tattersalls Pace.

And one race prior to Color's A Virgin's Breeders Crown triumph, Brown watched Lost For Words lead his race into the stretch before finishing third behind Freaky Feet Pete and Artspeak.

So when Color's A Virgin won by a nose over Sandbetweenurtoes to claim her Crown, Brown was understandably elated. It was the 1,079th training victory of his career.

"Tonight was very rewarding," Brown said after the race Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack. "To finally get over the hump in a major race, hopefully it will open the gates and we can be here again."

"I'm glad for Brian," said winning driver David Miller, who is also an Ohio native. "He's a great guy and works hard. He deserves it."

After spending his childhood summers watching his father Robert H. Brown and uncle William Brown campaign horses around Ohio, Brown fulfilled his dream to become a driver in 1981 at the age of 16. He won nearly 250 races over the ensuing decade, but turned his attention to training in the early 1990s.

Brown's stable has already set career highs this year with 141 wins and $3.27 million in purses, bettering his previous highs of 106 victories and $2.11 million in earnings set just last season.

He had three Breeders Crown finalists last weekend, with Spider Man Hanover finishing seventh among 2-year-old male pacers and Lost For Words finishing third. Color's A Virgin had shown signs of illness during the previous week, but came up big.

"I was getting more disappointed (as the night went on)," Brown said. "Lost For Words came up a hair short and I thought my 2-year-old would be great and he didn't race as well as I expected. We were worried (Color's A Virgin) might be getting sick, but she was great jogging and we were all relieved, but we had no idea we'd come here and win. I was just hoping for money with her. David did a bang-up job and put her in the right places.

"It was wonderful."

Color's A Virgin also gave breeder/owner Bruce Trogdon's Emerald Highlands Farm its first Breeders Crown win.

"Bruce and the guys get her ready on the farm and she comes to me to race and I have to thank them or we wouldn't be standing here," Brown said. "And what can you say about David Miller? He won five Breeders Crowns (Saturday)."

On Friday, Lost For Words and Miller will start from post seven in the Monument Circle.

Wiggle It Jiggleit, who has won 19 of 22 races this year and earned $1.84 million, will leave from post one with Montrell Teague at the lines for trainer Clyde Francis. Freaky Feet Pete, with 13 victories in 15 starts this season and $633,024, is in post three with Trace Tetrick driving for Larry Rheinheimer.

Hambletonian winner Pinkman leads the Carl Erskine, which also includes Colonial winner Crazy Wow and Yonkers Trot champion Habitat.

Following are the full fields in post order for Friday's stakes events.

Monument Circle: 1. Wiggle It Jiggleit, 2. Yankee Bounty, 3. Freaky Feet Pete, 4. Nobles Finesse, 5. My Hero Ron, 6. Cooperstown, 7. Lost For Words, 8. Americanprimetime, 9. Roland N Rock, 10. The Big Year.

Carl Erskine: 1. Homicide Hunter, 2. Suit And Tie, 3. Uncle Lasse, 4. Pinkman, 5. Muscle Up The Goal, 6. Dont Rush, 7. Muscle Diamond, 8. Crazy Wow, 9. Bluebird Reverend, 10. Habitat.

Hoosier Park Pacing Derby: 1. Foiled Again, 2. All Bets Off, 3. Limelight Beach, 4. Bettor's Edge, 5. JK Endofanera, 6. Let's Drink On It.

Crossroads of America: 1. I'm So Fancy, 2. Muscle Baby Doll, 3. Smokinmombo, 4. Livininthefastlane, 5. Fox Valley Yoko, 6. Churita, 7. Armatrading, 8. Speak To Me, 9. Bright Baby Blues, 10. You're Majestic.

USS Indianapolis Memorial: 1. Mystical Treasure, 2. Serious Filly, 3. Rockin Good, 4. Sassa Hanover, 5. Devil Child, 6. Better Said, 7. Southwind Roulette, 8. Triple V Hanover, 9. Bettor N Better, 10. Feetonthedashboard.

by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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