‘Enthusiastic’ Chad Brown Appointed To B.E.S.T. Board

There was a time more than a decade ago when Chad Brown was an aspiring horseman who lived on the backstretch of Belmont Park during the summer months. Now, two Eclipse Awards as the nation’s outstanding trainer and 10 Breeders’ Cup victories later, Brown has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Backstretch Employee Service Team (B.E.S.T.), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free health care and social services to 3,000-plus workers at Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga racetracks. He will join the group at its next meeting in August.

“I’m honored that was I was elected to participate in this important organization,” the 39-year-old said. “I look forward to contributing in any way I can to their cause of improving the life of our backstretch family. All my co-workers are like family and B.E.S.T. is a wonderful organization that does so much for them and the entire backside. I’m excited about the possibility of B.E.S.T. continuing to grow and doing even more for all of the backstretch workers.”

A native of Mechanicville, N.Y., Brown views his work with the B.E.S.T. Board of Directors as an opportunity to give back for the help he received when he was an assistant for Hall of Fame trainers Bobby Frankel and Shug McGaughey prior to taking out his trainer’s license in 2007.

“While I worked my way up, I lived on the backside,” he said. “I spent several summers living in a cottage at Belmont Park and participated in activities and formed my first friendships on the backside there that have grown into my extended family.”

Paul Ruchames, Executive Director of B.E.S.T., said he is delighted to have someone of Brown’s prominence on the New York and national levels on the Board of Directors.

“It is of utmost importance to raise awareness for our organization and the work we do, and Chad will be an enormous asset in those efforts,” Ruchames said. “I know he’s enthusiastic about our mission of providing medical care and social services for the backstretch workers. He’s eager to get involved, and that says a lot about him.”

The B.E.S.T. Board is comprised of co-Chairs Rick Violette and James Ranton, as well as Jelena Alonso, William Alempijevic, Andy Belfiore, Tom Durkin, Jimmy Ferraro, Leah Gyarmati, Robert Hughes and Nicole Rudolph-Katz.

Among the free programs for backstretch workers offered by B.E.S.T. are primary healthcare clinics, health and life insurance, transportation and translation services and alcohol and substance abuse counseling.

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