Casino Drive, the second choice in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), did not go to the track Friday because of a problem with his left hind foot. His connections believe it might be a minor stone bruise. He has not been scratched from the race, in which Big Brown will attempt to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner.
Suffolk Downs has announced that the purse for this year's Massachusetts Handicap will be $5 million if Big Brown wins the Triple Crown and both he and 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Curlin remain unbeaten in 2008 and go on to start in the MassCap against one another. The $5 million would include a $1-million participation bonus for each.
Benny the Bull, the "now horse" of the sprinting world, will face a blast from the past in the $250,000 True North Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park June 7, when 2006 Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Thor's Echo returns to competiton for the first time in a year.
For the third time in about a week Casino Drive had one of those non-published works that everyone has come to expect. The first time was by himself, the second with two workmates, and today's with one workmate. But this time it was different, as his jockey Edgar Prado was aboard for the first time.
The New York Racing Association and UPS have announced a partnership agreement for the Belmont Park Spring race meeting, including the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The deal is being made in association with ABC Regional Sports Sales.
When Kent Desormeaux heads to the starting gate aboard Big Brown in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), viewers won't see the lone UPS logo that was prominently placed on the jockey's pants in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Instead, Desormeaux will bear not only the UPS symbol, but also Hooters' orange logo, as the popular restaurant chain represtented by an owl peering through the "OO" in its name becomes his second official sponsor.
Big Brown hit the Belmont Park track early June 5 with a morning jog around the sloppy and sealed main track about 5:45 EDT. With Michelle Nevin aboard, the colt traveled through the paddock, out of the tunnel, and onto the main track.
William K. (Bill) Warren Jr., has a unique perspective of this year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I). He knows what it's like to have a top horse trained by Rick Dutrow. Not only that, but to have a top horse trained by Dutrow that has foot problems.
Rick Dutrow wanted the outside post in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I). He didn't get it. Instead, he got the inside post for Big Brown, which does come with a certain risk of getting trapped, but the rail is far better than the 10, where the risks can be greater.
There is a chance Big Brown may have to do something he has never done before if he is to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner.
When the pills were pulled June 4 at Belmont Park, Big Brown drew the rail in the post position draw for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) from the outside post position. If he is to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner, he will have to win the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) from the inside post position.
Triple Crown contender Big Brown was installed the 2-5 morning line favorite and drew the rail in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Patrice Wolfson, co-owner of the last horse to win the Triple Crown, said Tuesday she believes it is time for the elusive quest to be won and that she believes Big Brown has the ability to win the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
The loss of the 2004 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) by Smarty Jones still plays in Stewart Elliott's mind, especially around this time of year. He thinks of the pressure going into that race, remembering the media frenzy and build-up of public recognition.
You know how it is with breeders. They breed one Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner, and the next thing you know, they're trying to come up with another.
Big Brown brought smiles to the faces of his connections June 3 after a crucial five-furlong breeze in 1:00 on Belmont Park's main track shortly before 9 a.m. EDT.
The New York Racing Association said June 2 a field of nine is probable for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), third leg of the Triple Crown.
That has been a good deal of discussion about the future of Big Brown following the Triple Crown. But to IEAH Stables co-president Michael Iavarone, there is nothing to discuss. Big Brown will continue to race after the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Can a son of Boundary win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I)? Many people had their doubts that a Boundary could win at 1 1/4 miles, but Big Brown keeps defying the odds and eliminating one question mark after another.
Casino Drive, the son of Mineshaft who is expected to provide some of the stiffest competition to Big Brown in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), follows a daily routine that raises eyebrows on the backstretch of Belmont Park but is consistent with how he is trained in Japan.
Kent Desormeaux showed Sunday night that his ability to get the most out of a racehorse is not the only talent he has retained from his youth. The jockey displayed good form when throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at New York's Shea Stadium prior to the June 1 night game between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Trainer Rick Dutrow said Sunday afternoon that Big Brown will not be fitted with a patch on Monday as originally scheduled and will work on Tuesday without one.
Ready's Echo and Tale of Ekati are headed to the Belmont Stakes, while Tomcito and Spark Candle are out.
Equipped with a new set of stainless steel wires to hold together a small quarter crack in his left front hoof, Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown galloped May 31 as he continues to prepare for the 140th edition of the $1-million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7.
Icabad Crane's connections had faith in him at least hitting the board in the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico, and their intuitions were proved right when the son of Jump Start finished a game 5 3/4 lengths in third behind Big Brown.
As talented and physically imposing a presence as Triple Crown contender Big Brown is, trainer Rick Dutrow seems just as impressed by the colt's personality and intelligence.
West Point Stables' Macho Again had a solid work this morning for trainer Dallas Stewart at Churchill Downs, going a half-mile in :48.20 over the fast main track under exercise rider Kenny Borque. The move ranked 11th of 55 at the distance.
In a national media teleconference conducted May 28, trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. continued his boastful and outspoken comments regarding potential Triple Crown winner Big Brown, saying among other things that winning the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) was a "foregone conclusion," the contenders "just can't run with Big Brown," and "there was no way in the world" that Japanese-owned Casino Drive could defeat his horse.
The field for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) could increase by one after trainer Todd Pletcher said it is "probably" that Let's Go Stable's Ready's Echo would be tossed into the mix of starters for the 1 1/2-mile race June 7 at Belmont Park.
Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown remains "right on target" for the $1-million Belmont Stakes (gr. I), in which he will attempt to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner and the first in 30 years.
Four years after Birdstone upset Smarty Jones' Triple Crown bid, trainer Nick Zito would love to play spoiler again, as he will send out Four Roses Thoroughbreds' Anal Nakal in the Belmont in hopes of rejecting Big Brown's bid for racing immortality.
The jury is still out on Tomcito, but following throat surgery to correct a breathing problem, he might get another shot at stardom - and Big Brown - in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I)
Although top jockeys from across the country were clamoring for a chance to ride Casino Drive in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), one rider's prior experience at shooting down Triple Crown contenders made him the perfect man for the job. On May 28, it was announced that Edgar Prado would become the colt's pilot, adding more intrigue to the highly-anticipated June 7 event.
Officials of the New York Racing Association (NYRA) and International Equine Acquisitions Holdings (IEAH) Stables partners attend the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Wednesday, May 28, 2008.
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.
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contender Casino Drive went to the track for a scheduled work Wednesday, May 28, but in the end it was decided by the clockers that the time was too slow to be published as an official workout.
Ian McKinlay, the hoof-lameness specialist who has been treating Big Brown's quarter crack, said Monday morning the colt's left front foot has shown improvement.
As of May 26, New York Racing Association Stakes Coordination Andrew Byrnes expects the Belmont Stakes field to be: Big Brown, Anak Nakal, Casino Drive, Denis of Cork, Icabad Crane, Macho Again, Tale of Ekati, and Tomcito.
Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air, runner-up to Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown in the Florida Derby (gr. I), completed his serious work for the May 31 Ohio Derby (gr. II) with a sharp seven-furlong work at Arlington Park May 25.
Big Brown, who will be seeking the coveted Triple Crown in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), has a "slight" quarter crack on the inside of his left front foot, trainer Rick Dutrow said May 25.
The centerpiece of Monmouth's meeting each year is the $1 million Haskell Invitational Presented by Vonage (gr. I), which has a bonus scheme tied into the Triple Crown races.
The connections of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I) winner Big Brown announced a "special presentation" May 23 to the family of the Nassau County, N.Y. police officer critically injured when a drunken driver crashed into his patrol car.
Just our opinion, but all extrinsic factors aside for the time being, it doesn't seem fair to dismiss Big Brown's accomplishments, however brief they may be, by saying his competition is weak.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Danzig within the third generation and inbreeding to an influential dam is a pedigree pattern shared by Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown and international group I winner Jay Peg, a son of Camden Park. Jay Peg has won eight of 13 starts as a freshman and sophomore, including group I victories in his native Singapore, South Africa, and in Dubai.
Two Churchill Downs-based 3-year-olds that are being pointed toward a battle against Big Brown in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) were reported to be doing well with just over two weeks remaining before the June 7 "Test of the Champion."
On May 24, while reporters trace the every move of Triple Crown contender Big Brown, a hard-knocking 7-year-old gelding will make the 25th start of his career in the $150,000 Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs. And although the racing industry looks to a 3-year-old runner to attract nationwide fans, the reality is that Fred Bradley's Brass Hat is an equally intriguing horse to follow.
Big Brown began his early preparations for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) by jogging once around Belmont Park's 1 1/2-mile main track shortly after 6 a.m. on May 21.
Anyone expecting a "Brown Out" in the 133rd Preakness Stakes (gr. I) May 17 instead received a jolt of electricity from America's newest superstar, Big Brown, whose powerful surge rocked Pimlico Race Course and sent everyone leaving Old Hilltop with stars in their eyes.
The UPS Foundation, the charitable arm of UPS, has given a $10,000 grant to Thoroughbred Charities of America to honor Eight Belles, who suffered a fatal breakdown after her second place finish to Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
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