Chad Brown, Horse Racing Trainer, Faces Domestic Violence Charge in New York

Award-winning thoroughbred trainer Chad Brown faces a domestic violence charge after he was arrested in Saratoga Springs, NY, on Wednesday night.

Thoroughbred trainer Chad Brown (right) appears in a Saratoga Springs, NY courtroom Thursday after he was charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, a misdemeanor. The charge stems from allegations he attacked a woman at his house in the upstate New York town. (Image: Surbrina Dhammi-WNYT/Twitter)

Brown, who trained this year’s Preakness winner Early Voting, appeared in court Thursday and was released on $2,500 bail. He’s charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, a class A misdemeanor in New York.

If convicted, Brown could be sentenced to a year in jail.

According to reports, Brown allegedly pushed a woman down steps at his upstate New York home Wednesday night. He’s also accused of holding her down on the ground and choking her before forcing her out of the house.

Brown’s lawyer said in court Thursday that Brown was acting in self-defense after the woman broke into the house.

A native of New York, Brown is a fixture on the thoroughbred circuit in the state. Currently, races are being held at Saratoga Race Course, one of three tracks operated by NYRA.

“NYRA is aware of the charge brought against trainer Chad Brown today and will defer additional comment on this matter to the Saratoga Springs Police Department,” the association said in a statement to Thursday.

A four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer, Brown is best known for his turf horses, having won a dozen Breeders’ Cup races on the grass. He’s also won the Arlington Million, one of the premier turf races in the US, four times.

According to Equibase, in 8,882 starts, Brown’s horses have posted 2,260 wins and finished in the money in 5,260 races or 59.2% of the time.

PETA Sounds Off

Brown’s arrest led to PETA issuing a statement noting this wasn’t the first time the trainer has been in trouble with authorities. In 2019, the US Department of Labor ordered him to pay $1.6 million in back pay and penalties after the agency found he violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and provisions of the H-2B visa program.

Kathy Guillermo, the animal rights group’s senior vice president, also noted in the statement that Brown trained three of the nine horses that have died at Saratoga this season.

Racing needs to boot out all unethical, violent abusers, and New Yorkers shouldn’t have to prop up the cruelty of this industry with $230 million in subsidies every year,” Guillermo said.

Animal welfare groups and some New York lawmakers have questioned why the racing industry receives millions of dollars annually. Both NYRA and New York horsemen dispute the notion that money is a subsidy.

Major Race Ahead for Brown

The domestic violence charge against Brown comes just before one of the biggest races of the year, the Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

Brown is expected to have a significant presence in the stakes race for 3-year-olds. Early Voting and Zandon, who won the Blue Grass Stakes and finished third in the Kentucky Derby, is also considered probable starters. Brown may also field a third horse in the race with Artorius, who started racing in April and has two wins in three starts.

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