by TERESA GENARO
Chad Brown wins a lot of horse races at Saratoga (and everywhere else), and as he strides his well-worn path to the winner’s circle, he can look rather matter-of-fact, or at least professionally impassive.
But on Sunday, August 12, he was beaming. Really beaming, looking as excited as if he’d won the Triple Crown, when he was about to get his picture taken with a two-year-old first-time starter in a maiden special weight.
The key word there might be “special.”
A dark bay filly by Violence, Feedback broke from post 3 and immediately contested the lead, running three-wide under Irad Ortiz Jr. That quickly turned out to be no contest, though, as she took over at will and won as she pleased, geared down to cross the wire eight lengths in front of Takecharge Mirella, running the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.33, faster than the winner of the Saratoga Special (G2) a few races later.
“We had high expectations for her,” said Brown. “She trains really well and we were really excited to get her started.”
Bred in Kentucky by Wolverton Mountain Farm LLC and Cameron Wheeler, Feedback is out of the Tale of the Cat mare Honest Answer. She was purchased as a weanling by Nick de Meric for $85,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November Sale of Breeding Stock and is owned by Klaravich Stables.
“We’ve had her since she was a foal, so we know her really well, which makes this all the more gratifying,” said de Meric, who was in Saratoga for the yearling sales and who attended the race along with Sandy Scott, an assistant trainer at his farm in Ocala.
“She’s always been a really classy filly to work around and had a tremendous attitude to her training and to life in general,” he continued. “She’s very sweet with people and as you like to see in these young fillies, she’s easy on herself. She eats well and she rests when she’s supposed to, which makes everything so much easier.”
Part of Brown’s delight at the win was the presence of de Meric and Scott.
“They do a lot of the work and don’t get to come to a lot of the races because they’re on the farm,” said the trainer. “For them to be here when their baby débuts and runs like that—I’m so happy to see their reaction. At the sixteenth pole I stopped looking at the filly and started looking at them. They’re a huge part of our team.”
De Meric also purchased Separationofpowers, winner of the Test (G1) as a weanling for Brown and Klaravich, the latter of whom he has worked with for more than 20 years.
Brown was effusive in his praise of the New York Racing Association and the condition of the fast track given the heavy rain that had fallen the day before.
“This horse really needs a fast track to run on, and I think NYRA did a really good job with as much rain as we got yesterday and have it in such condition,” he said.
With just three weeks to the Spinaway (G1) on closing weekend, Brown is unlikely to test his filly in stakes company in Saratoga, but a big step up is definitely in Feedback’s future.
“The Spinaway is a little tight,” he said. “She looks like more a Frizette ([G1] at Belmont Park on October 7) horse to me.”