ALBANY, N.Y. — A prominent New York-based horse trainer whose Early Voting won this year’s Preakness Stakes is facing a domestic violence charge for allegedly pushing a woman down a flight of stairs and trying to choke her, authorities said.
Chad Brown, 43, was arraigned in Saratoga Springs on a charge of obstruction of breathing, a misdemeanor.
Police received a complaint at around 11 p.m. Wednesday from a caller who said “they were in an altercation with Mr. Brown,” Saratoga Springs Police Sergeant Paul Veitch said. Brown was arrested and spent the night in a police holding area pending arraignment.
Assistant District Attorney Kayla Potter told the judge that Brown pushed the woman down the stairs, pinned her to the floor and tried to choke her before throwing her out of the house.
Brown pleaded not guilty and was released on $2,500 bond, Veitch said. A message seeking comment was left with Brown’s attorney.
Brown is well known in the horse racing community. He owns a horse racing company called Chad C. Brown Inc., and his horses won the Preakness in 2017 and 2022. He is also a four-time Eclipse Award winner as the nation’s best trainer.
Brown has had troubles with the law in recent years. In 2019, Brown was ordered to pay more than $1.6 million after the U.S. Department of Labor found he failed to pay his company staff overtime wages.
In an email Thursday, the New York Racing Association said it was aware of the charges and deferred comment to police in Saratoga Springs. The not-for-profit entity is authorized by the state to operate thoroughbred racing and wagering at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga racetracks.
NEW YORK — Forte, the early Kentucky Derby favorite who was scratched on the day of the race, worked out in preparation for a possible start in the Belmont Stakes on June 10.
Under regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr., Forte worked five-eighths of a mile for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. It was the colt’s second workout since being scratched from the Derby on May 6.
“It seems like he’s maintained his fitness level,” Pletcher said. “It seems like everything is in good order.”
Forte was placed on a mandatory 14-day veterinary list after being scratched from the Derby because of a bruised right front foot. In order to be removed from the list, the colt had to work in front of a state veterinarian and give a blood sample afterward, the results of which take five days.
“There’s protocols in place and we had to adhere to those and we’re happy that everything went smoothly,” Pletcher said. “We felt confident the horse was in good order or we wouldn’t have been out there twice in the last six days, but you still want to make sure everything went smoothly and we’re happy everything did go well.”
Pletcher said Kingsbarns, who finished 14th in the Kentucky Derby, will miss the Belmont. The colt is showing signs of colic, although he is fine, the trainer said.
Another Pletcher-trained horse, Prove Worthy, is under consideration for the Belmont. He also has Tapit Trice, who finished seventh in the Derby, being pointed toward the Belmont.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal judge has granted Churchill Downs’ motion for summary judgment that dismisses Bob Baffert’s claim the track breached due process by suspending the Hall of Fame trainer for two years.
Churchill Downs Inc. suspended Baffert in June 2021 after his now-deceased colt, Medina Spirit, failed a postrace drug test after crossing the finish line first in the 147th Kentucky Derby. The trainer’s request to lift the discipline was denied in February, keeping him out of the Derby for a second consecutive May.
U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings ruled in a 12-page opinion issued Wednesday that Churchill Downs’ suspension of Baffert did not devalue his Kentucky trainer’s license. It cited his purse winnings exceeding $1 million at Keeneland in Lexington and stated that his argument “amounts to a false analogy that distorts caselaw.”
Jennings denied CDI’s motion to stay discovery as moot.
The decision comes less than a week after Baffert-trained colt National Treasure won the Preakness in his first Triple Crown race in two years. His record eighth win in the second jewel of the Triple Crown came hours after another of his horses, Havnameltdown, was euthanized following an injury at Pimlico.
Churchill Downs said in a statement that it was pleased with the court’s favorable ruling as in Baffert’s other cases.
It added, “While he may choose to file baseless appeals, this completes the seemingly endless, arduous and unnecessary litigation proceedings instigated by Mr. Baffert.”
Baffert’s suspension is scheduled to end on June 2, but the track’s release noted its right to extend it “and will communicate our decision” at its conclusion.