by Kelsey Riley
Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) winner and 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) starter Big Truck was euthanized after suffering an injury while training at Tampa Bay Downs March 4.
Big Truck, a 5-year-old son of Hook and Ladder out of the Go for Gin mare Just a Ginny, was a two-time stakes winner while racing against the best of his crop for owner Eric Fein. Big Truck showed his talent early, breaking his maiden in August 2007 in his first start by 6 1/2 lengths at Saratoga for trainer Barclay Tagg, and added the restricted Bertram F. Bongard Stakes to his record in his second start.
After a strong second in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay as a 3-year-old, Big Truck raced on to the Triple Crown scene with a win in the Tampa Bay Derby, a race in which he is best remembered for delivering 2-year-old champion War Pass his first defeat. Big Truck was unplaced in both the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) and the Kentucky Derby.
“He was a great horse with tremendous potential who unfortunately didn’t get to show it in his later years,” Fein said. “He was great as a 2- and 3-year-old, and unfortunately he took a bad step and that was it.”
Big Truck did not race in 2009, and was turned over to trainer Derek Ryan in the fall of last year. His most recent effort was a last-place finish in a $20,500 allowance race at Tampa Bay Jan. 29.
Ryan couldn't be immediately reached to comment on the nature of the injury.
Fein purchased Big Truck at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training for $90,000 from Niall Brennan Stables, agent.