Brown-trained Rising Stars Considered for Florida Derby Day Stakes
By Ed Gray
BOYNTON BEACH, FL – Trainer Chad Brown will not get to saddle his undefeated star Awesome Feather Saturday on Florida Derby Day. But the 34-year-old Upstate New York native may very well be represented by a couple of rising stars on the same day.
Self Control and Corporate Jungle, impressive winners in their most recent starts, are being considered for the $100,000 Skip Away (G3) and $100,000 Appleton (G3) on the Florida Derby (G1) undercard.
A late-developing son of Lemon Drop Kid, Self Control would be making his stakes debut in the 1 3/16-mile Skip Away after putting it all together to capture a 1 1/8-mile allowance by 2 ¼ lengths.
“We’ve been experimenting with stretching him out. We made some changes to him, equipment-wise, and he ran in a straight line last time. He’d been wanting to lug in. It was frustrating because he wouldn’t run in a straight line. His last start, he finished professional and Javier (Castellano) rode him terrific.”
Self Control broke his maiden at Saratoga in a seven-furlong sprint in his first start on dirt after a pair of turf outings. Gary and Mary West’s homebred, who concluded his juvenile campaign with a fourth-place finish in the mud at Belmont, finished second in a pair of one-turn, one-mile allowance races at Gulfstream before stretching out successfully last time out.
“The older he gets, he’s developing. He’s always been a horse we felt had a lot of talent. He had some physical problems earlier in his career that we had to get past, and since then there’s been some mental issues with him, getting him to focus,” Brown said. “Now, he’s finally getting it all together.”
Brown nominated three horses, including Big Blue Kitten and Casino Host, for the Appleton, but is considering saddling Corporate Jungle for his stakes debut in the mile turf stakes.
“His last race over the Gulfstream turf course was really, really good,” Brown said.
The 4-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway also broke his maiden at Saratoga in his third start before returning from a five-month layoff to finish second in an allowance at Gulfstream on Jan. 18. Corporate Jungle came back a month later to score by 2 ¼ lengths under Javier Castellano.
“He ran a tremendous race at Saratoga last summer, then he had a little minor issue and needed some time off,” Brown said. “He’s done so well in his two races at Gulfstream, so we might take a shot in there.”