Big Brown in Sharp Work for Haskell
by Steve Haskin
Date Posted: 7/21/2008 1:36:36 PM
Last Updated: 7/22/2008 3:02:12 PM

Big Brown, shown working in June, continues to train in anticipation of a start in the Aug. 3 Haskell (gr. I) at Monmouth Park.
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Big Brown continues to step it up in the mornings, working five furlongs in :59 1/5 at Aqueduct Sunday in company with True Dancer. It was the colt’s fourth work since the Belmont Stakes, with each one a big improvement over the previous one. 

Aqueduct clockers actually timed Big Brown in 1:12 2/5 for six furlongs, but IEAH co-president Michael Iavarone said the colt worked five furlongs and galloped out six, finishing five lengths ahead of True Dancer, “a nice older horse” who was clocked in 1:13 2/5. Big Brown’s gallop-out time was a strong :13 1/5.

The son of Boundary is right on target for the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Aug. 3.

“He worked awesome,” Iavarone said. “Michelle (Nevin) broke him a length behind True Dancer. She said she drafted him in behind him True Dancer and he sat there nice and quiet. When she took him to the outside at the three-eighths pole he absolutely blew by the other horse, and she couldn't even pull him up after the work. We're over the moon. He's right on course and hasn't missed a beat. The 3rd can’t come soon enough.”

Big Brown is scheduled to have one more serious work next weekend, and may blow out a couple of days before the Haskell.

Iavarone, although disappointed losing the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) by a nose with Court Vision, was thrilled with the colt's performance, and feels this race may have woken him up. As a result, they are going to "take a shot and go turf to dirt" and point the son of Gulch to the Travers Stakes (gr. I).

"I don't know if he's good enough to win, but it's worth a shot," Iavarone said. "We'll see if we can catch some lightning. That would be huge; that would make our year. He had been a major disappointment, but maybe now he's got his head right." 

Although the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) would seem to be the next logical step for Court Vision, IEAH may still be reperesented in the race. They are in the process of finalizing a deal to purchase Michael Tabor's Plan, a regally bred son of Storm Cat out of Spain who is coming off a victory in the 1 1/8-mile Keeneland International Stakes at the Curragh on July 12 for trainer Aidan O'Brien.



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