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Just A Game Stakes – Chad Brown Barn Runs 5 at Saratoga Seeking 7th Race Win

Jamie Clark
Chad C Brown runs 5 in the Just A Game Stakes

The concept of farming a race isn’t lost on Chad Brown who has a record six wins in the Grade I Just A Game Stakes over the last seven years. This mile turf contest for fillies and mares is a key part of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival with the entire meet moving upstate to Saratoga and his barn running FIVE in this latest edition.

Brown saddles all but two of the 2024 field in the $500,000 supporting race to the Acorn Stakes later on Friday, June 7. Two of his quintet, Beaute Cachee and Chili Flag, arrive in Saratoga Springs off the back of last time out wins. Both began their careers in France.

The pair sporting the world-famous silks of owner-breeders Juddmonte, Coppice and Whitebeam, also started racing across the Atlantic but in the UK. To say Brown is mob-handed in the Just A Game Stakes would be an understatement.

He has a stranglehold on the female turf milers with the scary strength-in-depth completed by Gina Romantica for last year’s winning owner Peter Brant. Sifting through these fillies and mares is a job for the Belmont Stakes Betting Sites‘ handicappers:

Five Chad Brown Just A Game Stakes Runners in Profile

Beaute Cachee

Beaute Cachee silks

  • Age: 5yo
  • Foaled: January 25, 2019
  • Sire: Literato
  • Dam: Sign And Seal
  • Damsire: Hurricane Run
  • Breeder: G Vischer
  • Owners: Louis Lazzinnaro, Madaket Stables LLC & Michael Dubb
  • Draw: Gate 2
  • Jockey: Manuel Franco
  • Weight: 124lbs
  • Form: 6492132/42594/12123-1
  • Notable Wins: 2024 Jenny Wiley Stakes
  • Morning Line Odds: 6-1

Never finished out of the show since moving from France. Listed winner on Labor Day Weekend at Monmouth Park and fine third as Brown barn had 1-2-3-4 in Grade I Matriarch Stakes around Del Mar in December. Better than ever when landing Jenny Wiley at Keeneland on reappearance. Made most of the running then and needs similarly positive ride here.

Gina Romantica

Peter Brant silks

  • Age: 5yo
  • Foaled: March 23, 2019
  • Sire: Into Mischief
  • Dam: Special Me
  • Damsire: Unbridled’s Song
  • Breeders: Machmer Hall, Carrie Brogden & Craig Brogden
  • Owner: Peter Brant
  • Draw: Gate 3
  • Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
  • Weight: 124lbs
  • Form: 1614121/4214-7
  • Notable Wins: 2022 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, 2023 First Lady Stakes
  • Morning Line Odds: 3-1

Won Grade I events around Keeneland in the fall the last two years. Only beaten by a length when fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita after First Lady success. Strong stayer at this distance and better than she showed when seventh in the Jenny Wiley. Should strip fitter in the Just A Game Stakes for that reappearance after 161-day winter break.


Juddmonte silks US

  • Age: 4yo
  • Foaled: April 13, 2020
  • Sire: Kingman
  • Dam: Helleborine
  • Damsire: Observatory
  • Breeders: Juddmonte Farms
  • Owners: Juddmonte Farms
  • Draw: Gate 4
  • Jockey: Frankie Dettori
  • Weight: 118lbs
  • Form: 1/0115914-2
  • Notable Wins: 2023 Sandringham Stakes
  • Morning Line Odds: 3-1

Royal Ascot fillies’ handicap winner last summer. Moved across the pond over winter after Listed success and Sun Chariot Stakes fourth at Newmarket. Ran well on Brown stable and US debut when neck second to re-opposing barn buddy Chili Flag in Churchill Downs Grade II latest. Better off at the weights with that one now.

Chili Flag

Madaket Stables silks

  • Age: 5yo
  • Foaled: March 1, 2019
  • Sire: Cityscape
  • Dam: Flag Day
  • Damsire: Pivotal
  • Breeders: Finanza Locale Consulting SRL
  • Owners: Madaket Stables LLC, Michael Dubb & Michael E Kisber
  • Draw: Gate 6
  • Jockey: Irad Ortiz
  • Weight: 122lbs
  • Form: 122/146255/231221-611
  • Notable Wins: 2024 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile
  • Morning Line Odds: 4-1

Better than ever this spring with Gulfstream Park Grade III and Churchill Downs Grade II victories. Won both by a neck, but carries penalty for latest success. Turned tables on Mission Of Joy, one of the few Just A Game Stakes runners not trained by Brown this year, when last in action. Worse off at the weights with Coppice, however.


Juddmonte silks US

  • Age: 5yo
  • Foaled: March 5, 2019
  • Sire: Caravaggio
  • Dam: Sleep Walk
  • Damsire: Oasis Dream
  • Breeders: Juddmonte Farms
  • Owners: Juddmonte Farms
  • Draw: Gate 7
  • Jockey: Flavien Prat
  • Weight: 124lbs
  • Form: 311129/21144-2
  • Notable Wins: 2023 Diana Stakes
  • Morning Line Odds: 5-2

Grade I course winner over further last summer. Carried a penalty every race since. No match for Gina Romantica when fourth in the First Lady in the fall. Head behind Beaute Cachee when filling same spot in Matriarch Stakes. Suspicion is that, despite speedy pedigree, she is better at nine furlongs and beyond. Flavien Prat back aboard after neck second in Grade III company under Irad Ortiz last time.

Other Just A Game Stakes Runners 2024

If one of the five from the Brown barn doesn’t win this race, then he will rightly feel disappointed. There is opposition from outside of his stables, however, with a filly and mare representing other connections in the line-up.

Mission Of Joy

RyZan Racing silks

  • Age: 4yo
  • Foaled: March 31, 2020
  • Sire: Kitten’s Joy
  • Dam: Smart Mission
  • Damsire: Smart Strike
  • Breeder: Sam-Son Farm
  • Owners: RyZan Sun Racing LLC & Madaket Stables LLC
  • Draw: Gate 1
  • Jockey: John Velazquez
  • Trainer: H Graham Motion
  • Weight: 120lbs
  • Form: 91/1131743-54
  • Notable Wins: 2023 Florida Oaks
  • Morning Line Odds: 12-1

Dual Grade III winner last year and length third in Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup. Has a chance if repeating that Keeneland run, but only fifth and fourth in two Grade II races this season. Needs to improve in a hot edition of the Just A Game Stakes on recent evidence.

Evvie Jets

Evvie Jets silks

  • Age: 6yo
  • Foaled: April 24, 2018
  • Sire: Twirling Candy
  • Dam: Natchez Trace
  • Damsire: Consolidator
  • Breeders: Farfellow Farms Ltd
  • Owners: The Estate of Robert J Amendola
  • Draw: Gate 5
  • Jockey: Dylan Davis
  • Trainer: Mertkan Kantarmaci
  • Weight: 122lbs
  • Form: 344/4312261/4212212/161613-8
  • Notable Wins: 2023 Balliston Spa Stakes
  • Morning Line Odds: 15-1

Another course winner, but in Grade II company over the extended mile last summer. Looked one-paced in third behind Gina Romantica, but home in front of Whitebeam in the First Lady. Plenty to find with Chili Flag and Coppice when a poor eighth on return to action at Churchill Downs. Oldest runner in the field.

Past Chad Brown Trained Just A Game Stakes Winners

Here are the six fillies and mares representing the Brown barn to have won the race before:

  • In Italian (2023), 5yo
  • Regal Glory (2022), 6yo
  • Newspaperofrecord (2020), 4yo
  • Rushing Fall (2019), 4yo
  • A Raving Beauty (2018), 5yo
  • Antonoe (2017), 4yo

Many of the same owners who have had winning horses with Brown before are represented in this year’s edition. Peter Brant of White Birch Farm fame owned the last two Just A Game Stakes winners, while Madaket Stables and Michael Dubb both had shares in 2018 heroine A Raving Beauty. Powerful global owner-breeders Juddmonte teamed up with Brown in 2017 here too.

WATCH: In Italian Give Chad Brown a 6th Just A Game Stakes Winner


Jamie Clark

After more than a decade of picking winners for the biggest races on the planet, pro handicapper Jamie Clark has been involved with our Belmont Stakes project right from the start. A thoroughbred pedigree expert, he has the knowledge of all the horses taking part in this and other major events across the USA and beyond.