For the second day in a row since being treated for a slight quarter crack Belmont Stakes (gr. I) favorite Big Brown was out on the track, galloping 1 1/8 miles at Belmont Park on Wednesday, May 28. The colt just jogged on Tuesday.
With regular exercise rider Michelle Nevin aboard, the Boundary colt went to the track around 9 a.m. for a good, solid gallop.
Ian McKinlay, the hoof specialist who has been treating the colt who has a chance of becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, said the colt’s injury continues to improve.
“Obviously we’re being cautious, but he is right on track,” McKinlay said. “He is not quick healer, as he has shown with his other injuries.”
McKinlay said the area where the colt had an abscess has drained and “you can go around the hairline and where there was an abscess, it drained, so you have a pocket; you can feel that little hole, and that's the best case scenario, because thats what can go wrong when you fix quarter cracks. The foot is cleaned out, and both feet had the same temperature, which is what you're loooking for. When one is warmer than the other is when you have a problem. The skin is drying right out and the horse seems fabulous.”
McKinlay said a “wire lace” used to close the quarter crack will stay in until a patch is put on the area,. He said no decision has been on when that will be done, but they do not want to do it too quickly.
“Right now, everything is healing naturally, which is what you want to see,” McKinlay said.
"When he got to the track, he was bouncing a little, and we didn't want him to do too much," Nevin said. "For the first furlong he was a little rough, but after that he settled right down and relaxed and let go of the bit. He hasn't lost a pound since the Preakness. He's eating everything and doesn't look like a horse who just had two big races back-to-back."
Another Belmont possible starter, Tomcito worked Wednesday, going seven furlongs in 1:29 4/5. Since winning four of his first five starts in Peru, the colt is winless in three U.S. starts, with his best effort a third-place finish in Big Brown’s Florida Derby (gr. I) romp.