The catalogues for the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale are ripe with potential superstars, but there are a few that will be looked at more closely than most based on famous family members.
Dual-Classic winner Big Brown tops a list of 35 nominations for the Monmouth Stakes, a mile and an eighth turf test to be contested at Monmouth Park Sept. 13.
Big Brown breezed an easy six furlongs in 1:15 3/5 on the grass at Aqueduct Wednesday in preparation for the $500,000 Monmouth Stakes to be run over the Monmouth turf course Sept. 13.
HRTV's weekly series analyzing each division of the Breeders' Cup. This 2008 debut episode includes a discussion of the 2-day format and the Pro-ride surface, an analysis of the Pacific Classic, a look ahead to the Spinaway and the Hopeful and much more.
Gustav Schickedanz's homebred Marlang, winner of the 12-furlong Breeders' Stakes (Can-IRT) in his last effort, offers plenty of intrigue as he takes on seven rivals in the Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) Aug. 31 at Saratoga.
Big Brown turned in an easy five-furlong breeze in 1:04 3/5 on the Aqueduct turf course Aug. 28 in preparation for the $500,000 Monmouth Stakes Sept. 13.
Hosted by Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin, "And They're Off" is a bi-monthly online video series sponsored by Darby Dan Farm. This week's topics include the aftermath of the Travers, Curlin and Big Brown, Synthetic Breeders' Cup, and Genuine Risk.
Michael Iavarone, co-president of IEAH Stables, said Aug. 26 that Jess Jackson, majority owner of Curlin, has turned down their offer to have a match race between Curlin and Big Brown.
Step aside, Allen Jerkens. Bobby Frankel may string up his own slingshot and take on the role of Giant Killer. Frankel said he is considering going up against racing's two-headed monster, Curlin and Big Brown, in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 30 and Monmouth Stakes Sept. 13, respectively.
Dual classic winner Big Brown is scheduled to have his prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) in a turf race at Monmouth Park on Sept. 13, according to Michael Iavarone, co-president and co-CEO of IEAH Stables.
An attempt by Philadelphia Park Racetrack & Casino to lure Big Brown to the PTHA President's Cup Sept. 13, is a no go, according to the colt's minority owner, Paul Pompa Jr.
- By Steve Haskin
Serve Iavarone. Despite the "invitations" by Curlin's majority owner Jess Jackson's to IEAH Stables to run Big Brown in either the Woodward or the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner will remain on schedule for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), and that does not include either race.
Jess Jackson, majority owner of Curlin, responded to the connections of Big Brown Aug. 13 after they declined an invitation to race the reigning Horse of the Year in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I), challenging them instead to meet in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Sept. 27 at Belmont Park. Jackson also stated the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita "is not part of my current plan for Curlin."
- By Steve Haskin
The Big Brown-Curlin soap opera continued Aug. 13 when Jess Jackson, majority owner of 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin, announced he will donate $50,000 from the Jackson Curlin for Kids Fund to the non-profit Belmont Child Care Association, Anna House, if Big Brown runs in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 30.
Timeform, the respected British form/handicapping specialist, assesses America's Horse Of The Year Curlin as the best horse in the world in the Timeform Global Rankings.
According to New York Racing Association Stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes, Acai, Colonel John, Da' Tara, Harlem Rocker, Macho Again, Mambo in Seattle, Pyro, Tale of Ekati, and Tres Borrachos are probable for the Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
Hosted by Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin, "And They're Off" is a bi-monthly online video series sponsored by Darby Dan Farm. This week's topics include Big Brown, an interview with Kenny McPeek, the Hall of Fame, and Lava Man.
Minority owner Paul Pompa Jr. confirmed that Big Brown will not go to Saratoga this summer. The connections will instead look for a turf race for the dual classic winner's next start.
Curlin will make his next start in the $500,000 Woodward (gr. I) Aug. 30 at Saratoga, Stonestreet Stables' Jess Jackson told media members Aug. 5, but the majority owner would not commit to sending the reigning Horse of the Year anywhere after that, including the Breeders' Cup later this year at Santa Anita. Jackson also left the possibility open that Curlin could race next year, saying the chances were "pretty slim, but not foreclosed."
It certainly wasn't as impressive as his wins in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) or Preakness (gr. I), but Big Brown got the job done in the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) before 45,132 spectators at Monmouth Park Aug. 3.
Big Brown arrived quietly on the Monmouth Park backstretch at 8 a.m. Aug. 2 and settled into trainer Rick Dutrow Jr.'s barn as he gets ready for a major test in the $1-million Haskell Invitational Presented by Vonage (gr. I).
Six 3-year-olds, including three stakes winners, have been entered to face dual classic winner Big Brown in the $1-million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) Aug. 3 at Monmouth Park.
Big Brown had his final tune-up Aug. 1 for the $1-million Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I), breezing three furlongs in :38 3/5 on the Aqueduct turf course.
Hosted by Jason Shandler and Tom LaMarra, "That Handicapping Show" is a weekly video show dedicated to horse players. This week, Jason and Tom take a look at the West Virginia Derby. Plus, picks from Cary Fotias of Equiform.
Hosted by Lenny Shulman and Steve Haskin, "And They're Off" is a bi-monthly online video series sponsored by Darby Dan Farm. This week's topics include Hialeah, Jeremy Rose, the second season of racing.
ReRun announced that owners IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr. will have Big Brown participate in the organization's "Running for ReRun" charity at the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park Aug. 3.
Dutrow speaks. Following a brief hiatus, in which he remained pretty much cloistered within the walls of his Aqueduct domain, Rick Dutrow finally has ended his vow of virtual silence and made his voice once again heard via an NTRA teleconference Tuesday.
Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux reached a historic milestone at Saratoga Race Course July 27 when he guided Gumpster Stables' Bella Attrice to win the seventh race and notch his 5,000th career victory.
Dual classic winner Big Brown zipped six furlongs in 1:10 4/5 at Aqueduct July 26 under exercise rider Michelle Nevin.
All-sources handle declined 2.2% during the recently-concluded Belmont Park Spring/Summer meet, the New York Racing Association announced July 23.
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.
A total of 33 horses have been invited to the 41st running of Monmouth Park's $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I), with Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown expected to head the field in the 1 1/8-mile event Aug. 3.
They are running out of superlatives for IEAH Stables and partners' Benny the Bull, as the nation's top sprinter again unleashed his devastating turn of foot in the stretch to run right by the leaders in the $400,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II) July 12 at Calder Race Course. The 5-year-old son of Lucky Lionel won by two lengths under Edgar Prado.
Time-wise, at least, Big Brown's five-furlong breeze in 1:02 4/5 at Aqueduct Monday was a dramatic improvement over his first work in 1:06 3/5 last week.
Dual classic winner Big Brown returned to the track July 2 for his first 'breeze' since being pulled up in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Dr. George Maylin, the director of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board drug testing and research program at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., said the post-race test results on Belmont Stakes (gr. I) favorite Big Brown came back "clean" for any illegal medications.
Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. addressed the media at his own request June 27 outside his Aqueduct barn to set the record straight on his 15-day ban in Kentucky for an overage of the bronchial dilator, clenbuterol, in Salute the Count, the runner-up of the Aegon Turf Sprint (gr.III) at Churchill Downs May 2.
- By Steve Haskin
Each day brings new entries in the "Brown Shoe Diaries." The latest photos from the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) reveal Big Brown was stepped on by Guadalcanal leaving the gate, and that the shoe did not re-set itself during the race as previously thought; the colt ran the entire way with the shoe dislodged and the nail protruding from it.
Mike Iavarone, co-president of IEAH Stables, had a strong reaction to a photo that showed the back of Big Brown's right hind shoe, which had been put on the morning of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), dislodged from his hoof shortly after the start of the race. Trainer Rick Dutrow, however, does not believe the shoe was a major issue.
The New York Racing Association held a press conference in Albany, N.Y., June 23 to discuss the upcoming 36-day Saratoga meet, which begins July 23 and runs through Sept. 1.
- By Steve Haskin
IEAH Stables has taken the first bold step in securing a no-drug policy in racing by announcing Monday that all its horses starting Oct. 1 will race without any medication, with the exception of Lasix, which trainer Rick Dutrow asked that they exclude because several of his horses are bleeders and require Lasix to race.
- By Ron Mitchell
Members of a Congressional subcommittee looking into practices of the horse racing and breeding industries began a hearing June 19 with warnings that they need to get their house in order to ward off government involvement.
Racecar Rhapsody, a 3-year-old son of Tale of the Cat who ran fourth to Big Brown in the Preakness (gr. I), was scratched from the seventh race at Churchill Downs June 18 after the colt was purchased by new owners.
- By Tom LaMarra
The United States House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection has scheduled a hearing -- "Breeding, Drugs, and Breakdowns: The State of Thoroughbred Horseracing and the Welfare of the Thoroughbred Racehorse" -- for June 19 in Washington, D.C.
Preliminary analysis by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau suggests nothing appears amiss with wagering on the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) won by longshot Da' Tara.
This is not about Rick Dutrow or Kent Desormeaux or Michael Iavarone. They've been beaten up enough. This is mostly about the victim many people seem to have forgotten: Big Brown, who has fallen out of favor quicker than Roger Clemens. The question is: why?
Trainer Rick Dutrow's initial displeasure over Kent Desormeaux's ride aboard Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr.I) had abated quite a bit the morning of June 11, after he met with the Hall of Fame jockey. Dutrow said Desormeaux, who eased Big Brown at the top of the stretch in the Belmont, would have the mount when the colt races again.
Nick Zito, New York's favorite son, shuts the door on another Triple Crown bid, this time beating Big Brown with Da' Tara.
Hampered by a double-digit handle decline on its biggest race card, the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Pimlico Race Course realized a 16.5% drop in all-sources wagering for its 31-day meet that closed June 7.
Big Brown's downfall in the Belmont came in his training regimen.
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