July 3, 2022

2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf Transcript

Bricks and Mortar wins the Breeders' Cup Turf
Horsephotos.com/Cecilia Gustavsson

Breeders’ Cup Turf

Saturday, November 2, 2019

  • Chad C. Brown
  • William Lawrence

THE MODERATOR: Chad, congratulations. Welcome back here for the third time this weekend. What an amazing, amazing horse you’ve got. Just give us your impressions of the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

CHAD C. BROWN: So, no, I just think the race unfolded just like we had drawn it up, thankfully. You got a great trip from Irad, and the horse has been training so well. So relieved on so many fronts. We were debating which race to run him in. He had never been a mile and a half, and he had this long layoff to overcome, and wasn’t sure, should we run him in between Arlington Million and now.

So there was a lot of decisions that had to be made, and thankfully as a team we made the right decisions. The horse showed up, and he showed up every time he’s ever run his whole career, if you look at his record.

And I’m just so proud of him. Definitely one of the best horses we have ever trained. And this was — this is the biggest win we have ever had.

RELATED: Bricks and Mortar sums up Horse of the Year case by going distance in BC Turf

THE MODERATOR: Now, Irad gave him a great ride, but I wouldn’t call it a smooth trip either. What you were seeing coming off the hill and then fighting on the back side? What did he overcome?

CHAD C. BROWN: That’s a good question. When he passed by the wire the first time, I could see him a bit rank in there, and he was actually following the 4, and again down the back side. And I was quite concerned. He’s a late-mount horse, so it’s not unlike him to do that, and we expect to go longer than he’s ever been to maybe be on the bit a little bit more.

Where I was most concerned is really about from the half-mile pole to the quarter pole when he was actually losing ground in between horses. I said, well, maybe he’s not going to go on. I couldn’t really tell.

But once he saw daylight, he kicked into gear again, grabbed the bit and showed his patented kick. And after talking to Irad, he said, You know, because he was pulling on me most of the way, I sort of let them make their first run knowing I would find daylight to my right.

And he was confident. He said, I wasn’t worried at all. He says, I knew that this horse still had a lot of energy and once I got him clear, he was going to get there.

THE MODERATOR: Can you expand a little on the factors that made you settle on the Breeders’ Cup Turf, which was a decision that ultimately was validated today?

CHAD C. BROWN: Yeah, just really observing the horse, just focusing on him, how he’s training, watching a lot of replays of his races, talking to Irad and — who didn’t help me much. I don’t know, boss, you pick, you pick, you know. But I did ask him.

Just really observing your horse. And the more I saw him, especially the last two workouts, he really relaxed. He really wasn’t throwing his head around. And he had strong works, and he’d come off the gap at Belmont rearing up and almost getting loose he had so much energy after his work. And I said, This horse has a ton of stamina. I’m just going to let it roll a mile and a half.

And also it comes down to the trip. I mean, a mile at Santa Anita can be a little bit of a sharp race, and post is much more important and such. So I want to sort of take that out of the equation as well.

THE MODERATOR: How about — you mentioned the gap since the Arlington Million. How do you come — how do you get the horse ready off of that, and what factors went into deciding to train up?

CHAD C. BROWN: Luckily I have one of the only copies of the book of Bobby Frankel under my bed. So I study that. And we had the same thing happen last year with Sistercharlie. We didn’t run her from the Beverly D. to the mile and three-eighths, to the mare turf at Churchill, and actually not by choice that time. She had a little foot bruise, so I couldn’t run her. And we just — we have to switch it up.

And luckily I learned from a great guy and a great team. Umberto here has worked with Bobby basically his whole career, and he taught me so much. Thankful I have the experience, I have the staff to execute it. I mean, I know what to do, but I can’t do it. So I have to have people around me to execute these plans. And I’ll tell you, the talented group of men and women that work with this horse, from when he first came in our barn, are really the reason we are here.

THE MODERATOR: Mr. Lawrence is here as well. He and his partner, Seth Klarman, are familiar to a lot of you from winning the Preakness a few years ago with Cloud Computing also with Chad. Mr. Lawrence, congratulations. There will be a lot of conversation about how Bricks and Mortar fits into the Horse of the Year fixture. Your thoughts on that.

WILLIAM LAWRENCE: That’s up to the voters. He certainly has been leading the poll since April, and I think winning today, showing the heart that he showed, he’s certainly our Horse of the Year, and hopefully he’ll be the voters’.

We’re just happy to have this horse. First of all, on behalf of Seth who had to leave and myself, we’re just so thankful to Chad and his entire team, the people who put this horse back together. We showed some patience, but we don’t do any work. We waited, and we couldn’t have imagined. Seth and I sat yesterday and we were talking, a year ago he won with Newspaperofrecord, and I just missed in the mile with Analyze It, and if you had said that neither of those horses have done what we expected this year, my horse hasn’t even run, and then this horse that we didn’t know would ever run would win and take down almost all the big turf races in the country, he didn’t take down at Sword Dance that Chad put another horse back together of ours, Annals of Time, and took that one down too.

It’s just been an incredibly enjoyable year. Seth and I started a partnership about 15 years ago, and we’re actually winding it down. This is our last kind of year. We’re going to sell off a couple of horses next week. So the last three, four years, I guess we finally learned after about 10, 11 years of getting knocked around, a lot that is Chad, moving horses to a young guy at the time, who is not as young anymore, he’s getting up there, catching me.

But he’s been just dynamite. And the work that he’s done with some of the horses and the thrills that we have had on this guy, you talk about Horse of the Year, what more could he do?

I mean, what a nice story for horse racing. There’s a lot of tough stories. This is guy that the owners were patient with, the trainer was patient with, they brought the horse back, and he ran the table. I mean, he took on every big race. We’re just proud of him and so thankful to have him.

THE MODERATOR: Can we go back to a year ago at which time Bricks and Mortar would not have run for over a year. What were you expecting, what did you see from him when he came back to the barn, what kind of talent was there when he came back to you?

CHAD C. BROWN: Yeah, I’ll walk through some of the important team members, really. First of all, go back to when we bought him as a yearling. Mike and Mary Ryan, partners of mine, and they scout all the horses, and they’re the ones that brought him out for me at the sale. That year was the very first horse we bought at Keeneland in September. The first one we bought was him. And without Mike and Mary, wouldn’t have found him.

And then through the course of his career, we were very high on this horse at three, and he really should have never lost. The two times he lost, terrible trips. And we’re getting ready for the Hollywood Derby, and it’s funny, he started to — he had injured his hock, basically, a ligament in his hock. And we didn’t know if he would run again.

And we sent him to Dr. Bramlage and we subbed another Klaravich horse (indiscernible) Hollywood Derby, Annals of Time, and he won back then too. He’s always a sub for this horse. And so Dr. Bramlage said, look — he called me and said, there’s a 50/50 chance this works if I do this surgery, and we’ll know in a couple weeks.

So he did the surgery, and the horse started walking well again. He had a funny gait to him called a stringhalt, and just happened after work one day.

Anyway, I said, you know what, let’s give him a bunch of time, looks like the surgery worked, he’s walking well, kick him out. I sent him down to Stonestreet where Ian Brennan, another important person in this whole process, had him, and he was training him to come back, and then the horse started to train bad. Just wasn’t moving well.

He says, You know, something’s not right with this horse. We got to check him out. And I said, Do what you have to do. So he had another break just for some bone bruising and body soreness, no surgeries this time, we just gave him more time.

And last fall Ian Brennan called me and he said, Look, Bricks and Mortar is ready, this horse is back training super, he’s ready to breed, if you want him down in Florida. I said, sure. So he sent him to me in October and we ran him in December and then we were thinking Pegasus and here we were. So without everybody’s help, you see how much goes into it with a horse like this, and if any of those people didn’t execute their talents we wouldn’t be here.

Q. Chad, let’s presume that this is the Horse of the Year, because I think there’s a lot less doubt about that now than there has been. I’ll ask the unfair question, where do you rank this horse in the myriad of talented horses that you’ve had?
CHAD C. BROWN: He would have to be right up there at the top. We never had a Horse of the Year, so if he’s fortunate enough to get that award and for his body of work and for what he’s overcome, all those things go into putting him right at the top as the best we have had.

Q. Chad, he always seems to get there. Do you still get white knuckles, because they’re always close?
CHAD C. BROWN: White knuckles and some choice words. It’s been a bad trip. He waits to the last minute a lot of times, but that’s turf racing. And I think what makes it even more remarkable about his record is that he’s running in grass races different distances. Anyone who really follows the sport and follows turf racing knows how trip dependent you are and weather dependent you are. And for this horse to do this I still can’t get my head around it.

Q. What next?
CHAD C. BROWN: Well, he’s been sold, this is it and we did a stallion deal with this horse during the summer with Shadai Farm, just a wonderful farm in Japan, Mr. Yoshida. And they were very anxious to have the horse, and they had just lost Deep Impact. So they held this horse in high regard and made Seth and Bill a very generous offer and we’re very comfortable with their farm and how well they’ll take care of him. And so, unfortunately, it will mean going to Japan as far as our ability to see him on a regular basis, but Mr. Yoshida couldn’t be more confident and appreciative for this horse and he’s pledged to me that he’s going to give me his very best mares.