The Spa Spot: Chad Brown wins another stake
Charlotte Weber presents With Anticipation trophy to Julien Leparoux and co-owner William Lawrence
For the second day in a row Thursday, a Chad Brown-trained 2-year-old rallied to narrowly win a turf stake.
Wednesday, Watsdachances captured the P.G. Johnson by a neck under Javier Castellano. Balance the Books and Julien Leparoux took care of business for the trainer from Mechanicville Thursday in the Grade 2 With Anticipation by a narrower margin: a head.
Like Watsdachances, Balance the Books was not the favorite. He paid $10.80 as Brown won for the 25th time this season.
Balance the Books was the 10th winner of the season for owners Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence of Latham, who use a variety of trainers. Klaravich-Lawrence trail Repole Stable by one victory in the owners' standings. Their 45 runners have finished in the top three 26 times, 57.7 percent.
“Seth Klarman and Bill Lawrence had the confidence to go in this race," Brown said. "They give me some nice horses to train and I’m thrilled for them. They’re having a terrific meet as owners, and I’m happy to get a Grade 2 for them.”
Until Wednesday evening, Brown wasn't sure that he would run the son of Lemon Drop Kid in the 1 1/16 miles race, who was second in his first start. The colt was on the also-eligible list but Brown decided he would go if a position opened up for him. There were a few scratches and he had no trouble getting into the field.
“He really trained well up here at Saratoga for his debut, and we loved him the first day we ran him. Of course, when you run a maiden in a graded stakes, you’re not overly confident, but when we got the call that we drew in this morning, we talked on the phone and it wasn’t much of a discussion. We were running.”
Balance the Books was last of nine after six furlongs, but he made a furious rush that proved to be properly timed
“Down the backside I saw him winding up for a big run," Brown said. "I knew it would be close, but he got a hard bump from someone leaving the quarter pole, and I thought that would probably cost us the race. In the shadow of the wire, my hope rekindled a bit and we got there. A strong finish by Julien, and I’m grateful for that. Terrific horse.”