Horses

Maram a dream come true for trio

ARCADIA, Calif. — Notes and observations from the first day of the 25th Breeders' Cup:

Best debut

Her name in Arabic translates into "Destiny, wish or dream" and for the connections of Maram she couldn't carry a more appropriate moniker.

When the daughter of Sahm won a photo-finish over Heart Shaped in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf, it was the first Breeders' Cup win on the first try for the team of owner Karen Woods, jockey Jose Lezcano and trainer Chad Brown.

Brown, a former assistant to Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, went out on his own in November 2007, shortly after saddling Ginger Punch to victory in that year's Breeders' Cup Distaff in Frankel's absence.

Lezcano launched his career in January 2003 after moving from his native Panama, and Maram is the only horse in Woods' stable.

"It's exactly what her name means, a wish and a dream right now," Woods said.

The emotion surrounding Brown's first Breeders' Cup win as the trainer of record was not just related to what took place on the track. The New York native lost his grandfather earlier in the week and had to miss the funeral that took place Friday.

"There has been a lot of highs and lows," Brown said. "It was a family decision; he wanted me to be here. And I did get to see him about six days before he passed.

"I don't think this filly gets a lot of respect because I ran her for a claiming tag first time. But she's a good filly, trust me."

Best use of alcohol

Following her win in the Grade I First Lady Stakes at Keeneland, trainer Jonathan Sheppard boldly stated Forever Together gets a pint of Guinness in her feed as part of her training regimen.

The daily imbibing apparently has the 4-year-old filly in top form as she duplicated that effort Friday to win the $2 million Filly and Mare Turf.

Sheppard began giving Forever Together Guinness to combat her nerves and help sweat out some of her anxiety.

"She had a non-sweating problem. She just got real sour and didn't want to train very much," Sheppard said. "So we thought we're going to try something different.

"I noticed that people who drink a lot of beer tend to sweat a lot."

Best non-winning effort

The Jimmy Jerkens-trained Zaftig finished a game third in the Filly and Mare Sprint in her first start since winning the Grade I Acorn Stakes at Belmont on June 7.

The daughter of Gone West was sidelined by a stress fracture in her left front leg after that win, but she had trained strongly in the weeks leading up to the Breeders' Cup.

"She may have gotten a little tired because she hasn't raced since June and had to run pretty fast to keep pace," Jerkens said. "She tried hard. She's a classy filly."

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