Chad Brown has long believed Beach Patrol was one of the most consistent horses in his barn.
Now he's one of the best horses in the Eclipse Award-winning trainer's star-studded stable.
Leaving nothing to chance, Beach Patrol drew off in the stretch from a field of international rivals to record a resounding five-length win in the $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1T) Sept. 30 at Belmont Park.
The victory came on the heels of a half-length triumph in the Aug. 12 Arlington Million XXXV Stakes (G1T) that ended a perplexing six-race losing streak and had earned Beach Patrol a fees-paid spot in the $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T) Nov. 4 at Del Mar.
"For a horse that faced a lot of question marks about his ability at a mile-and-a-half, he was mighty impressive today. He showed he can run all day," Brown said. "He handled the little cut in the ground from the rain we had today, but he's not the kind of horse that shows me he needs that. If anything, he's a firm-ground horse. I'm not as worried about him handling the track at Del Mar as I am the competition. He'll face the top horses in the world but he deserves a spot with them. He'll be formidable."
Brown, the nation's premier turf trainer, could have a second starter in the World Championships in Fanciful Angel. Privately purchased by a group including Michael Dubb, Head of Plains Partners, Madaket Stables, and Bethlehem Stables after a runner-up finish in the Arlington Million and transferred to Brown, Fanciful Angel grabbed second by a nose over the 3-year-old multiple grade 1 winner Oscar Performance, whose three-race winning streak came to an end.
"I want to take a look at Fanciful Angel," Brown said. "If I see improvement in him between now and then, it's worth considering the Breeders' Cup Turf. He's a work in progress."
Beach Patrol, owned by a partnership of Sol Kumin and Jay Hanley's Sheep Pond Partners, James Covello and Kumin's Head of Plains Partnerships, was much like Fanciful Angel not too long ago. After winning the Secretariat Stakes (G1T) at Arlington International Racecourse a year ago, the son of Lemon Drop Kid finished second in three of his next four races, a stretch that included this year's Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (G1T) and the Hollywood Derby (G1T) last December.
The slide continued with a fourth in the June 10 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Stakes (G1T) and a third in the United Nations Stakes (G1T) in July at Monmouth Park in July. Yet in all six of those losses, Beach Patrol showed some courage and determination, losing by less than 1 3/4 lengths in all of them.
"I usually don't make excuses for my horses, but he had some unfavorable trips," said Brown. "He was very unlucky in some spots."
Brown also made a wise move before the Arlington Million, reuniting Beach Patrol with jockey Joel Rosario for the first time since June of the colt's 3-year-old season. The rider switch worked wonders as Beach Patrol snapped his six-race losing streak with a determined half-length win in the Million.
The Joe Hirsch took the partnership to new heights as Rosario masterfully kept Beach Patrol in second as outclassed 147-1 longshot Converge dashed out to a seven-length lead after a quick half-mile in :48.23, then steered his mount to the front approaching the quarter pole and pulled away to an easy victory in the stretch.
"When we moved him over to Joel and Joel got to know him, particularly in his last two starts, he's really found some chemistry with this horse," Brown said. "Their relationship has had a lot to do with Beach Patrol's success in the second half of the year."
Rosario called Beach Patrol's win an impressive turn of foot, adding "he just kept moving forward, moving forward and then turning for home, I could see he wasn't going to quit. He gives you everything he has."
Fanciful Angel nosed out Oscar Performance for runner-up honors. Sadler's Joy, Ascend, Channel Maker, Tricked Up, Money Multiplier, The Grey Gatsby, Mekhtaal, and Converge completing the order of finish.
The final time for 1 1/2-mile test on the firm turf was 2:26.29.
The win was the fifth in 16 starts for Beach Patrol, who now has earnings of $1,756,945. Sent off as the 5-1 fourth-choice in the wagering, he paid $12 to win
Bred by Nancy Shuford in Kentucky out of the Quiet American mare Bashful Bertie, he was purchased at the 2013 Keeneland November sale for $250,000.