My interview with the late Bobby Frankel today on his former assistant Chad Brown? It would go something like this:
SH: So Bobby, what do you make of your boy Chad Brown? Could you have envisioned the amazing success he's had?
BF: Why do you think I had him saddle Ginger Punch in the Breeders' Cup Distaff when the love of my life, Happy, was dying and I couldn't leave her? You think I would have trusted just anybody with that?
SH: Yeah, Bobby, but he caught fire so quickly.
BF: Well, who do you think did all the post-race interviews after she won and made himself known to the racing world? I put him in the limelight. Everyone got to know him.
SH: How about the all-star team of fillies he's put together, like Lady Eli, Sistercharlie, Rushing Fall, Awesome Feather, Wow Cat, Dunbar Road, Guarana, Stephanie's Kitten, Dayatthespa, Zagora, Dacita, Maram, Fourstar Crook, Uni, Rymska, Stacelita, A Raving Beauty, Newspaperofrecord, Antonoe, Sea Calisi, Watsdachances, and Cambier Parc, just to name a few?
BF: Yeah, nice bunch, but they couldn't hold a candle to Toussaud, Sightseek, Ginger Punch, Megahertz, Flute, Keeper Hill, Intercontinental, Ventura, Starine, Tates Creek, Heat Haze, Possibly Perfect, Precious Kitten, Stardom Bound, Ryafan, Price Tag, Wandesta, Happyanunoit, Metamorphose, Double Wedge, Citronnade, Aberuschka, Etoile Montante, Shir Dar, Guiza, and Chapel of Dreams. But who's counting?
SH: Well, remember, he's also won a classic, taking the Preakness with Cloud Computing.
BF: How long have you been in this game? I gotta teach you. If you think Cloud Computing could come within eight lengths of Empire Maker you're out of your mind. And I shoulda won the damn Derby with him. If he didn't come down with a foot bruise Derby week he would have won the Triple Crown for sure.
SH: Well, Chad also finished second in the Derby with Good Magic.
BF: Yeah, like he was better than Empire Maker. And ever hear of a horse called Aptitude? Come on, give me a break. He was second in the Derby and won The Jockey Club Gold Cup by 10 freakin' lengths.
SH: You have to admit, Chad has been unbelievable with male grass horses as well as the females. What about Flintshire, Bricks and Mortar, Big Blue Kitten, Real Solution, Slumber, Wake Forest, Robert Bruce, Beach Patrol, Bobby's Kitten, and Desert Blanc, again, just to name a few?
BF: What are we going tit for tat now? OK, let me throw these names at you--Exbourne, Cacique, Beat Hollow, Chester House, Denon, Timboroa, Senure, King's Drama, Mashkour, Raintrap, Midships. You want me to keep going?
SH: Chad did win the Haskell with Good Magic.
BF: Ever hear of Peace Rules?
SH: Chad would love nothing more than to win the Travers and he's got two in there this year.
BF: Ever hear of Medaglia d'Oro? Been there, done that.
SH: For anyone who doesn't think Chad can train 2-year-olds with the best of 'em, he won the two most historic juvenile races, the Hopeful and Champagne with the same horse, Practical Joke. And he even won another Champagne with Complexity. And he won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with Good Magic.
BF: They said I couldn't train 2-year-olds, but, hey, not only did I also win the Hopeful and Champagne with the same horse, Vineyard Haven, I owned majority interest in him and sold him for a trillion dollars to Sheikh Mo.
SH: Bobby, you won five Breeders' Cup races. Chad not only has already won 12, but he's won the Juvenile Fillies Turf alone five times.
BF: I thought you knew something about racing. When I was training there was no Juvenile Fillies Turf and there was no Turf Sprint, which Chad has won, and the Filly and Mare Sprint, which Chad has also won, came right before the end of my career and I still managed to win it.
SH: What about all those stakes Chad has won multiple times, like six Beverly D's, five Dianas, and four Arlington Millions.
BF: Uh, are you aware I won the Matriarch Stakes and Yellow Ribbon Handicap eight times, the Pacific Classic six times, the Charlie Whittingham and Eddie Read seven times? For those who think I was mostly a grass trainer, like they do Chad, I won the Woodward and Met Mile each four times and the Whitney twice. I also won a race called the Breeders' Cup Classic, not to mention the Distaff and Sprint.
SH: Come on, Bobby, you trained a lot longer than Chad.
BF: Look, don't get me wrong, he's a great trainer and he's going to join me one day in the Hall of Fame. He's going to win his fourth straight Eclipse Award this year. Of course, I won five and also won four in a row, but I'm sure he'll break that.
SH: Alright, Bobby, we get it. You're just being Bobby. I know you well enough to know what a softie you are beneath that crusty exterior. Are you going to tell me you're not proud of what Chad has accomplished?
BF: Are you kidding? I'm proud as hell of him. He's worked hard to get where he is and line up top clients, just as I did, especially with Juddmonte. And he knows how to manage a big stable, how to deal with owners, and certainly knows how to train good horses. He deserves all the success he's gotten.
SH: Glad to hear you admit that, Bobby.
BF: Why shouldn't I admit it? You're forgetting one important thing. He learned from the best.