Public Sector battles Never Surprised for the win in the 2021 Hill Prince (Susie Raisher)
Tom Luicci/Monmouth Park
OCEANPORT, N.J.— Luis Cabrera has managed trainer Chad Brown’s division at Monmouth Park long enough to expect success every year. But even he knows you have to take time to enjoy a special stretch of winning when it comes along.
Brown’s runners are in the midst of just that after two weekends at the Jersey Shore track.
Heading into Saturday’s 12-race program – the start of a three-day Memorial Day weekend of live racing – Brown, a four-time Eclipse Award winner, has won with five of his first eight starters.
There’s a good chance he will add to that dazzling 62.5 percent win rate, too, when he sends out multiple graded stakes winner Public Sector in the featured $100,000 Cliffhanger Stakes. The 43rd running of the Cliffhanger, for 3-year-olds and up, will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass.
Cabrera will also send out speedster Conseillante for Brown in a Maiden Special Weight dash at 4½ furlongs in the fifth race.
“It’s fun,” Cabrera said of the early success. “You work hard and it’s a nice reward when the horses are running well. It’s why you work hard.”
Of the five winners so far from Brown’s stable, three have won Maiden Special Weight races while Distinctlypossible captured the Serena’s Song Stakes.
“I’m not surprised (by the MSW wins),” said Cabrera. “They show you in the morning that they have ability. So, you kind of know what you have. What they have done doesn’t surprise me because of that.”
Public Sector, a 5-year-old owned by Klaravich Stables, heads a seven-horse field in the Cliffhanger Stakes.
Bred in Great Britain, Public Sector won four of seven races, with two seconds, in 2021, including three graded stakes. He earned $533,000 that year.
But the son of Kingman was 0-for-6 last year and has not raced since Oct. 9 when he was fifth in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker during the Belmont at Aqueduct meet.
Not that a long layoff is an issue for Brown-trained horses, since he wins at a 31 percent clip off layoffs of 180 days or more.
“He will ship in the day of the race,” said Cabrera said of Public Sector. “He has been working at Saratoga so he will van in Saturday morning.”
Brown’s fast start at Monmouth Park looks to be little more than an extension of last year, when he won with 17 of 57 starters (29.8 percent) at the meet and was in the money 66.7 percent of the time. He led all Monmouth Park trainers in earnings in 2022 with $2,105,775 banked.
This year’s string at Monmouth Park started with 57 horses. But the blazing start may change that.
“He’s so happy that he’s sending more horses here,” Cabrera said. “The horses are really running well here.”