(From Gulfstream Park)
Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Big Brown drilled five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 under regular exercise rider Michelle Nevin Saturday morning at Palm Meadows Training Center.
The undefeated son of Boundary is the current favorite for the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Sitting just outside his office as Big Brown cooled out while walking the shedrow, trainer Rick Dutrow stated his pleasure with the move, stopped the colt long enough to hand him a peppermint and said two similar works – each at Palm Meadows – are scheduled before the first Saturday in May.
Plans call for the second of those works to be Monday, April 28. Big Brown will depart Palm Meadows for Kentucky later that day.
Owned by IEAH Stable and Paul Pompa Jr., Big Brown was the 3-1 favorite for the Kentucky Derby after Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager closed last Sunday. His owners hope he becomes the 12th Florida Derby winner to take the Kentucky Derby, following the path most recently taken by Roy and Gretchen Jackson’s Barbaro in 2006.
Big Brown is undefeated in three starts, winning his maiden at Saratoga last summer, taking an off-the-turf allowance at Gulfstream March 5, and winning the Florida Derby at Gulfstream March 29.
His five-length victory in that $1-million race added to a list of lopsided victories: He had won his two previous starts by a combined 24 lengths.
“His talent just overwhelms the other horses,” Dutrow said.
Big Brown has been stabled at Palm Meadows throughout the winter and he could become the fourth Kentucky Derby winner to make a winter home of the Boynton Beach training facility since it opened in November of 2002. Barbaro, James Tafel’s Street Sense (the 2007 Kentucky Derby winner) and Sackatoga Stable’s Funny Cide (2003) came before him.