Big Brown Works for Kentucky Derby
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Florida Derby winner Big Brown worked on April 18 at Palm Meadows.
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Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Big Brown, likely favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 at Palm Meadows Friday with regular exercise rider Michelle Nevin aboard.

Owned by IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa, the son of Boundary – Mien, by Nureyev has won all three of his career stakes by a total of 29 lengths, including a five-length score in the Florida Derby.

“He breezed just like he always breezes five-eighths; well within himself, comfortable, no pressure,” trainer Rick Dutrow said. “We’re as happy as we can be with him right now. We don’t need to ask him for any more than that. We don’t even ask him for that. He just gallops around there at his own pace; it’s beautiful. He and Michelle seem to have a little thing going when they get to their breeze. Every time she’s breezed this horse it’s gone great.”

Big Brown galloped out six furlongs in 1:14 2/5. Clockers and observers termed the move "workmanlike."

“Since his last race, and more so in the last couple days, he seems to be getting more aggressive,” said Nevin. “He seems very happy and he’s enjoying himself out there.”

Dutrow said Big Brown will have one more work at Palm Meadows and then fly to Louisiville on April 28.

He decided to train the undefeated colt at Palm Meadows rather than shipping to Churchill Downs early because he and Big Brown are comfortable at Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Boynton Beach.

“I like the track here and he seems to like the track here,” said Dutrow. “I feel great about running over any racetrack right now, but the weather has been really, really good. I could bring him up there, but I want to keep him where I know he’s doing good.”

Dutrow noted that there are no concrete or paved surfaces at Palm Meadows, an important consideration because hoof problems kept Big Brown from racing for six months. Dutrow is cautiously optimistic that those problems are behind the big bay.

“His feet are cold. I’m not feeling a pulse,” he said. “I could not be happier with his feet.

“I’m very excited,” Dutrow added. “I feel like he’s the best horse, and we can’t wait for his next race right now.”

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