Thoroughbred racing treads a fine line between its loftiest peak and its deepest abyss. Once again, celebration and sorrow clashed in the Kentucky Derby.
Big Brown to return to track Wed. morning; Stevil works for Preakness
Speaking to reporters on the Churchill Downs backside the day after Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. was cautiously optimistic regarding his starter's chances in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
One of the happiest people at Churchill Downs May 3 was Florida pinhooker Eddie Woods.
Early indications are that none of the horses that finished behind Big Brown in his impressive 4 3/4-length victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) will move on to the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
United Parcel Service has never made a delivery like Big Brown delivered May 3 at Churchill Downs, romping home by nearly five lengths to remain unbeaten in four starts with a scintillating win in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
A tearful Larry Jones, the trainer of Eight Belles, who broke down in the gallop-out after finishing second in the Run for the Roses, said there would be no second-guessing in what he called an "unfortunate" outcome that couldn't be foreseen.
Favorite Big Brown wins the 134th Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) today. Eight Belles finishes second but is fatally injured immediately after the race. Denis of Cork is third.
Visit Triple Crown Mania on BloodHorse.com for more coverage.
Just like the morning line suggested, bettors in the advance wagering have installed Big Brown as the favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Oaks/Derby daily double players make Big Brown favorite in Saturday's Derby.
This space will not focus too much on Big Brown or Colonel John. The comments and observations that follow are designed to help ferret out some elusive price horses, based on looks, works, and gallops.
HRTV's originally produced show on the Derby contenders. Big Brown and Smooth Air work, Comments from connections about the post positions, Monba and Cowboy Cal on track at Churchill Downs, and an interview with Big Brown Trainer, Rick Dutrow.
Floyd Oliver digs into the similarities between Kentucky Derby favorite Big Brown and Domino.
Big Brown, Smooth Air turn in works; Cowboy Cal, Monba get feel for track
It was only appropriate that the final Kentucky Derby work belong to Big Brown, who showed why he just may be as special as his connections believe he is.
There's always plenty of hay around the backstretch of any track, so it was a little surprising when we saw a bale arriving special delivery.
Trainer Todd Pletcher doesn't have the first, second, or third choice in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). In fact, his horses were assigned odds of 15-1 (Monba) and 20-1 (Cowboy Cal) on the morning line. So, after giving an update on the status of his runners, Pletcher was left to confirm Rick Dutrow Jr.'s confidence in Big Brown during a May 1 press conference at Churchill Downs.
All systems are "go" for Smooth Air's scheduled start in the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr. I), according to the colt's conditioner, Bennie Stutts Jr.
Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. sent Big Brown for an easy work over the Churchill Downs surface May 1, and the imposing colt looked every bit the Derby favorite as he took to the track under regular exercise rider Michelle Nevin. Big Brown, installed as the 3-1 morning line choice following the April 30 post position draw, went three-eighths in :35 2/5.
The connections of 3-1 morning-line favorite Big Brown selected the outside 20 post position for the undefeated colt in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) during the April 30 post position draw held in downtown Louisville.
HRTV's originally produced show on the Derby contenders. Arrival of Pletchers' horses (Monba and Cowboy Cal), gallops from Big Brown, Gayego, Colonel John, Focus on Adriano - including an interview with trainer Graham Motion, and an Oaks Preview.
Big Brown has caused quite a stir on the backside in the days before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), so much so that trainer Richard Dutrow decided the easiest way to handle the media was to host a daily question and answer session.
Big Brown drew No. 16 at the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) post position selection order Wednesday morning, meaning that the probable Derby favorite may have to break from the auxiliary gate when the field of 20 lines up for action May 3 at Churchill Downs.
In our quest to discover the origins of names belonging to Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contenders, we discovered a diamond mine, picked up some basketball lingo, learned Indonesian, and found out what brown can do for us. Here are the stories behind the names of a few runners going into this year's first Saturday in May.
Poet T.S. Eliot labeled April "cruelest month," but it is not a bad month on stud farms for foaling winners of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). In fact, over the last eight years, April foals have won three runnings of the Derby. February, the month that gives us both Groundhog Day and Presidents Day despite being the shortest month of the year, has been responsible for five winners.
HRTV's originally produced show on the Derby contenders. Big Brown arrives, Tale of Ekati works, Big Brown and Recapturetheglory gallop, a look at the Oaks entries, and an interview with Nick Zito - his thoughts on his two Derby contenders and the rest of the field.
Well, Big Brown finally is here and the racing world had its first look at the likely Kentucky Derby favorite and its first encounter with his colorful trainer Rick Dutrow.
When Tony Lacy was signing sale tickets for yearlings last year, the Kentucky-based bloodstock agent and Four Star Sales consultant didn't know that two of the horses would distinguish themselves by having siblings running in this year's Kentucky Presented By Yum Brands (gr. I).
Ten years ago Rick Dutrow was living in a tack room at Aqueduct, determined to make it on his own in the racing industry. On the morning of April 28, he faced a room full of media members intent on covering the progress of his contender for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Trainer Nick Zito is holding court with a ring of media members outside his barn. The two-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer has two starters for Saturday's running: Cool Coal Man and Anak Naktal. Zito is talking about the subject of the year: synthetic surfaces. We have a feeling he's not a big fan.
Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Big Brown shipped into Churchill Downs April 28, exhibiting the same ease with which he earned his latest five-length victory.
Surely trainer Pat Reynolds will be experiencing the feeling of "what could have been" when he watches the freakishly talented Big Brown run May 3 in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr.I) at Churchill Downs. Reynolds, 57, trained Big Brown early in his 2-year-old season.
Cool Coal Man Works; Big Brown Zips at Palm Meadows; Anak Nakal to work Friday.
Probable Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) favorite Big Brown turned in his final serious work April 24 at Palm Meadows training center, breezing five furlongs in :58 3/5 under exercise rider Michelle Nevin.
The field for the 134th running of the $2-million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) Saturday, May 3, at Churchill Downs is limited to 20 horses. Here is a look at graded stakes earnings for Kentucky Derby 134 nominees through April 23, 2008.
Another Kentucky Derby is upon us, and most of the talk has been about the inconsistencies and slow speed figures of this year's crop of 3-year-olds. Before we get into all the observations and analyses, and attempt to figure out this daffy Derby there is one point that must be addressed first.
IEAH Stables, the owners of Kentucky Derby contenders Big Brown and Court Vision, will celebrate their trip to Louisville by sponsoring the Jockey Legends Dinner at the Executive West Hotel on Derby eve. The event is expected to replace the Mint Jubilee Gala on the social itineraries of retired jockeys and those riding in this year's Derby.
Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Big Brown, likely favorite for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 at Palm Meadows Friday with regular exercise rider Michelle Nevin aboard.
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.
Unbeaten Big Brown, the dominating winner of last week's Florida Derby (gr. I), took on the look of the ultimate favorite for the $2-million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when he finished as a solid 3-1 choice in the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2008 Derby Future Wager.
Undefeated Big Brown is a big deal on this year's Triple Crown trail following his March 29 Florida Derby (gr. I) triumph. But when he was younger, the strapping bay colt was overshadowed by horses with fancier pedigrees that sold for higher prices.
IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr.'s Big Brown, the unbeaten winner of the Florida Derby (gr. I), remained the top choice of Kentucky Derby fans as the third and final pool of Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Derby Future Wager reached its midway point April 4.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Where have we seen this before? A modestly-bred Danzig-line horse, after leading throughout to score a devastating win in a grade I classic trial on his second start of the year, becomes a favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
No denying, Big Brown's Florida Derby win was sensational. But let's not hand him the Derby so soon.
Unbeaten newcomer Big Brown, a dazzling five-length winner in his stakes debut in the $1-million Florida Derby (gr. I), has been installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for the third and final pool for Churchill Downs' 2008 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which opens its four-day run April 3.
By now, just about every superlative has been used to describe Big Brown's performance in the Florida Derby (gr. I). How many times do you think the word "freak" has been uttered since Saturday? Well, there is no doubt that the colt has accomplished freakish things in his brief career, but so did Curlin, and he couldn't win the Derby off three career starts.
Despite suffering from a case of laryngitis and unable to speak much, trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. said that Florida Derby (gr. I) runaway winner Big Brown came out of the March 29 event in good shape.
IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr.'s highly-touted Big Brown proved that all the hype was justified, as he led from start to finish in the $1-million Florida Derby, crushing 11 rivals to win by five lengths March 29 at Gulfstream Park while making just his third career start.
A full field of 12 was drawn for the March 29 Florida Derby (gr. I), which on paper has turned out to be the most intriguing prep race for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) this year.
Normally a grade I race like the Florida Derby would be pretty clear-cut, filled mostly with horses who have proven themselves. Not so this year; not with unknowns such as Big Brown and Tomcito, two of the most intriguing Triple Crown hopefuls seen in quite a while.
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