The chances of Big Brown getting trapped for such a prolonged period of time that it would prove costly are negligible compared to the chances of him getting caught wide on the first turn, which could indeed prove costly.
Forget what they say about Pimlico’s turns. When you get caught wide on
When Dutrow says “post position will not get his horse beat,” he most likely is correct, especially drawing the rail. The only way the rail could hurt him is if the inside is very deep and he is unable to get to the outside. You can be sure track superintendent John Passero will have the rail in good shape. The other way is if the opposing jockeys gang up on Desormeaux and intentionally keep him trapped at the risk of jeopardizing their own chances, which also is highly unlikely. Big Brown simply is too push-button and responds so well to whatever the rider wants him to do. At some point Big Brown will get off the rail. It could come early, just as it did when Jerry Bailey steered Empire Maker off the inside going into the first turn and put him in a perfect position outside Funny Cide in the 2003 Belmont Stakes.
If there is a concern it is having a maiden right outside him. As soon as it was announced that a maiden was entered in the
Does Seitz have a right to run his horse? The rules say he does. The horse was beaten a nose going 1 1/2 miles on the turf in his last start and he has a ton of stamina in his female family. And a maiden did finish third in the 2005 Belmont Stakes. So, he can make a case for it. But the horse has been mediocre on dirt and at shorter distances and is totally overmatched in class. The bottom line is that no one can stop someone from running his horse. All we can hope is that this particular horse doesn’t alter the course of history.
Getting back to Big Brown, hoof specialist Ian McKinlay was enjoying breakfast in The Morning Line kitchen and had good reason to smile. McKinlay, after having examined Big Brown’s quarter crack earlier, said: “Perfect. It’s a done deal. When I pressed on it this morning I knew we had turned the corner. We’ll patch it on Friday and it will be a non issue.”
A walk in the rain
It may sound strange, but with so few Belmont horses at Belmont Park this week, one of the highlights was watching the three Japanese horses, led by Casino Drive, walk around the paddock for 45-50 minutes under the watchful eye of trainer Kazuo Fujisawa, who arrived Tuesday night. That’s a highlight you ask? The answer is an emphatic ‘yes.’ When the Japanese horses walk it is a highlight.
If there is any question about the fitness of Casino Drive, all one had to do was stand in the paddock and watch the clip at which he walks and how long he and stablemates Spark Candle and Champagne Squall sustain that pace. At one point during their walk, three Jimmy Toner-trained horses entered the ring and began walking well ahead of the Japanese horses. In a short time, the Japanese trio were right on their heels. If this were an auto race they would have easily lapped them. Jockey Yoshi Aoki on
After the Japanese horses passed, they resumed their walk, and several minutes later, here was
The three horses then left the track and walked briskly through the stable area for another 30-40 minutes. These horses are happy, relaxed, and extremely well conditioned. Anyone who dismisses
Denis and Macho arrive
Finally some new faces. Denis of Cork, third in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), and Macho Again, second in the Preakness (gr. I), arrived from