Will Big Brown 'Drive' to Meet Curlin ?

Competition Curve Sagging...

It seems that the majority of common, everyday race fans are ready to see another Triple Crown. People want to feel the excitement and thrill of a sport unmatched in displaying talent and skill.

Some people don't like Big Brown's trainer, owners, or the horses he is competing against.

In Big Brown's defense, it is not the horse's fault that he is racing against "lesser" competition in some eyes. He has handled everything thrown his way, so I say let him gain what he has earned. The trainer isn't racing him. Jockey Kent Desormeaux has stated many times he hasn't had to really ride the horse, just ease him on or slow him down at different points in the race.  Big Brown is the one racing.

With that being said, I am personally a larger fan of Denis of Cork, Colonel Jon, Pyro, and Z Fortune. Even though they have not beaten Big Brown, they have been impressive this year. You can compare earnings, and I don't think you can take anything away from their statements on the track. I say that due to how well these four favorite 3-year-olds of mine have raced up to the Derby. We will see a lot more from most of them. Pyro might have peaked, but I was overcome with chills from the turn-of-foot he showed.

No matter what the argument against him is, at the end of the day Big Brown is the one racing, not his connections.

“He’s one of the most impressive horses we’ve seen in a long, long time,” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “Maybe it’s a weaker 3-year-old crop, but who’s to know that? He’s a really special horse. If he wins the next one, which I do think he’ll win and I think he’ll win it for fun, you put him in the category of Secretariat and Seattle Slew.” -- From Pimlico Preakness Notes on BloodHorse.com

I think trainer Nick Zito stated some good points Saturday, and I think Jason Shandler reiterated them as well. Big Brown looks good on paper, but the race is not run on paper, it is run on surface...meaning that Big Brown still has to beat the competition in the race.

The REAL Question:

Everyone wants to know how big and bad Big Brown truly is. Let's see him race Curlin. Curlin has proven himself to be great, while Big Brown has some proving to do still. This will be the greatest thing that could happen in the industry at the present time. To see a thrilling race of the new kid on the block and the ruling authority on the track. Don't retire Big Brown, though money seems to be a bigger deal here, because the fans want to see this battle waged.

Another key point is for the common race fans. About half of Generation X and all of Generation Y have never seen or can not remember a Triple Crown winner. That is a big deal and another reason why it is exciting. Thirty plus years is a very long time.

The Big Time:

Aside from the common horse fan wanting a Triple Crown, I appreciate that Casino Drive is also trying to achieve a record. His dam, Better Than Honour, has produced the last two Belmont winners. A dam who could possibly have three Belmont winners and consecutively? That is beyond impressive; that is beyond amazing. That is down right ridiculous, but it is going to be a very real possibility. It is also a record that I am quite confident could not be beaten.

Big Brown's trainer, Rick Dutrow, is also aware of what Japan-based Casino Drive hopes to accomplish, “The Japanese people are going to come here and think that Godzilla is dead. Well, Godzilla’s not dead,” Dutrow said at the Preakness press conference.

So which will be the big bet you take on? Do we want a Triple Crown that other horses can claim, or a moment in history, not to be repeated? It is tough, but I believe once the story is spread beyond the die hard fans of Casino Drive, more people would understand the scope of that endeavor.

What do I want to see? I want to see Casino Drive win the Belmont if the horse industry will tell the story and make an effort to describe the enormity of Better Than Honour's record. If the public is not educated about this historic possibility, then we need to have at least a Triple Crown winner through Big Brown.

Ultimately, either way, we need to see what Big Brown is made of. He needs to meet Curlin. He needs to pay his respects.

To read more about Casino Drive:
http://www.bloodhorse.com/article/45300/challengers-ready-for-big-brown.htm
http://www.bloodhorse.com/article/45299/preakness-notes-may-18.htm 

 

--- Better Than Honour's Belmont Legacy
Peter Pan with Casino Drive
Race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7tiH2g_8CQ&feature=related

 

Rags to Riches
Race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URl70KylKZg&feature=related

 

Jazil
Race: http://www.ntra.com/video.aspx?id=18306
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpBe5oxatKY (Jazil is the second horse to be shown)



Thanks to GallantChief for finding this link:
(Watch Casino Drive)

 


UPDATE May 22, 2008:

Curlin, Casino Drive, Big Brown...

Dutrow addressed questions about a potential match-up with last year’s Horse of the Year Curlin, and said he would be eager for such a meeting to take place in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Oct. 25. IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr., Big Brown’s owners, sold the breeding rights to the colt to Three Chimneys Farm the day of the Preakness. Michael Iavarone of IEAH Stables said Big Brown would not race as a 4-year-old.

“Our plan is the Belmont, Travers, and Breeders’ Cup,” Dutrow said. “We are going to show up if our horse is good and ready. I don’t know what they (Curlin’s connections) are going to do. I would like to see them run together, it would be good for racing and good for us; it won’t be so good for them.”

Casino Drive, who many perceive to be Big Brown’s strongest opponent in the Belmont, won the Peter Pan (gr. II) by open lengths May 10. He was ridden by Big Brown’s regular rider, Kent Desormeaux. The connections of Casino Drive are expected to announce a new rider for their colt in a few days.

 “We are just looking at (Casino Drive) like he is just another horse in the race,” Dutrow said. “I would like to see him come out of the race, without a doubt. (But) we are certainly not afraid of running against him. I would think (Casino Drive) would have to have more thoughts about running against Big Brown than we do about him.  --excerpt from Karen Johnson's "Dutrow Discusses Curlin, Prado's Ride" on BloodHorse.com

source: http://www.bloodhorse.com/Now/News/NewsletterTopNews/45334.aspx


UPDATE June 3, 2008:

Better Than Honour has a feature in this weeks issue of The Blood-Horse Magazine. (June 7, 2008) It is not available online so you will have  to buy the magazine to read it. It explains the interesting sales history behind her and the legacy she has created and the plans for her currently.
 

87 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Melissa

I would LOVE to see Big Brown race Curlin. Curlin is one of my all-time favorites (ever since his Rebel Stakes victory) and I think he could teach Big Brown a lesson or two.

What a race that would be!

20 May 2008 4:14 PM
Frank

Dutrow's comment "He's one of the most impressive horses we've seen in a long, long time" goes nowhere. They said that about Smarty Jones before the Belmont. They said it about Ghostzapper, they said it about Bernardini. I would love to see Curlin beat BB but we all were saying the same thing in '04 about how we would all like to see Smarty Jones/Ghostzapper, weren't we??

20 May 2008 4:31 PM
Matt

If Big Brown wins the Belmont, I would like to see Arlington's *** Duchossois ante up $10-million for a mid-July match race that would be BB's career finale. Give each of them $5-million for running, and have one of the greatest races of the 21st century.

20 May 2008 4:34 PM
GallantChief (for hk-racing.com)

Still more about Casino Drive:

Kyoto Race Course, Japan

Feb. 23, 2008

3-year-old Maidens

1800 meters (~ 1 1/8 mile) on Dirt

#8, Yutaka Take up

1st, Time: 1:54.4

Race: youtube.com/watch

20 May 2008 4:44 PM
Julie L.

Lots of comments on other blogs concerning Big Brown but yes he needs to face a real challenge and that would be Curlin, just watch Curlin's races and you see just what "special" and "great" is and his race in the Belmont with Rags to Riches what a great filly and that is in my mind the second best Belmont Stakes since Affirmed & Alydar. Curlin is a magnificent Thoroughbred and if Big Brown could beat him then yes he would deserve the word "great" to be placed with his name. Curlin is one tough horse. I love him.

20 May 2008 4:47 PM
Mike

Unfortunately, I think the Belmont will be Big Brown's final race.  His money-hungry owners (who are not true horsemen) will probably retire him because they are sitting on the huge stud fee.

My belief stems from a comment I read from Dutrow where he stated that IF Big Brown remains in training after the Belmont, he'd be pointed to only two more races, the Travers and Breeders Cup Classic.

I also think Big Brown's money-hungry owners are leary of tarnishing their horse's image if he were to lose to Curlin.

20 May 2008 4:48 PM
SmartZap

Take either Smarty Jones or Ghostzapper out of the breeding shed give them one breeze and they'd smoke Curlin and Big Brown in a match race. We were spoiled that year.

20 May 2008 4:52 PM
tbpartnerperson43

Does anyone know why Casino Drive only has two starts?  Are there soundness issues with him too?  That would be some match race, but after the Ruffian tragedy, I'm not sure my heart could stand it.

20 May 2008 5:16 PM
Easy Goer

Love the thought of BB hooking up with Curlin, but most likely a pipe dream.  We can always wish though!

While the Better than Honour angle would be pretty darn amazing, can't imagine that it would ever have the public or promotional

impact that a Triple Crown winner would. That being said, I'll be firmly in the BB corner come Belmont Stakes Day!

20 May 2008 5:24 PM
Liz

So Adam, tell us which button to push so we can get the Curlin vs. Big Brown meeting to happen? I am pretty sure the fans would jump all over that one if we could figure out a way to get IEAH to go along with the idea. Assuming he gets through this next one in good shape, Arlington sounds great, or I've heard Jockey Club Gold Cup tossed around... Have you heard anything other than retirement from his connections?

20 May 2008 5:26 PM
Enter

I think Curlin and Big Brown need to met to prove the top horse, to show people that Curlin can lose and to show that Big Brown deserves to be talked about.

Although I would love them to met in the Breeders Cup Classic I have heard rumors that neither Curlin or BB are headed that way.  And I would hate to have one of them lose and the horses connections blame it on position or other horses.

So I think the two should met in a match race, not only would this prevent excuses for a loss but also it would interest more fans.  Personally I have never been alive for a big time match race.  If a match race where to happen it would be like Seabiscut and War Admiral (older vs. *possible* triple crown winner)

20 May 2008 5:30 PM
Brian

 If the owners of both horses had the guts to actually pit Curlin against Big Brown, that would be amazing.  It doesn't even have to be a match race.  Any race they both enter would no doubt turn into a two horse race.  It's a VERy exciting thought.  I bet Jess Jackson would be sportsman enough to pit Curlin, but BB's connections are questionable.  

 I hope they at least both meet in the Breeders Cup Classic!!

20 May 2008 5:51 PM
Corbensrideon

Oh another Ruffian Race Just Great thats what we need

20 May 2008 5:55 PM
Dianne

Big Brown will be accorded greatness only if he races into his 4 year old year.  Two more races after the Belmont doesn't prove enough.  He needs to go to Dubai and race internationally.  He needs to race against older horses, more than once.  The race to retire to stud is a disservice to thoroughbred racing as these good racing horses disappear after only one season.  Curlin is racing as a 4 year old as he should.

20 May 2008 6:13 PM
josue555

this was a great article until you mention that you want casino drive to beat bb, brother thats not happening if bb is going to get beat it will be either denis of cork, tomcito if they race him or another horse like birdstone, but i don't think nobody is going to stop him except curlin. casino drive remind me of last year breeders cup turf pretender dylan thomas, i really hate him because nobody gave a chance to nobody else even you guy at bloodhorse but thank God not only he lost but he finish fourth. same thing happening to casino drive to much hype, he is going to get a touch of reallity on belmont day.

20 May 2008 6:24 PM
Qatmom

Horses do not pick their people.  Some horses have the good fortune to be associated with people of great sense and quality.  Others are not so fortunate.  

I will never forget the aftermath of a particular match race in which one of the runners broke down catastrophically, and the owners of the "winner" bragged afterwards that they would have won anyway.  Tasteless, but their horse did not say these things.

20 May 2008 6:29 PM
Inky

thanks for the clip, GallantChief,

that was quite impressive.

20 May 2008 7:14 PM
seabiscuit1938

I am hoping to see Curlin come out of wraps and compete at Lone Star Park on Memorial Day.  He is nominated to the Lone Star Handicap and it would be a great gesture to Texas fans by Texas trainer Steve Asmussen.

20 May 2008 7:23 PM
RachelSatterfiel

You know...the first time I saw Casino Drive's Peter Pan I was impressed.  Watching it again, I am not.  Kent D. was getting after more than a "monster" should need to get him to separate himself from a less than stellar field.  Also, I have no doubt that Ready's Echo would have caught Casino Drive if the race had been longer (he closed very well).  I think that only a closer or grinder will beat Big Brown in the Belmont (watch for Ready's Echo if he races, Tale of Ekati, and Denis of Cork). My thought is that we will finally have a Triple Crown winner.

I agree, a race against Curlin would be fantastic.  I am of the opinion that Curlin would give Big Brown a hell of a race...and would most likely beat BB.  

I'd love to see Better Than Honour achieve this huge feat...but I just don't think Casino Drive is good enough to beat BB in only the third race of his life.

20 May 2008 7:45 PM
Bill

Big B would trounce Curlin, anytime, anywhere, regardless

of surface or distance. Curlin plods along, but BB has that explosive turn of foot that would

beat a very talented horse like Curlin.

20 May 2008 9:01 PM
terry

in light of ALL the recent events and past events of racing and the current mood, let me just say, Match race, rememer Ruffian? Is that reallly what you want to risk? Curlin and Big Brown? Too scary for me to promote or even think much about. If something happened to one of them, I would never forgive myself for being so greedy. They are both great in their own right. Do we have to make them prove something more?!

20 May 2008 9:15 PM
Richard Robinson

just remember what happen to Purge in the Peter Pan he put up a 147 and in the next race where did he come in i think it was last only thing going to beat Big Brown is Big Brown you talking about the time that horse got all the time in the world you better have the Doctor to look at his heart i think it a real big like Big Brown he going to win .

20 May 2008 9:51 PM
Lauren

I would rather see a Triple Crown winner myself, over Casino Drive winning. I understand the importance and meaning if Casino Drive wins for Better Than Honour. But I have been waiting to see a Triple Crown winner since Thunder Gulch, who is one of my all time favorites. His win in the Derby is what sucked me into the racing world! I am starting to get that buzz, a feeling, that maybe there will be a Triple Crown winner this year. Maybe. So for the casual racing fans and for the die-hard fans, I sincerely hope BB wins the Belmont. Casino Drive can be 2nd.

20 May 2008 11:21 PM
Kris

I'm more turned off by the fact that Big Brown will not run past this year than I am turned off by Dutrow's comments.  Who's to say that Big Brown won't be retired as a healthy horse following the Belmont Stakes?  Isn't his stud deal all about the money?  Sure, even War Pass has a deal in place but as far as I know, there is no timetable set on his young career.  While I'd love to see a Triple Crown, I just can't get 100% behind Big Brown.  It boggles my mind how outsiders point the finger at the Porters for racing Eight Belles in the Derby to get rich yet no one is bold enough to call BB's connections out.  Even if Casino Drive doesn't win the Belmont Stakes, Better Than Honour deserves more recognition than just Broodmare of the Year.

20 May 2008 11:37 PM
Carolyn

Where is Better Than Honour herself?  I wish someone would do a big article and photo-spread of her!  I want to try to understand -- how to great broodmares happen?

20 May 2008 11:51 PM
Frank K

Big Brown based on speed figures is beating the slowest group of 3yr. olds since 1992. This though has not detered a $50 million syndication. Curlin is a good horse, but rest assured you will not see either on the Santa Anita synthetic track come Breeder's cup day. You can't syndicate for $50 million and possibly lose to Colonel John, Adriano, or Momba. The new BB owners must be in denial that the industry is moving to synthetics. Curlin and BB could be ordinary claimers at Santa Anita.

21 May 2008 12:12 AM
donnieg

you people really know nothing about horse racing.  Pyro, colonel bum please don't mention those animals in the same breath as big brown. we will see in the belmont when kenny actually calls on him what happen.  Casino drive is by far the next best 3yr and he has no chance. Last time i checked curlin didnt have a shot at the triple crown last year did, i believe he got beat by a filly in the belmont.  Curlin is not on the same planet as big brown. Unfortunately the race will never happen but curlin has no shot at beating big brown.  Dont ever call curlin great big brown is great as he will prove june 7.

21 May 2008 12:15 AM
Wendyg

I love both horses, but I think if there is to be a race between the two than it should be fair, and should not happen until BB is a 4-year-old.  It gave Curlin the upper hand, and BB should have the opportunity.  The T-Crown is enough for this year.  He is still young, and if we want a healthy race between the two, BB needs to be 4.  Last year if BB were three and Curlin were 3, it would have been fair as Curlin was still coming into his own, but Curlin is an adult now, and has changed immensely since last year.  Be fair and give BB the same chance. Then I would not bet on it, because both horses in my eyes are amazing.

21 May 2008 12:55 AM
ezzy

a match race between BB and Curlin would be the best thing that could happen to the industry well aside from BB winning the triple crown. Forget the Breeders cup classic the surface at S.A takes all the excitement and fun out of it I would love a good confrontation between two greats on the surface that GREATS run on. If someone can hear me a match race under the "twin spires" or at "the big sandy" would be a dream come true who wants to join me in starting a petition?

21 May 2008 4:23 AM
Bellwether

Long Live The King!!!

21 May 2008 5:21 AM
cybertron log

I'd give so much to see a matchup between the greatest and the greatest. Big Brown vs. Curlin is a real dream. Who cares if Brownie loses the Crown or not; he's an accomplished runner now and even if he loses the Belmont, he's got the rest of the year to do his thing and meet the older boys.

...and I'll be rooting for Drive. I don't care if he heads back to Japan after the Belmont and pops up for the BC (although I wonder how he'll do on Cushion). I hope he sticks around long enough to give Brownie and Curlin a run for thier money, and then some!

21 May 2008 7:49 AM
MattyK

In a match race Big Brown would have the advantage over Curlin because he has more natural speed.  Curlin would have a better shot if there were other horses entered.  Otherwise he'd just be chasing Big Brown around the race track.  This is not to say BB is better than Curlin just that a match race is a different type of race that would benefit BB.

21 May 2008 9:28 AM
aspradling

As commenter Lauren stated, It seems most people want to see Big Brown win the Triple Crown over Casino Drive and Better Than Honour's record increased on Belmont winners. That would probably be the better for the industry, but will Casino Drive have enough to beat BB in the first place, that seems to be the factor on your minds?

As far as Curlin, I had not given much thought of a duel between Curlin and Big Brown, but that would be fun as many of you have suggested.

Most likely, Big Brown will race until the end of the year, if he stays healthy. Liz, I wish I knew what button to push =).

Carolyn - I will pass the word along and see if I can find some good information on Better Than Honour for you.

I think it is a very interesting point about how retiring three year olds hurts the Thoroughbred industry. I may investigate or expand on that in a later post.

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts, please continue.

21 May 2008 10:04 AM
Liz

Please anything but a match race! I would love to see Curlin and Big Brown meet, however, a match race proves nothing! It never allows both horses to run their best race. It almost always seriously over-taxes one or both horses and just ends up being a battle of attrition left up to the luck, strategy, and emotional responses of the jockeys. If you really want to see the measure of two super horses, throw them in a field of good contenders and let the chips fall where they may. (eg:Curlin-Rags to Riches was pretty effective wasn't it?) I stood by and watched the Ruffian/Foolish Pleasure fiasco and hope I never see that kind of overblown media created sham again.  

The possibility of creating a huge festival around a single meeting of two horses and having the chance of either horse being injured or worse with that kind of a public microscope on only those two horses... been there, done that! We just got through reminding the public of that event about three weeks ago when we lost Eight Belles. I can't imagine a single person watching a match race and not feeling the shadow of Ruffian hanging over the whole event. I for one would feel it when the horses crossed the very spot where Ruffian took her first bad step.

21 May 2008 10:05 AM
Liz

Adam,

I agree that retiring horses as three year olds does hurt the industry. The Derby and classic winners are racings' most valuable ambassadors to the general public. The love Barbaro received is a clear example of that value.

Given that Big Brown will not race even as far as the Breeders Cup, his reputation will suffer from criticism for the weak fields he faced and the limited duration of his campaign. If he does win the triple crown, his name will be marked by the general public, but the industry will not be able to capitalize on that accomplishment with the extended career of an iconic champion. As strong as the '07 classic season was between Street Sense, Hard Spun, and Curlin, the Derby winner is virtually forgotten by the general public just one year later, because he retired just weeks after the Derby. Even though he has lost more than once, Curlin has kept the attention of the public because he has continued to campaign. Curlin is the horse people are labeling with superlatives, not Street Sense. The bottom line...Curlin showed up. Again, kudos to Jess Jackson for playing the game.

By the way, I come from an old school of horsemen who believe that a random white spot is a sign of greatness. I have been fortunate to work three horses who displayed that characteristic and definitely achieved greatness in their careers. I was hooked when I saw the "Go Button" on Big Brown after his turf race this spring. Of course his race didn't hurt either.  :) Just wondering if anyone else (besides Dutrow) had any experiences with that legend.

21 May 2008 11:44 AM
Janesville Liz

Even if Big Brown wins the triple Crown, I still do not think he is a great horse. He still should prove himself against older horses, and right now, Curlin is the best older horse in the world--he proved that in Dubai. Of all the previous eleven TC winners, only Count Fleet did not compete against his elders, and that was because he was injured in the Belmont and never was healthy enough to race again. Big Brown is healthy, except for his feet, but his people have done wonders with them. Give him a good rest after the Belmont, and send him against Curlin in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and BC Classic. If he wins, then he deserves to be called great. And even if he loses narrowly to Curlin, it will not tarnish his reputation--Curlin is a terrific horse. But alas, I do expect after the Belmont, win or lose, he will be whisked off to Kentucky. If he wins, it will be his feet are too delicate, and "He has nothing left to prove." Well, if his feet are too delicate, he should not be breeding and passing that infirmity along to future generations. There would be lots of unanswered questions about just how talented he really is--just beating up on mediocre opposition and never really facing a top-class colt does not constitute greatness. It merely means he is the best of a bad lot, and this year's crop of three-year-old colts is a pitiful bunch. If he loses, the owners will see his stud fee devalued, and Heavens!! For the yuppie puppie Wall Street boys, we cannot lose a cent on our lucrative breeding deal! And Rick Dutrow may have to actually eat some humble pie, as did Bud Delp after the infamous safety pin made mortal the "best horse to ever look through a bridle."

21 May 2008 11:53 AM
Karen

Janesville: Please enlighten us as to your comment regarding Bud Delp. Please tell me you are not disputing Bud's claim's about the bid. Also, what is all this talk about him being the best of a bad lot? I am so discouraged by this comment. Please, do your research. BB is posting some good times. The Derby and the Preakness were not crawling folks. They were good, solid times. They were not splintering times, but most of the quarters were ran within a second of last years times. He came home in a blistering 19:08 in the Preakness. You can't just look past that. Sometimes you just can't satisfy anyone. No matter what the horse does, he still can't be considered great in anyone's eyes. Why? Because people are bitter for other reasons all together. BB is a great horse. He is exciting to watch and has over come many adversity's. He breaks from anywhere he wants in the field, he relaxes, he runs in the front, he runs 4-5 wide and well off the pace. His turn of foot is magical. Yet, no matter what he does, he just isn't good enough.BB will forever be remembered by me. Win or lose the Belmont. As far as his feet being delicate that's another issue. Quarter cracks can be caused by thin hoof walls which is genetic, but most of the time they are caused by stress from hard work. A lot of horses that are athletes suffer quarter cracks. They work hard. Unfortunately racing has changed from 30 years ago when your triple crown runners were racing beyond their 3 year old campaigns. Besides Curlin, it would seem most are retired for their value as a stud. Smarty,Street Sense, Hard Spun, Afleet Alex, Where are they? This is the sport of kings for a reason. Because of the money involved. It would be ignorant to think only BB's trainers and owners are in it for the money. They are all in it for the money. It is disapointing but seems to be the way it is now. So we hang on to what we have now while we have it.

21 May 2008 1:06 PM
Jen

People have been saying for a long time that racing needs a Triple Crown winner. I agree. However, right now what racing really needs is a Triple Crown winner that is sound as a dollar, untainted by drugs or scandal, has people behind him that seem to really care about the horse, and goes on to race at 4 (or even 5 -- gasp!). Racing doesn't just need face time. It badly needs positive face time.

Sadly, I don't think Big Brown fits the bill. I think he's a very good horse (How good isn't yet clear, and may never be.), but I'm not impressed by his connections, and if he wins the Triple Crown and retires immediately afterward, there will always be questions. Questions about how good he was, about his feet, about the steroids. Whether he wins or loses the Belmont, I'd love to see him up against Curlin; I think it's the only way of seeing how good both of them are. Sadly, I don't think it's going to happen.

As for Better Than Honour, I don't think a mare having foaled three Belmont winners is going to do the same thing for racing's profile as a Triple Crown winner. It's unfortunate, because it would be an amazing accomplishment, but I don't think casual fans can grasp how amazing it is easily. As it is, being dam of two Belmont winners is pretty remarkable. Given the number of quality broodmares there are, producing two foals that even make it to the Belmont is an accomplishment. Can anyone think of any comparable examples -- not necessarily the Belmont, but of any broodmare producing more than one winner of a major race? I've been thinking, but the only other one I can think of was up here in Canada -- Canadian Triple Crown winner Dance Smartly foaled two Queen's Plate winners in successive years.

21 May 2008 1:22 PM
Dianne

I, too, would like to see more articles written about the great broodmares.  There seems to be too much emphasis on the male line and not enough on what the mare brings to the mix in producing race horses.  The stallion is usually the only one mentioned when talking about a race horse.  Penny Chenery once said that Secretariat took a lot of his personality and physical attributes from Somethingroyal.  Yes, let's have more articles about the female side of thoroughbreds!  I think that what Better Than Honour has produced is actually a better accomplishment than a stallion who has hundreds of offspring.

21 May 2008 1:32 PM
joe

As for the match race talk, read Eisenberg's Native Dancer; Alfred Vanderbilt had brokered the Seabiscuit-War Admiral match, but by race time realized the Admiral was not at his best. Assault was hurting going against Armed, and that match was turned into a no betting exhibition race.  Swaps was sore going into his match with Nashua.  Ruffian? Enough said.  And the Go for Wand-Bayakoa breeders' cup tragedy was a match in every way but name. NO MATCH RACES!  

21 May 2008 1:42 PM
Tallwaters

Match Race - No.  At Arlington - No, not on play-doh.  BC Classic - No, unless SA switches back to real dirt (aka sand) not play-doh.  Personally, I would like to see them meet at BEL for the Jockey Club Gold Cup; at CD for the Clark Handicap; at GP for the Donn Handicap; & in Duabi for the '09 World Cup.  All Major Venues with each horses perferred surface - DIRT!  Play-doh is for children, not horses.

21 May 2008 1:56 PM
Karen

Just as I stated before, Dutrow confirmed. Their plans are to race until the end of his 3 year old campaign. Pointing him towards the Breeders cup classic if all goes well with the horse. If Curlin is there, they will race. Under horse racing circumstances. Not a scheduled match race.

21 May 2008 2:10 PM
Karen

Tallwaters: I agree with you. Horses race on dirt. If we can fix some of the major problems with this breed, we won't need synthetic surfaces. Horses have raced on dirt for hundreds of years.

21 May 2008 2:12 PM
s lee

Casino Drive won his maiden at 2 years old at 1:54 and 4 tenths, untouched and unchallenged??  

And Big Brown just won the Preakness at 3 untouched and unchallenged at 1:54 and 8 tenths??

It's going to be fun to see the Belmont.  These 2 have proven they're good runners (as my father would say) - they can go off and run by themselves.  Now let's see if they're racehorses (as my father would say) - when somebody is still with them at the eighth pole, looks them in the eye and says "hey buddy, what you got left in the tank?"  THAT will be fun!

(and I still like Harlem Rocker)

21 May 2008 2:43 PM
aspradling

Karen is right, here is a hot off the press quote from Dutrow, we just may see Big Brown and Curlin meet yet.

“Our plan is the Belmont, Travers, and Breeders’ Cup,” Dutrow said.

tcm.bloodhorse.com/.../45334.htm

21 May 2008 2:48 PM
Liz

I heard Dutrow say that about BC as well. It will be interesting to see what develops. I for one would rather see him face Curlin somewhere than go to BC where that horse will not run. I love the idea of JCGC or France...one can dream, right?

21 May 2008 3:23 PM
Janesville Liz

I am disgusted to read that Big Brown, along with all the other horses in Dutrow's stable receive the  steroid Winstrol, commonly known as Stanazol, on a monthly basis. This is an anabolic steroid that builds body mass and increases red cell production. Now how do we know that Big Brown's brilliance is not chemically enhanced? This is the same drug Barry Bonds is suspected of using, the same drug which got Ben Johnson into so much trouble. I am disgusted. Now I hope he loses the Belmont--if he can't win without chemical aid, he does not deserve it.

21 May 2008 4:00 PM
WDK

Smartzap.....yea if GZ was in his prime, your probably right, he was one of the fastest horses...well in a long time, but right now...no curlin would chew him up and spit him out.As for Big brown and these claims that he would teach Curlin something....thats just down right funny. Curlin has traveled the wolrd, beat some of the best horses on dirt at almost every distance. Who the hell has BB beat, one talented filly and a hand full of lessers...he may win the triple crown, but a champion horse.......not even close

21 May 2008 4:24 PM
Lmaris

Dutrow has already said the plans for Big Brown after the Belmont Stakes are the Travers & Breeders Cup Classic.

If Curlin wants to face a triple crown winner, let him enter the BCC, but his connections don't want him to run on synthetic so he won't.

A match race?  No way no where.  Won't happen.  The place is Santa Anita, the time is October 25th.

Kent Desormeaux, who rode Casino Drive in the Peter Pan, when asked by Dutrow how CD compares to Big brown, responded:  "He doesn't."

Casino Drive's dam is just 12 years old.  She is in the category of Toussaud as a modern Blue Hen.

21 May 2008 5:06 PM
Lauren

I completely agree with Jen's comments about racing the horse at least to age 4, maybe 5. I am glad to see that Dutrow stated BB will race up until the end of the year, but whats up with IEAH Stables stating there is no way that BB will race at 4? Robert Clay and Three Chimneys stated it was up to the owners how long BB races, and it seems Mr. Clay is in no rush to stand BB. So why not let BB race another year? If he is as good as his connections believe him to be, what if he gets even better next year? Or are they afraid that he is not good enough? Hurry and race him as a 3 yr old against a crop of sub-par 3 yr olds, as it seems most people believe, then retire him. I agree with Janesville Liz also: If the reason they give for retiring him are his feet, I'll be disgusted. Obviously the technology is there to keep him racing, especially everything they are doing for him now.

Anyways, I am excited to see what happens in the Belmont. And I would love to read more about the great broodmares. Some mares that come to mind include Weekend Surprise, Personal Ensign, Line of Thunder and you know who is turning out to be a good mare who was an even better racer? Serena's Song! I love her! LOL

21 May 2008 5:42 PM
aspradling

Dianne, Scot's Blog touches a lot on pedigrees and he would be a great contact for searching out more female lines as well. I will look into female lines and post more on them. It might wait until after the TC is over.

Joe, I agree that there has been a bit too much heartache from match races with horses. Ruffian seems to be the last straw. Besides, I think two great horses can match up while racing against a field...which may be the case with a Curlin Big Brown race. Alydar vs Affirmed is a good example.

 Lauren, a good point with the feet and to be honest, the farriers have been saying his feet look okay.
 

21 May 2008 5:43 PM
Liz

Big Brown is retiring for a very logical and unavoidable reason. Big Business. As I have already mentioned elsewhere, the horse won't run past this year because it is not possible to insure a horse past $30M, which, assuming he did sell for the published $50M, leaves far too much open liability for him to stay on the track. It is not like he is just owned by one person, he is owned by many. IEAH has retained an interest and Iavarone answers to a large group of investors. He cannot shoulder that kind of risk, and his insurance company is not interested in having its liability traveling around on various tracks risking injury from some loose horse, or other random act. He is going home to padded walls, hobbled mares, and high security. Too bad, but unavoidable.

21 May 2008 6:57 PM
Janesville Liz

Let's not forget that both Buckpasser and Slew o' Gold raced past their three-year-old seasons with chronic quarter cracks, and that was in the days before all the new technology of glue-on shoes and acrylic patches that is being employed with Big Brown.  

21 May 2008 8:08 PM
lorraine

How Happy I am to read positive comments about the broad mares role in producing a race horse. I personally think that the stallion breeders should pay the owners of good broad mares for the mating priledge.

I would like to see Curlin race with Big Brown in a regular scheduled race . Since horses do not truely mature until they are four, why so much emphases on two year olds winning? MONEY !!

21 May 2008 9:04 PM
Splitsof12

Curlin is a superhorse. Want to talk about a horse with speed, look no further than the son of Smart Strike. He practically went wire-to-wire in Dubai's World Cup earlier this year. He canters the classic distance in 2:00.00 flat everytime. He's already proven at a mile and half. Plus Curlin has already conquered the Breeders Cup Classic, The World Cup, and now his connections have him pointed for the Arc. If he goes overseas and competes in that race and beats the best turf horses in the world. He should go down as one of the 3 greatest horses of all time. If not we at least we know he''ll be the richest ever. In my 20 years of handicapping horses he's the best I've ever witnessed by far, even better than my all-time favorite Cigar. Now as for Big Brown, lets see. If Biggie was running against the likes of Street Sense, Hard Spun, Rags to Riches, you might be able to put him in the same breath as Curlin, but he hasn't, all he's beaten in my eyes, was one good filly and a bunch of glorified overnight stakes runners . No offense to the owners or trainers of those horses who worked their tails off to saddle em up in the Triple Crown races, but the breeding stock for this years 3-year old crop flat out sucked. Besides Biggie, Colonel John was the only other horse I saw with talent, but he'll be better suited for the turf. Big Brown still has yet to win the Belmont and if you look at recent history, you'll find that Smarty Jones, Funny Cide, War Emblem were all very impressive winning the Preakness as was Big B. And we all know what happened to them also. The Belmont is the superunknown of horseracing. Most three year olds are barely equipped to handle the classic distances and now they must go a quarter mile further than they've ever been before. For some reason, strange things happen to the favorite at Belmont. I'm not sure if it's the crowd or the ghosts of the past, but there is something eerie about the place on Belmont day. Remember, only 11 horses have ever won the Triple Crown. So looking at it from a probability of winning the crown perspective, my money will be bet against Big Brown. And if he does win, I'll be happy for Dutrow Jr and for the racing community. It's been way to long without a Triple Crown winner. This country sure could use a horse like Big Brown to rally around in these times of war and economic uncertainty. But, at the end of the day, in my heart I know that if the two horses met up, Curlin would chew up and spit out Big Brown like a big fat wad of chewing tobacco.    

21 May 2008 9:30 PM
darryl

it seems like every other year everyone is caling the derby-preakness winer a great horse. If he wins the belmont and doesn't or can't beat 4yr olds he doesn't deserve to be caled 1 of the greats. 1 season and maybe 7 races dosen't make for immortality.

21 May 2008 10:17 PM
Bellwether

Long Live The Dirt!!!

22 May 2008 3:56 AM
aspradling

I posted an update at the end of my blog post with an article that seems to have been written straight for our discussion on Curlin, Casino Drive and Big Brown.

Here is the article:

www.bloodhorse.com/.../45334.aspx

22 May 2008 9:02 AM
Weasel

Big Brown is a super star and to say he hasn't beat much should not dilute his greatness. What it does say is the rest of the 3YO crop are average, and he is by far, not. I just watched the video of Casino Drive and it looked like just another horse race to me. He did not effortlessly pull away from the field like Big Brown did in the Preakness. And who did Casino Drive beat in there? I want to see a Triple Crown winner. Better Than Honour already has her glory, and for her to have another Belmont winner will not promote the sport to new fans. It will just make her more of a cash machine for her owners. A Curlin vs Big Brown in a race, NOT a match race, would be exciting. But their age difference would make it unfair for Big Brown being only 3 now. It would be great for it to happen next year when he is 4, but we all know that won't happen.

22 May 2008 11:01 AM
Karen

Janesville Liz: As much as I am against meds, it is important to understand, most, if not all of the horses running these races have at some point been injected with these approved drugs. Probably on a regular basis. Dutrow is just an open book and admits to it where most try to keep it low key. These drugs are approved by the FDA for use on horses. They can be very therapeutic under certain circumstances however I think we all know they are abused. The bottome line is they can't be given anywhere from 30-45 days before a race and must test clean the day of the race, which all the Derby horses did. It would be unfair to assume that BB is the only horse running while being given these drugs. His competition is getting them as well. It is also important to understand that an intact male has many of these natural components in his body already. Which would make it hard to fine tune the use of them. I for one would prefer to see no meds and horses racing on hay and oats, but I am not a trainer and don't fully understand the benefits and possibly sometimes the necessities of using anabolic steroids.

22 May 2008 12:17 PM
KMan

We won't know how good Big Brown is until he's looked in the eye in the stretch by a horse that can match strides with him. Then we'll see.

22 May 2008 12:57 PM
mojoman5

big brown is a good horse i don't think he is great he has no competition the 3 yr olds are so poor it is unreal it maybe good for racing if he wins the triple crown but he has to do more to prove he is great betting your elders is not as easy as it seems

22 May 2008 2:07 PM
Slewbaby

This years 3 year old crop is pathetic. Big Brown isn't exactly breaking track records.  That goes to show how pitiful this crop is, how embarassing for the trainers and owners. They should all be retrained as show horses because they certainly can not run.  I own a goat that could have placed 2nd in the Preakness.

22 May 2008 2:49 PM
Karen

mojoman5 and slewbaby: please advise us as to what evidence you are using to come up with your theory regarding this years crop. Either you know nothing about horse racing or you posted just to get a rise from the other bloggers. Here are the opening quarter times for this years Derby. 23.30/46.73. Please keep in mind BB broke from post 20. In case you are wondering where post 20 is, no it is not on the rail. It is the far outside post. Also keep in mind he traveled the entire race, 4-5 wide. Here are Street Senses opening quarters in the derby last year 22.96/46.26 on the rail. Your posts are excuses. Bad ones at that. If BB wins the triple crown he will not have to prove anything more to anyone. A horse hasn't won in 30 years. Not even the exceptional colts of last year (including the great Curlin) could conquer the TC. I agree he needs to be looked in the eye but so far his turn of foot is so brilliant, no one has been there to look him in the eye.

22 May 2008 4:28 PM
aspradling

Jason Shandler has a good post asking the same question, but with a different spin on Big Brown's future. Everyone should go read it.

cs.bloodhorse.com/.../a-plea-to-iavarone-let-him-run.aspx

 Also, I greatly appreciate the dialog and encourage it. And in general, please continue for this has been a good honest discussion, lets continue the tact.

22 May 2008 5:24 PM
mike

Oh boy.  Here comes the never ending "yeah but can he beat..."  Truth is Big Brown is on his way to being a once in a lifetime horse.  Not Curlin, Smarty Jones, Barbaro or any other recent horse is as good as this horse.  Think about it.  Desmaroux was able slow BB down, pull him back and take him outside the trap set up in the preakness and he still smoked the field.  Yes thats right, he killed BB's momentum but it didn't matter.  This is an all time great horse.  Only shady racing can stop him, no one horse can beat him.

22 May 2008 8:27 PM
Celtic

Well we would all love to see a race that would feature Curlin and Big Brown. I think they are both fantastic horses. But before we can even think about such a race Big Brown has to win the Belmont. I realize we are a society that lives in the now- but lets remember that BB didn't win the Kentucky Derby by the margin Barbaro did, he did not win the Preakness by the margin Smarty Jones did and we know he's not going to win the Belmont like Secretariat did. This is a mediocre 3 year old crop- Big Brown needs to win on June 7th before we should look any further.

23 May 2008 12:18 AM
Jeremy M

Imma have to disagree with you  Splitsof12 on Curlin being better then Cigar. Curlin is one of the best horse so far this century, up there with Point Given and Ghostzapper, but he is not better then Cigar or Holy Bull. But he deserves to be in the same class. As far as Big Brown goes, imma have to agree with everyone about this years 3 year old crop, it does appear weak, or maybe we were spoiled last year by so many good three year olds like Curlin, Street Sense, Hard Spun, Rags to Riches, Any Given Saturday and even Tiago and the year before that with Barbaro, Bernadini and Discreet Cat. I personally think its too early to be calling Big Brown great. They are using the term too loosely. If he can keep up his winning ways and beat Curlin at the end of the year then he can be called great. And just to think 3 months ago, this horse was unheard of. And here is another problem I have with how things are today. Big Brown has bad feet right? The owners are so quick to retire him, but isnt the purpose of breeding is to improve the breed? to make the next generation better then the last? That's why the Thoroughbred, particurlary those bred in America are so fragile these days and not as durable as they were 20-30 years ago. Greed is what destroying the breed today. Just because a horse wins a couple of races, doesnt mean he should be bred. Me personally think if a horse is prone to injuries, he should not be bred. With the better breeding we wouldnt have the need for synthetic tracks because horses would be sounder. Anyway, Big Brown wins triple crown in 2 weeks but I wouldnt put him up there with the all time great just yet.

23 May 2008 3:40 AM
Bellwether

How can one not Love this Game...

23 May 2008 5:07 AM
Bellwether

somehting good is going to shake out of all this...going to take some work but Horse racing is comming back to the tip of the sports world where it belongs...Long Live The King !!!!

23 May 2008 5:13 AM
Hank

I love Big Brown, Just for a minute everybody lets take a real close look at him and enjoy him, because it will be a long time again before one like him comes along, it is not his fault they are a cheap bunch, he has and will beat anything they throw at him. I agree his pedigree is questionable, but his physicl being is just awesome. Great stride,head, size, comeplete package. You can put a sack of oats on his back and he will beat these, the only way they can beat him is in a brooke ledge van

23 May 2008 10:25 AM
aspradling

Jason Shandler has just posted a new insightful blog on a conversation about Big Brown with Iavarone...

Then why do it, I asked? Do you feel an obligation to racing fans?

Yes, he answered without hesitation. He said that was the only reason he is planning on doing it. He knows how much people love watching Big Brown and what it would mean to the sport to see him in the Breeders' Cup. He said he looked forward to a potential match-up against Curlin in The Classic.

Read More Here:

cs.bloodhorse.com/.../a-plea-to-iavarone-part-2.aspx

23 May 2008 11:15 AM
Jen

When I was a kid, I read several books that kept saying horseman were really reluctant to apply the word 'great' to horses. If he wins a few races, he might be 'nice.' If he wins a few more, he might be 'good.' If he wins several in breathtaking fashion and beats the best out there, he might just be 'great.' It seems today, however, we toss the word 'great' around very easily. Is it just because with thirty years without a Triple Crown winner, we're really starved for a great horse? I admit a lot of the hyperbole flying around about Big Brown right now is making me nervous -- I'm a teeny bit on the superstitious side, and I can't help but think it's jinxing him.

And since we're also talking about great broodmares, I've heard some breeders say that the mare is more important than the stallion when breeding. There are a couple of reasons for this that I can see. First of all, unless the mare dies, rejects the foal, or the foal is taken off her for some reason, the mare raises the foal for its first few months, and tends to influence the foal's attitude. Calm mares tend to raise calm foals, nervous mares nervous foals and so on. Genetically some traits are also 'sex-linked' -- carried on the X chronosome so females can give them to all their offspring but males can only give them to their daughters. (There are ones carried on the Y chronosome that males can only pass to their sons too, but those are much rarer.) The 'large heart gene' in Thoroughbreds appears to be sex-linked, which is probably part of the reason Secretariat was a much better broodmare sire than he was a sire in general -- he gave his large heart to his daughters, who could give it to all their offspring, but he couldn't give it to his sons.

23 May 2008 12:36 PM
Karen

Jeremy: BB has quarter cracks. This does not necessarily mean he has bad feet. It may or may not be a genetic issue however saying he has "bad feet" is not being in the know. Quarter cracks can become common in a horse that is in training. Most of the time, it is caused by hard training and the stress being put on the feet. Sometimes, genetics can play a roll and cause thin hoof walls that may be more prone to quarter cracks when worked hard.  Extreme cases can be very painful and the horse will be lame. Even with corrective shoes. BB is not lame. His quarter cracks are under control. Some may say held together by glue, which just sounds uneducated to me. I have known horses of all disciplines to get quarter cracks. From roping to dressage.  

23 May 2008 1:01 PM
Karen

Mike: Great comments. Why, because it's nice to see someone who understands the mind/talent connection that comes with BB. Anyone knows when you have a horse with the talent BB has and add the fact that is head is in the game and he fully trusts his rider, you have yourself a racehorse. Add the fact that I believe he gets his rocket acceleration from Damascus who he has on bottom and top....WOW! I am pumped for the Belmont. If infact the racing God's gave BB the ability to run the mile and a half, as they did Damascus, BB will win and win big. How exciting!!!  BB has very interesting breeding.  I suppose another blog altogether.

23 May 2008 1:59 PM
s lee

Jen wrote: "And since we're also talking about great broodmares, I've heard some breeders say that the mare is more important than the stallion when breeding."

At the Irish National Stud they have walking tours between the stallion paddocks and then on to where the mare and foal pastures and the guide we had said "the stallions are good, but a good broodmare is gold".

23 May 2008 3:08 PM
aspradling

There has definitely been a lot of interest expressed in the mare and boodmare area, so I will work on some angles to blog with in the future and pass that on to Scot, who does Pedigree analysis on his Five Cross Files.

cs.bloodhorse.com/.../the-other-belmont-entrant-looking-towards-history.aspx

23 May 2008 3:32 PM
SMARTYJONESFAN

BIG BROWN WILL WIN THE BELMONT BY 10 LENGTHS.... SMARTY JONES IS STILL THE BEST HORSE I´VE EVER SEEN.

24 May 2008 6:23 PM
Nancy

Praise to the author. This is a very good article I love the attached footage. Nice job Adam!

24 May 2008 8:59 PM
R Dorsey

After reading today what Casino Drive's time was in a 6 furlong workout and knowing that it was too slow to actually be considered a "workout", there is almost no way that he will beat Big Brown on June 7.  In order for ANY horse to beat Big Brown, out of this year's 3 year olds, they would have to be unstoppable and so far, the only 3 year old this year who is unstoppable is Big Brown.  That said, I would love to see Big Brown go up against Curlin.  These are two of the best horses we have seen in a very long time and both deserve to go down in history.  Quit taking away from what Big Brown has done so far.  He has not lost a race yet, he came from the 20 post to win the Derby by nearly 5 lengths, he jogged home to win the Preakness by nearly 5 lengths again and he WILL win the Belmont.  We have not yet seen what the best of Big Brown is, he hasn't met anyone who made him work for his wins.  Whereas Curlin, not to take a single thing from him, we saw his best at the same time last year when he ran his heart out against Rags To Riches to lose by a nose.  At this time last year, Curlin would have just been another horse beaten by Big Brown.  Curlin didn't start doing his best until close to the Breeder's Cup, that's when he started to show he deserves to go down in history.  Big Brown has already shown us that he deserves it NOW.

FYI, it is Colonel JOHN not Colonel JON.  If he's one of your favorites, you need to know how to spell his name.

28 May 2008 4:26 PM
Liz

Bad news on the way from the camp of BB. :( All our speculations are moot.

28 May 2008 5:44 PM
Julie L.

I believe that in everyone's excitement at a possible triple crown winner and wanting so desperately for Big Brown to be a "superhorse" that suddenly Curlin has become some old hay bag, what's wrong with you people. Did you not see his heart in the Belmont Stakes against a filly whose heart was just as big or how about the Breeder's Cup Classic or my God, the Dubai World Cup, if ever a horse made winning look so easy it was Curlin in the Dubai World Cup and that was against an international field. When I watched Seattle Slew lose the Swaps Stakes to J.O. Tobin I heard the people commenting as we left Hollywood Park about how Seattle Slew wasn't so great after all. It amazes me how fast a person's view can change as soon as they think that they have seen the next great horse. Do not belittle Curlin's accomplishments, Big Brown is young and really does need to show that he can handle all types of horses and adversities. I think that when Afleet Alex nearly went down in the Preakness and yet pulled himself up and still won the way that he did put him in the catagory of greatness and then to watch how he accelerated away from the rest of the horses in the Belmont Stakes to win by 7 lengths, that is a great horse. Sometimes people are to quick to jump on a horse's bandwagon just because for the moment he is the hot new horse well what tune will you be singing if he loses? And with that quartercrack believe me it could possibly hamper his true running ability. How many people left Spectacular Bid after he lost the Crown but then wwhen he started winning again jumped back on. I just wish people would be alittle kinder in regards to other voices who consider Curlin great and are just cautiously waiting to see just what Big Brown can do.

28 May 2008 6:52 PM
Monica V

Bill,

You think Curlin is a plodder and BB would trounce him?  You are certainly entitled to your opinion but did you see the Dubai Cup?  Watch it on Youtube and tell me how a plodder won that race by 71/2 lengths blowing by the competition?

29 May 2008 11:12 AM
FormerFan

Who cares if B.B. and Curlin meet.  Curlin is the better horse. He's been in all the situations B.B. hasn't and he fought to win races because his competition was better (Street Sense).  Now,  don't tell me that Street Sense's ability is going to be trashed.  Last year he was a superhorse, but don't tell me compared to Big Brown he's a shetland pony running amongst thoroughbreds.  Street Sense was a good horse and would have been able to run with Big Brown.  It's just a matter as to who would have broke down first. Remember when Holy Bull tried to go with Cigar, he nearly killed himself and had to be pulled up with a serious injury.  That's usually the outcome when two great horses are trying to run one another into the ground. Curlin lost the Belmont Stakes to a fresh, well bred and well rested filly that was in a race she was bred for.  He had just run in all 3 triple crown races with what, 5 races under his belt, so I think he ran a heck of a race in the Belmont.  Only lost by a head, not 10 lengths.  No, this horse is clearly a monster.  Big Brown is what he is,  the best of this crop and that's it. I wonder if he'll go to Dubai, oh, he'll be in the breeding shed by then. If you need to know what a great horse is I'll give you some examples: Citation, Secretariat, Arts & Letters, Damascus, Dr. Fager, Affirmed, Seattle Slew, Cigar, Genuine Risk, Bold Forbes (Sprinter who won the Belmont Stakes) Affirmed, Nashua, John Henry,  etc.... Just so everyone knows what the definition of a great horse actually is. Six lifetime starts, labeled as great then off to the breeding shed. At least CURLIN is sound enough to still be racing at 4. Doesn't have that brittle hoof problem that will pass on through the breeding shed (genetics).

29 May 2008 11:16 AM
Monica V

Julie,

What a wonderful post!  You are so right!  People get so caught up in the moment and are so sure that his horse with all of 5 races under his belt his the best seen in 30 years!!!!!He has much to prove before that title can be bestowed upon him.  So far his competition has been pretty soft.  HE has won his races in times that are no better than others but his competition is behind him which shows me they aren't much.  He does carry speed for a distance though which is pretty incredible but his mile and a half Belmont is going to be the real test.  He will have to run a quarter of a miler further than he ever has and there are horses in the race begging for more distance.  I don't think BB's best distance will be l1/2 miles, I think his best distance is 1 1/8 probably.  Easy Goers best distance was 11/2 miles because it took him a while to hit his best stride.  He was definitely a distance horse but a great horse no doubt as was Sunday Silence.  Everyone is so sure of triple crown this year just as they were with Smarty.  Smarty was also undefeated and just a fabulous horse winning the Preakness by 11 1/2 lengths but being beat at the Belmont by a fresh horse although Smarty's campaign was longer and tougher than BB's.  Maybe there will be a TC this year but we will see.  The Belmont is the stumbling block.

I just wish BB had a different trainer.  Anyone could train this horse and he would still be winning. 

29 May 2008 11:31 AM
Julie L.

To Monica V thank you for your comment, I reread what I posted I feel that maybe I let my anger at those who jump from one popular horse to the next get the better of me but hopefully will rethink their feelings on Curlin, I cannot fathom how anyone could look at that beautiful chestnut and see his races and ask, "just what has he done?" He is now preparing for the Stephen Foster Handicap and hope that he runs as true as he has but we do know that things can happen and if he lost it would not stop how I feel about him or take away what he has done, he is still a great horse and thank you Mr. Jackson for letting us watch him alittle longer and for not letting the "Big Bucks" of a stud deal prevent you from racing him into his 4 year old career.

29 May 2008 1:15 PM
FormerFan

Curlin is definitely the better horse..  Think about this. He only lost the belmont by a head.  Afterward,  Rags to Riches got worse and Curlin got better.  Rags was never the same after that effort. Any horse that gets into a head to head battle with Curlin,  trust me,  will never be the same.  BUT it seams to me that these battles have made him a better race horse, whereas it ruined Rag to Riches.  She's pregnant with baby now, and Curlin,  well, he's preparing to make a start somewhere, after his glorious win in Dubai,  which we all know Big Brown won't be doing because he'll be in the breeding shed where the big bucks are.  So,  even if this horse is a really great horse nobody will ever know because 6 lifetime starts accounts for NOTHING..  If he wins the triple crown he would then be the 5th best of the last 5 triple crown winners. Now that says alot. Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Big Brown,  NOW,  out of those 5 who do you think ranks 5th best,  Big Brown.  There's no way he's better than the other 4, NO WAY, he's not better than Citation, if Big Brown made even half the lifetime starts Citation made there would be nothing left of him to breed later. He also isn't facing the competition that Citation faced throughout his career.  Also Citation is a legend and don't anyone ever forget it. Big Brown will never be a legend, he will be forgotten. We know he's not better than Secretariat,no horse will ever be, or Seattle Slew, and he's definitely not better than Affirmed, so that is where he will stand, 5th best of the last 5 triple crown winners. As as matter of fact, he also would never be able to duplicate the records and efforts of the last 4 triple crown winners. I'll go a step further,  he's definitely not better than Spectacular Bid, the greatest horse to never win the triple crown. His competition is lacking, and he doesn't even hold any track or stakes records, so he'll be remembered for the best of the 2008 bunch,  that's about it.  I can not wait for him to meet Curlin.

30 May 2008 8:38 AM

Recent Posts

Recommended Reading

Social Media

More Blogs

Archives