Bricks and Mortar not only maintained his own supremacy in the turf male division and his position on top in the 2019 Horse of the Year race, but capped off a Grade 1 hat trick for trainer Chad Brown at Arlington on Saturday with a victory in the $1 million Arlington Million (G1).
On the heels of victories by stablemates Sistercharlie in her title defense of the Beverly D. (G1) and Valid Point in his stakes debut score in the Secretariat (G1), Bricks and Mortar improved his record to five-for-five on the year with a historic win in the Million.
At a $3 mutuel the shortest priced winner in the 37-year history of the event, Bricks and Mortar was Brown’s fourth winner in the race, breaking a three-way tie between him and Hall of Fame conditioners Charlie Whittingham and Ron McAnally.
Sixth early in the field of nine under Irad Ortiz Jr., Bricks and Mortar was no more than four lengths behind the pace-setting Bandua, who carved out fractions of :24.45, :48.65, 1:12.94, and 1:36.80 on the firm turf. Behind rivals and waiting for a seam to open in upper stretch, Bricks and Mortar found one and swung out into the three path to make his bid. He easily wore down the European filly Magic Wand, who had passed Bandua inside the final sixteenth, and won going away by three parts of a length.
Owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, Bricks and Mortars covered 1 1/4 miles in 1:59.44. Magic Wand finished second, one length ahead of Bandua, with 2018 Million winner Robert Bruce, also trained by Brown, another length behind in fourth.
Bricks and Mortar kicked off his 2019 campaign with a 2 1/2-length win over Magic Wand in the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) at Gulfstream, but had his toughest battle of the season in the Muniz Memorial (G2) at Fair Grounds when getting the nod by a nose over longshot Markitoff. It was back to winning more seven-figure stakes in his next two starts, a half-length decision in the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs and the Manhattan (G1) at Belmont Park by 1 1/2 lengths over Robert Bruce.
At three, Bricks and Mortar won the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) and $100,000 Manila before narrowly missing in both the Saranac (G3) and Hill Prince (G3), his only losses to date. He was sidelined for more than a year after the latter race, returning to action this past December with an allowance victory at Gulfstream. He’s bankrolled $4,885,650 from a line of 12-10-0-2.
The Million was a “Win & You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge race for the 1 1/2-mile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita in November. Bricks and Mortar has yet to race beyond 10 furlongs.
Bred in Kentucky by George Strawbridge, Bricks and Mortar is by Giant’s Causeway and out of Group 2-placed stakes winner Beyond the Waves, by Ocean Crest. Beyond the Waves has also reared Grade 3 winner Emerald Beech and multiple stakes winner Beyond Smart.