Curlin vs. Big Brown - Let the Countdown Begin

Well, race fans...it looks like we're going to get our wish. After all the talking, hoping, and back-and-forth between Jess Jackson and Mike Iavarone, the showdown of the year is now very likely. Curlin vs. Big Brown. For all the marbles.

After Curlin's record-breaking victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Jess Jackson confirmed that Curlin would be shipping to California on Monday to prepare for his Breeders' Cup Classic defense - Pro-Ride and all. Give Jackson credit for changing his mind. Even though he is not excited about the artificial surface, he knows the best horse in the world belongs at the Breeders' Cup and it will be great for the sport. He also knew he had to be there to have any chance at Horse of the Year honors. Kudos Jess.

As we touched on before, this could wind up being the deepest Classic in history. In addition to Curlin and Big Brown, the probables are littered with superstars - Commentator, Well Armed, Go Between, Casino Drive, Duke of Marmalade, Henrythenavigator, New Approach, Pyro, Student Council and a few more. If even 75% of these horses go to post it will be one of the most anticipated races in recent memory. And a great thing for the industry.

There is plenty of time to analyze the Classic, but before we do that let's take a look back at a super weekend of racing. I came away very impressed with a number of horses. All those who continue to complain about the Pro-Ride, stop your negativety. This is going to a great Breeders' Cup.

First of all, Curlin's Gold Cup win was solid. He didn't have a perfect trip but still found enough to run down Wanderin Boy in the stretch - bad conditions and all. I thought Wanderin Boy would run a big race and he did. Curlin was just too much. And on to California he goes.

Goodwood  - Well Armed showed me a lot. He held off three very good horses in the stretch and defeated a talented field. Give Aaron Gryder credit for a perfect stalking trip. That was probably the difference for Well Armed. Because of his closing kick and preference for the artificial surfaces he will have to be respected in the Classic.

Lady's Secret - What can you say about Zenyata other than she is spectactular? She only beat three but it was the way she did it. She went wide on the turn and went by like Hystericalady like she was standing still. In case you haven't noticed, Hystericalady is a pretty good mare. Nobody is supposed to go by her like that. I know her connections have said she will go to the Distaff, but wouldn't it be exciting if she ran against the boys in the Classic? That would make an already great race the most anticipated showdown in...well, maybe ever.

Flower Bowl - Speaking of defeating good females, how about Dynaforce repelling Mauralakana? She finally put it all together. It looked like Mauralakana was going to go right by Dyanforce around the turn but she was turned back emphatically. Dynaforce might be getting good at the right time. She will be a definite factor in the Filly & Mare Turf.

Vosburgh - Take nothing away from Black Seventeen. He ran a great race and surprised many. But I came away very impressed with Fabulous Strike in a losing effort. He ran a :21.75 quarter and :44.31 half in the slop while being pressed the whole way by J Be K and First Defence. Then he still has enough to fight Black Seventeen tooth and nail in the final furlong. It was a gritty effort. Despite all his physical problems and lack of seasoning over the past year, if he gets into the BC Sprint Fabulous Strike will be a huge factor.

Oak Leaf - This was perhaps the most impressive performance of the day. If you haven't watched the replay of what Stardom Bound did, do yourself a favor and take a look. She breaks slowly, is next to last in a full field of 12 after a half-mile and comes about 10-wide into the lane. That explosion she showed in the stretch is very rare, especially from a 2-year-old filly. She is special and will be the probable favorite in the BC Juvenile Fillies. Mike Smith called her his "baby Zenyata." Watch out.

Turf Classic - Grand Couturier took advantage of very slow splits, but still had to come wide into the stretch. When he did, it was a thing of beauty. He showed a powerful turn of foot to lock up his second consecutive grade I win. He proved he can win away from Saratoga. He is for real.

Clement Hirsch - No way I could leave off a horse that set a new world record, and that's exactly what Red Giant did. His time of 1:57.16 broke a record that had stood for more than 17 years. Talk about impressive. Out of Control wasn't half bad in second either. The BC Turf should be one heck of a race too.

I'd like to hear who you thought was impressive on Saturday.

397 Comments

Leave a Comment:

WDK

I think if not for Curlin, Zenyatta could take Horse of the year...she is just a beast

28 Sep 2008 4:15 PM
gammyp6

everything is coming together so beautifully. the only thing that matters now is that every horse continues in soundness and all have safe trips. in or out of the money these are great athletes and all are deserving of accolades. all of the jockeys are wished the very best. curlin or big brown? i love them both but my heart belongs to brownie.

28 Sep 2008 4:16 PM
Ekrueg

I don't think theres a breeders cup race that won't be fun to watch. I have faith that Curlin will win the Classic. He runs well on turf and dirt and might have a good combination to like the pro-ride. He may be in Well Armed's backyard but Curlin is all class. He always show's up even on the worst of days....

28 Sep 2008 4:16 PM
flyinhome

CURLIN all the way...to tell you the truth, he hasn't had to TRUELLY show us every ounce of heart...Wanderin Boy gave Curlin a run for his money...but curlin still just had to change gear and off he went. If BROWN runs the way has been, there probly won't be a match race between them. Curlin and older horses all the way.

Zenyatta is an absolute MONSTER! how she WALTSED on by Lady was astounding. I agree that the classic would be even more in depth if she was in it...

All the races were awesome this weekend...

28 Sep 2008 4:49 PM
Teaser

Gotta agreed with you about Stardom Bound. Watch Out is right!!

28 Sep 2008 5:01 PM
MIKE RELVA

JASON,GREAT BLOG AS USUAL.

BUT,WHAT SOME OF YOUR READERS ARE NOW SAYING ABOUT ZENYATTA,I'VE BEEN SAYING FOR MONTHS. I WATCHED HER RACE IN THE WINTER AND THOUGHT SHE COULD BE SOMETHING SPECIAL. SHE RESIDES ON HER OWN PLANET,SIMPLE AS THAT! IT WAS AMUSING BEFORE HER RACE YESTERDAY WHEN TVG GUY,SIMON BRAY CHIRPED REGARDING ZENYATTA CHANCES TO GET BEAT,MAYBE SHE MET HER MATCH,ETC. DURING THAT TIME I TOLD MY FRIEND WONDER WHAT BRAY WOULD SAY AFTER THE RACE,LOL. I THINK ZENYATTA'S TRAINER WILL DO THE CORRECT THING AND NOT RACE HER AGAINST THE BOYS,HE WON'T "CAVE IN" TO THE WISHES OF THE FANS,PERIOD!

28 Sep 2008 5:42 PM
Cgriff

I can't believe you left Colonel John off the "big hitter" list!  He's won two grade I races - and is only getting better with age.  I think people would be smart to box an exacta with both the Colonel and Well Armed - wouldn't that be the ultimate 1-2 finish for sons of the only two time Classic winning Tiznow?

That said - I'd LOVE to see Zanyatta in the Classic - but I'm not versed enough in her times and competition level (though I know Hysterical Lady is top drawer) to say whether or not she could really run with the best colts in the world.  Can anyone give some comparisons on her stats versus the colts'?

This is going to be a great two days of racing - I cannot wait!

28 Sep 2008 5:57 PM
Filly85

Mike Smith has to certainly be smiling on both Stardom Bound and Zenyatta.  Zenyatta may be the greatest filly/mare we have ever seen.  I wish Rags to Riches was still around to be racing her.  

You have to watch both Well Armed and Colonel John.  They have been working really well at Santa Anita, and Well Armed proved just how well yesterday.  Well Armed certainly flatters Curlin doesn't he?

I don't think this will be the deepest BC Classic in the last 10 years.  The 2004 Classic field was incredibly deep with two DWC winners and a BC winner running.  A HOY in Azeri and one of the most talented horses in the history of the sport...Ghostzapper.  

I think Curlin is way ahead of the rest of these horses in this year's field.  I think Big Brown is overrated by a lot of people and may not even be in the money because he has never faced anything close to what he will face in the Classic.  Besides Curlin, there aren't any HOY, DWC, or previous BC winners like in 2004.  

Then there was the 98' Classic...man, oh man, what a field that was...Skip Away, Silver Charm, Awesome Again, Arch, Swain, Coronado's Quest, Touch Gold, Victory Gallop, Gentleman...this year's field is nowhere close IMO.  

Still, this will be exciting because of the Curlin vs. Big Brown match up.  However, I kind of view it as the 2005 Belmont matchup at this point...Alex vs. Giacomo.  In the end, I really don't think it will be much of a matchup.  The horse of the world will remain that way IMO!  

28 Sep 2008 6:11 PM
Paula Higgins

Zenyatta is amazing. I wish she would run with the boys, what a heck of a race that would be. I also think Commentator is peaking about right now and should not be counted out. Curlin, like Big Brown, finds a way to win again. A truly GREAT horse in every sense of the word IMO. Red Giant was fantastic. But for me Zenyatta was special. I am not convinced BB can win against this crowd. Too bad because I really like BB, think he is underappreciated and I also think he has a ton of heart.

28 Sep 2008 6:25 PM
julie

Zenyatta was AMAZING.  I was watching her in the post parade and she was practically doing the Spanish Walk, she was so pumped up.  I haven't seen Curlin or Big Brown race in person, but it would take a heck of a horse to beat the big girl, male or female.  I hope she stays in training next year!

28 Sep 2008 6:43 PM
Peggie

Stardom Bound and Street Boss in the Juveniles as youngsters. Stardom Bound just did what 2 yr. olds do not do. Curlin and Zenyatta as the established stars.  I am a Big Brown fan, but Curlin has just shown more. If it comes down to the two of them in the Classic, Curlin without a doubt. And Red Giant,  another winner for his great sire.

28 Sep 2008 6:44 PM
Jason Shandler

Cgriff: You're right. I forgot Col. John. He certainly belongs and adds a lot to the field.

28 Sep 2008 6:49 PM
Speedball

Zenyatta all the way, YOU ALL!

Commentator, Zenyatta, and Curlin-the three fastest horses on the planet!  I'd think Zenyatta would give the boys a run for their money. You go girl!!!

28 Sep 2008 7:05 PM
Anne M

I love Zenyatta - Too me, she is the best TB running right now. I am sad she won't go against the boys in the Classic.

I would not underestimate Big Brown - he has shown twice now that he will not lose when it counts.

28 Sep 2008 7:08 PM
rowner

I take some of that action with John and Well Armed. Big brown is good but I think he'll be up against it in the classic. If Curlin takes to the pro ride surface its his race to lose.

28 Sep 2008 7:36 PM
Wizard

Let's see now...

Three weeks ago Big Brown was all out to beat Proudinsky by a desperate neck in the Monmouth Stakes.  Proudinsky loses the Hirsch Invitational yesterday by 23 lengths to Grand Couturier, the same Grand Couturier that was beaten by about 5 lengths by Curlin when the champ finished a respectable  second to grass specialist Red Rocks in the Man'O'War in July. hmmmm.

28 Sep 2008 8:46 PM
Kekira

Undefeated in eight starts, I think seven of which are graded stakes. Zenyatta is an absolutely AMAZING horse. I expected the Lady to give her a fight, but the way she just blew by after coming from dead last and going four wide on the turn and seeing how great a trip Lady had, Zenyatta has just taken the favorite horse spot for me.

She deserves Horse of the Year and if she were to face the boys, it'd be guaranteed. She's got the speed and talent to beat all of them, I mean, have we ever truly seen just how fast this girl can go?

28 Sep 2008 8:53 PM
Wizard

Now let's see again.

Well Armed is beaten easily by Curlin in the Dubai World Cup by about 10  lengths. The same Well Armed who won the Goodwin yesterday at Santa Anita. hmmm.

28 Sep 2008 8:54 PM
Grey K

Great races yesterday.  Love Zenyatta, and the BC Classic field is going to be amazing.  I figure if Curlin doesn't like the Pro-Ride they can always keep heading west to Japan, but I hope to see the big red horse repeat in the Classic and as HOY.

28 Sep 2008 9:06 PM
Wizard

Jason:

Yes, the filly would add even more excitement to the BC Classic. It would be a great field. But best ever? I think not. The 1998 field, from top to bottom was and would still be the greatest BC Classic field of all time. This year's could very well be second only to that marvelous group (Skip Away, Silver Charm, Coronados Quest, Touch Gold, Gentlemen, Swain, Victory Gallop, Awesome Again and Arch). And who could forget that wild finish when the field fanned out making the end look like the finish of a quarter horse race. For those who would like to see it again, go to YOU TUBE and enter "1998 Breeders Cup Classic" in search. It's worth it!

28 Sep 2008 9:07 PM
Kenny

 I agree this sets up to be a great classic, especially now that Curlin is going. In my opinion, however, Curlin and Big Brown are not the one's who will win this race. That honor will go to Commentator. Commentator is the most impressive at this time and will get the distance. Also, don't forget Go Between who loves synthetics and is prime. My guess is that one of the big two (Curlin and Big Brown) doesn't hit the board.

28 Sep 2008 9:25 PM
WWSTP

Curlin shows up when it matters!!  I really don't think BB is going to be his primary competition.  There are some great horses coming over the pond, and they deserve a lot of respect...as does Commentator.

28 Sep 2008 9:36 PM
Justa Fan

I am sure that very few here would agree with me, but Big Brown will not hit the board.  In fact, I bet he doesn't come closer than 7th.  After the race, IAEH will make the excuse that he didn't take to the track. blah, blah, blah the truth is that he could be the most over-hyped, well placed horse in the history of the sport. He hasn't beat anyone since the Derby.  Check the PP's.

28 Sep 2008 10:02 PM
remlap

Your piece did not mentioned that Tiago was hindered all through the lane. The horses Curlin has beaten in the US, Big Brown could beat them easaily. He is a better 3YR than Curlin at this stage than Curlin last year. Can Cocoa Beach be beaten? not by Zenyatta.

28 Sep 2008 10:06 PM
Ejay

Big Brown, the best 3 year-old.  Curlin, the best 4 year-old. In a fairly run race, the best 4 year-old beats the best 3 year-old every time.

28 Sep 2008 10:16 PM
Sweet Defense (Fr)

If both Well Armed and Commentator run in the Classic, they may give Big Brown fits. Go with them, and he's run off his feet. Hang back - and he moves with Curlin and Go Between, and I don't think he can move with those two. My favorite win over the weekend was Well Armed, he has so much guts and is so honest. Haven't seen any of the races - between dial-up and no HRTV/TVG, it's difficult.

Best field - no way. 1998 was far better.

Still don't think Curlin needs to run to be HOTY, think he has that sewn up unless Big Brown wins by a mile, then it might be questionable, but still not a sure thing.

You left out Wait a While's win. She loves the course.

28 Sep 2008 10:34 PM
Melissa G

Don't write off Ginger Punch even after losing to Cocoa Beach.  She lost the Beldame last year and went on to win the Distaff.  She's a scrapper.

28 Sep 2008 10:41 PM
KatintheHat

I really enjoy watching Zenyatta, but I'm not sure her race against Hystericalady with very slow splits was particularly impressive.  Hysteriacalady has yet to "show up" on synthetics and she seemed to consider ProRide synthetic footing.  If Zenyatta were to go against the boys in the Classic, she should have already been raced against them for the experience.  She's had some really clean trips so far, hasn't really had to get "down and dirty" with horses her size in a full field.  Hopefully she will be back next year.

If Commentator and BB are both in the classic, it will be very interesting to see how the front end of the race unfolds. . .

28 Sep 2008 10:46 PM
Paula Higgins

I have a question. At what point will the field be firmed up for the BCC? What's the cutoff point?

28 Sep 2008 10:57 PM
grandpa

Come on! For the last

Can we please stop talking about a curlin and big brown meeting in the breeders cup. Everybody seen it for themself. He wasnt even blowing hard after the race. Curlin is a king you can throw anything at him a sloppy, dry, and grass track. oh ya all grade 1 races.

Big brown is so overrated. This years three year old crop can not even be compared to last years crop of monsters. Any of those top 5 horse(rags to riches too)from last year can come out of the breeding shed and still beat Big brown. Look they had to make up a race on the grass for a prep race??? What was that race a grade 3 or 2? (far from a grade 1)Big browns connection knew that if they ran him on dirt in any of the real prep races he will lose and be in the breeding shed by now. To pass on a bad foot problem for an amount threw the roof. You can breed to that. I'll take curlin where your going to get your moneys worth.

For those true curlin fans. The two that worry me are DUKE OF MARMALADE and

HENRYTHENAVIGATOR. Go watch some replays you will see.

28 Sep 2008 11:09 PM
Draynay

Curlin has proven himself on one surface so until he wins on another he is a toss. Zanyetta can't get the distance and should not even try.  Stay with the girls where you belong there is nothing wrong with being the world's best filly. Colonel John ? Your are kidding right? His two big wins were against Mambo in Seattle and some horse in the San Anita Derby we have never seen since. The Euro horses...lol.. stick to turf don't bother coming where the big boys play. Commentator... thank you very much for setting the pace for Big Brown.  Who does that leave ? Casino Drive... I think he locks up with Big Brown and comes up short at the wire with Curlin a distant 3rd.

1.) Big Brown the new HOY

2.) Casino Drive

3.) Culin former HOY

28 Sep 2008 11:11 PM
Wizard

Kenny:

While Commentator is in wonderful form, and he's trained by one of the very best in Zito, I don't believe he has ever given any evidence that he can get a mile and a quarter. In fact, he is more likely to run in the BC "dirt" Mile from what I've heard. Of course, that could change if Nick decides to give the Classic a shot.

If the rigors of a long campaign have not slowed him down, the feeling here is Curlin should win  the Classic. And the two foreign horses, Duke of Marmalade and Henrythenavigator will give Curlin the most competition, not Big Brown. Got to be concerned with pro ride specialist Colonel John also.

28 Sep 2008 11:22 PM
Brian

Remlap, welcome to dream world. Big Brown being better at this stage as a 3 yr old than Curlin was last year is a complete joke. Curlin bested last years champion older horse Lawyer Ron in the Gold Cup. Curlin bested 2006 2 yr old champ and 2007 Ky Derby hero Street Sense in the Preakness. He ran  tremendously at a 1 1/2 in defeat in the Belmont; yes, the same race Big Brown couldn't finish. Big Brown has no claim to fame accept being loved by the casual horse racing fan.

Heres more info you need to understand.

Curlin's Preakness- 111 beyer

Big Brown - 100

Curlin's Belmont - 107

Big Brown - -0- Zero

Curlin's 07 Haskell (loss) - 105

Big Brown - 106 (not much different, and he won)

Curlin's 07 Gold Cup - final BC prep - 114

Big Browns final BC prep - 105

Curlin raced against one of the toughest 3 year old divisions in years, remember that.

28 Sep 2008 11:34 PM
Bradgm

I hope Draynay is ready for a big disappointment. Having seen all of the horses run, I'd say Zenyatta was the most impressive. She probably won't run in the Classic not due to Big Brown but Curlin. I just kind of think the Euros, who I've only seen on TV may be a daunting duo. Seems to me that BB is regressing while the others are hitting their stride. BB is playing with the big boys now. They won't care if they box him in and rough him up. Like Iavarone said the colt wants to do things his way, doesn't like being rated or held back forcibly. He won't get any gifts in the BC, they will force him to run their kind of race.  It's fine to be confident in your horse but a little humility goes a long way. The calling out and taunting tone is best reserved for other sports boards, we saw how far it got Big Brown's human connections.

28 Sep 2008 11:39 PM
Draynay

Hey Brian thanks for all of that great Beyer information I guess all we have to do is pick the horse with the highest last Beyer and he wins.  Wow... why didn't I think of that? Just pick the horse with the highest Beyer's and he is sure to win.  Thanks Brian, hey let's keep your new handicapping secret between you and me.  We will cash big time !!!

28 Sep 2008 11:53 PM
G1Jimmy

First of all I'm a big Big Brown fan. He is 3YO Champions period.  Curlin is the the HOY unless BB wins the Classic. If you gave me $1,000 to pick the winner in the Classic I would pick Curlin.  He towers over this bunch, we just don't know how he and others will run on the fake dirt.  I'll be there at OSA.  History will be made.    

28 Sep 2008 11:54 PM
G1Jimmy

Hey Brian,

What about the Kentucky Derby?  That is the biggest race in the world, last time I check Curlin was 3rd and Big Brown won from the 20 hole with a 109 Beyer.    

28 Sep 2008 11:59 PM
The Colonel

Big Brown hasn't met the Duke and Henry, has he? And what if New Approach ends up on the synth instead of the grass? Then what happens? You honestly think Big Brown can run with the best of Europe? What a joke.

Zenyatta appears to be a go next year and may meet the boys down the line, as long as she's happy and healthy. Totally looking forward to 2009.

29 Sep 2008 12:27 AM
grandpa

Thats right bradgm. BB can not handle presure of being knock around. They will make BB run there race kind of race in the breeders cups. If you watch bb replays in all of them he is just runnig off on kent early in all the races. and the time he get's into trouble (belmont). big brown spit the bit.

29 Sep 2008 12:48 AM
dr marv

Big Brown in the Derby and Preakness was a different horse from the one in the Haskell and Monmouth, due of course to steroids. Kudos to Mike Iavarone for not giving steroids but still winning. There will be two keys to this race: How BB and Curlin take to Pro-ride, and whether or not Iavarone gives BB steroids.

29 Sep 2008 12:58 AM
Wizard

Draynay,

You sound like you may have never made a winning bet. If you think the Beyers (and times of he races) don't mean anything, I have a bridge to sell you!

Your love of BB has totally blinded you to reason. I'm afraid you're in for a rude awakening on Oct.25.

29 Sep 2008 6:03 AM
ezzy

this years classic is nothing short of breathtaking if Curlin does run, then woe unto everybody else. But its horse racing no one wins on paper and should the worst happen, then my pick would be Go Between or Commentator, nobody should underestimate the Europeans, like smbody said watch their replays and you'll know why for the upset of the century my pick would have to be either colonel john or casino drive. Taking nothing away from them, they are both very talented 3yr olds but facing the several older horse monsters they'd have to be exceptional! Zenyatta is amazing and i think she'll make an impact in whichever race she's in. As for Big Brown, he's in no mans land for the 1st time he'll be facing top calibre horses, personally I have nothing agaist the horse but sadly my bet is his final race is a dismall performance against real class. And as for some bigmouth BB fans, save us the ranting and raving till after the classic, although am guessing by the time they hit the quater pole you'll probably be praying for the earth to open up and swallow you whole.

29 Sep 2008 7:04 AM
Citicivil

Quite laughable considering the difference in the competition level faced by curlin (Hard spun , Street sense) as opposed to Big brown whose main rivals ( colonel John , Pyro ) had really bad derby trips.

TWO more important things. I agree the field is very deep,and the surface also factors in to make for a more uncertain result. I am really looking forward to this great clash of titans. I don't see any long prices in this field every one deserves to be respected." I MUST add I was kinda on the HEATSEEKER train all year, Pro ride an all.

Think it will come down to arguably the two best horses in the world this year,CURLIN and Duke of Marmalade. Just see it being  another tiznow:giantscauseway like battle.

29 Sep 2008 8:00 AM
da3hoss

100% agreement with all your comments, plus Bear Now was great...it was a fun, fun day of racing...Stardom Bound has "the look"...Zanjero was fun to watch finally pull it together...it's always great to watch a claimer (Cost of freedom) rise in the ranks..Wait A While looked like her 3 year old self, and Cocoa Beach ran a great race, though I love ginger Punch...

Go Tiznow babies!

29 Sep 2008 8:16 AM
Speedball

Hey You All!

 Nobody has mentioned Commentator's 119 and 120!!!  The last time I checked, this beats any Beyer number mentioned.  Even if Zito decides not to run him, he's still freakishly fast!!

29 Sep 2008 8:17 AM
da3hoss

I wish we could be as classy in our posts as the horses we are fans of.

29 Sep 2008 8:30 AM
Frank J.

Jason, do you or were you impressed at all with Zanjero at Turfway?? I'm pretty sure they have a synthetic track there although I don't think it's Pro-Ride. He seemed to handle the surface well and the way he split horses and finished was impressive although not against much competition. Do you know if they are considering sending him to SA? I'm so glad Curlin is going to the BC. Just the greatest. Draynay and and BB fans are dreaming if they think he's even 7th or better in the Classic.

29 Sep 2008 8:37 AM
draynot

Brian,

I see draynay is being his usual self by ridiculing you for pointing out the Big Ole Browneye so far has not produced a race on the Beyer Scale that does not even approach an average Curlin Beyer Fig. If you have an opinion different than his he gets insulted and reacts with ridicule. Don't let it bother you. We all know that on dirt Curlin is a far superior horse. All the figures prove that. The Big Ole Browneye is lucky that the Classic will be run on a "fake" track. It may be his only prayer to beat Curlin. This is an animal born under a lucky star. His entire year should have an asterisk after it. He's won big name races but the competition he faced at the time in each race was well below par for those races. Now he has the luck to end his career in the Classic and it's being run on a fake surface.

That being said, both animals will be facing some very tough competition (Big Brown for the first time if they all show up). I would not be too surprised if they both were beat.  

29 Sep 2008 8:58 AM
aspradling

Goodwood - I love Tiago!!! He almost made it, just ran out of real-estate.

Lady's Secret - Zenyatta in the classic would be crazy, I don't think she could win.

Oak Leaf - Just incredible this race, Stardom Bound did a wonderful job.

29 Sep 2008 9:08 AM
Kelly E.

I love Zenyatta and also wish Rags to Riches were around to give her a real test!  I hope that she runs in the Classic - and why not - she has nothing left to prove against the fillies/mares (with the exception of Ginger Punch).  It's going to be a tough Classic - but still nowhere near the '98 version in my opinion.  I don't think even half of the horses Jason mentioned will run.  And I also think Big Brown will NOT hit the board.  Those others are too tough for him.  I think Curlin will have to work hard to get a victory out of the Classic this time around.  The surface should even up things for his competitors.

29 Sep 2008 9:14 AM
Patties Critters

Congratulations on your win Curlin!! I believe Curlin will win against Big Brown because The Mighty Curlin IS the FASTEST Horse and he is Handsome too :)

29 Sep 2008 9:16 AM
MonicaV

Oh, this is always fun!  Everyone has their opinion but you just never know what will happen.  I have not seen the European horses run, I should check out youtube.  I have seen most of the others run and everyone going into the classic

belongs there.  Zenyatta is fantastic.  A perfect record but I don't think she'll run against the boys.  Personal Ensign was also undefeated and she ran against the boys but her connections didn't put her in the classic against Alysheba but I would have liked to have seen it.  Some really tremendous fillies have run against the boys and couldn't do it.  I'm not saying Zenyatta would have a problem but I'm sure her connections would rather run her in the distaff.  This year's classic could be an upset.  I've seen it happen before.  It could be the longest shot in the field, I was there when Arqanue won (don't remember the spelling). There are so many factors in the classic but it will be fascinating to watch.  Big Brown has had foot problems and his training has been weird because of it.  His biggest asset at this point is his huge heart and courage it may see him through but he is not quite the horse he was earlier but maybe that has changed since Monmouth.  I don't discount him, he has certainly earned his place here.  If this was a dirt track, I would think Curlin was hands down the winner but they have no idea how he will handle the track.  If he is acclimated for a month, I would say he will handle it.  This is horse racing and you just never know!  I can't wait.

29 Sep 2008 9:33 AM
Jerry B.

I made Steve Asmussen laugh after the JCGC. As he was leaving the winner's circle, I acted like a reporter and told/asked him, "Hey Steve, I hear the are 'creating' a race for Big Brown over at Yonkers. (A harness track) Can your horse run on a 1/2 mile track?

29 Sep 2008 9:36 AM
da3hoss

Could someone please tell me what Curlin's Beyer was for JGC? Thanks.

29 Sep 2008 9:42 AM
Eremein

There seems to be as many Curlin fans as there are Big Brown fans which is great for racing. The two horses that i have been most impressed by, from an overseas point of view have to be Curlin and Zenyatta. You dont get to be the all time money earner winning small races and he has done it in so few starts.

The filly looks to have a very strong motor. I just wonder if she is up to the class of the other 'seasoned' horses. Dont get me wrong i love watching her cause she has a great 'turn of foot'.

I have seen a bit of the Irish Colts and they are to be respected. I watched Henrythenavigators first ever start at Ascot when he won on debut when ridden by Mick Kinane. He is by Sadlers Wells so he should stay all day. He is a dual classic winner and both of his wins over New Approach were outstanding. New Approach then came out and won English Derby of course so the form around Henrythenavigator is top class. I am interested to see what Jason thinks about a horse call Weekend Hussler and whether he would measure up to the Breeders Cup Field. He isn't going to the Breeders Cup but he is our best horse and is winning everything here at the moment. He is favorite for our Cups in the coming weeks. You can see his three wins this campaign on you tube searching "Weekend Hussler" The most recent being the "Underwood Stakes" before that the "Makybe Diva Stakes" and before that the "Memsie Stakes"

29 Sep 2008 9:47 AM
Jason Shandler

Frank J: Asmussen said Zanjero will go to the Dirt Mile.

29 Sep 2008 9:49 AM
Clay

G1Jimmy, I thought BB had the perfect post in the KD with the way he breaks from the gate, and he had the perfect trip. Curlin had to make up ground and got boxed in coming down the stretch. I promise you he would have been right there with Street Sense at the wire.

Aspradling, I like Tiago too, he is really coming in to himself and he loves the pro ride. Give careful consideration to the horses returning from the Goodwood in the BC Classic. My picks:

1 Culin

2 Tiago

3 Well Armed

29 Sep 2008 9:55 AM
Curlin Fan

I love Big Brown and think he is an amazing horse, but I also believe he peaked around the time of the Preakness.  I do not believe he has a huge race in him and that is what it would take to beat Curlin.  His last two wins have not been spectacular and he has not beat horses of the caliber he will face at the Breeders Cup. My top picks at the Breeders Cup will be Curlin (he is unstoppable at this point in his career) and Commentator.  I will admit, I would also like to see Big Brown beat just to shut Dutrow & Iavarone up, I am sick to death of their egos!!!!  Who wants to wager that Big Brown, between now & the Breeders Cup, now that it appears that Curlin will be there, comes up injured and retires?  He has 3 yr old of the year without a win in the Breeders Cup and if Big Brown loses another race, his stud value drops dramatically.  I doubt we see him now at the Breeders Cup.  Dutrow & Iavarone are too good at ducking away from races that Curlin will be at that they should have run Big Brown (the Woodward and the JCGC).

29 Sep 2008 10:11 AM
DONNA

In case no one has checked yet according to the article and picture I just saw Curlin stepping off the van at Santa Anita yesterday afternoon. Jess Jackson and Steve Assmussen are two

smart men. Didn't they ship Curlin to Dubai well ahead of the World Cup to train over that track? As I understand it they  are doing the same thing here, training Curlin with plenty of time for the Breeders Cup. May the best horse win and all be safe.

29 Sep 2008 10:22 AM
mg

Curlin & The Classic

Before I get bombarded by the Curlin people I'd like to clarify that I'm a huge Curlin fan and have been from his first few races.

Having been in and around this sport for a long time, I'd like to make a couple of observations and not get caught up in the hype of the Big Brown vs. Curlin matchup as there will be more than ample competetion in the Classic for both to make it a highly contentious race.

Curlin is a truly great champion and has proved so on every major stage, yet at this point of his career he does not appear to be the same Curlin that demolished the best in the world in Dubai. He has had a long and grueling campaign and has danced every dance with class and the heart of a true champion. His efforts in both the Woodward and JCGC however would seem to reflect he does not possess the same finishing kick he showed prior to and including the Dubai race. Admittedly he is a grinder type and as horses mature they tend to do what they have to to win, which he has exhibited, but he does not appear to me to be near the top of his game.

Rick Dutrow, regardless of his off the wall comments, is a top class conditioner and I beieve has noted the same. His latest quote "I was happy to see what I saw yesterday (referencing the JCGC)and I can't wait to get out there and put him (Big Brown) in the gate." Typical Dutrow bluster, perhaps, but I do believe he sees a vulnerable horse not at his best.

Opinions ?      

29 Sep 2008 10:24 AM
Teaser

Kelly E,

Zenyatta already beat Ginger Punch in the Apple Blossom on the dirt yet!

29 Sep 2008 10:42 AM
da3hoss

Donna, I agree with you: "the best horse win and all be safe"...every race.

29 Sep 2008 10:42 AM
JordanA

Iavarone: 9/25/08 Talkin Horses

"The million dollar question that always seems to surround this horse is his trip. The simple answer is Big Brown is at his best when allowed to maintain his cruising speed. When he is grabbed on or forced out of his natural gait things can go wrong. The distance he maintains from the lead or whether he is in front is not what concerns us, as long as he is comfortable in his cruising speed at points early in the race. The best examples of this are his allowance race at Gulfstream and the KY Derby." THAT is why winning from the 20 hole at the Derby was to his advantage, just like we were talking about a few blogs back. If anybody thiks the horses in the Classic will give him what he wants, they're nuts.

I watched Henry run and lose his race on tv and even a loss was impressive, he never quit. I think it will be the Duke of Marmalade who will give all of them big problems.

I don't like the fact that BB is hanging out on the East Cost until the last minute and didn't like the way Iavarone talked about having all of the foot/hoof specialists around him. Wonder if he'll show. Iavarone wants a match race, why? because it's easy to control, don't have a bunch of horses boxing you in or impeding your progress.

As the BH was announcing that Curlin was going to SA, he was already on his way.

29 Sep 2008 10:53 AM
BIGHORSEFAN

mg, let's pose another question to you. Does Dutrow see the same thing in his own colt? BB seemed to be much more vulnerable than Curlin. And no I'm not a huge Curlin fan or BB fan either, just a fan of good racing. Neither set of connections are my favorite people. There seems to be a lot of other horses more at the peak of their game than those two. But if RD (and others) actually watched the JCGC with a clear mind and objectively you would see that Curlin did what he needed to do and really nothing more than that.

To the guy who talked about the 120 for Commentator, we talked about that a while back. Impressive, but distance questions there.

The run by Zenyatta, holy cow, if you saw it live it was amazing. Stardom Bound even more amazing, made your heart stop to watch her and she was still running at the end, KY Oaks or maybe the Derby?

29 Sep 2008 11:03 AM
DONNA

I watched the JCGC Saturday on HRTV and again reveiwed the race again on Sunday I don't recall seeing Robby go to the whip on Curlin in the strectch. He won the race handily, why does he need to grandstand and win by lenghts? Yes Curlin has had quite a campaign the past year, no need to over extend him and grind him into the ground.

29 Sep 2008 11:07 AM
Monica V

mg,

Curlin won the race Saturday under a hand ride.  He didn't even see the stick.  He won it with very little effort and it was on a muddy track.  I think it was the plan to just get him to the front and win and go to California.  Why would you want him to win by 5 lengths and take more out of him?  He just ran 4 weeks ago.  His race in the Woodward was tiring as he had so many lengths to make up.  He should have been closer to the pace but that's neither here nor there.  You don't want a horse to go more than he has to especially in the mud and you're shooting for your second classic in 4 weeks.  No, it was intentional to just get the job done and break the earnings record.  Albarado had them all measured and dropped way back to save ground, had that not happened he probably would have won by 4 or 5.  In this case or any case, does the winning margin really matter when the horse is so obviously comfortable and could have kept going?

29 Sep 2008 11:17 AM
Wizard

mg:

While you are right that Curlin hasn't demolished the last two fields he's raced against the Beyers are still as high or higher than BB's best.

Saratoga is a speed favoring track, and the Woodward was run with way too fast early fractions for a 9 furlong race. Curlin did not have a good trip, and still got up for the win. A lesser horse would never have caught Pass The Point, who ran the race of his life, that day.

In the JCGC Alberado hand rode him down the stretch and did not ask for very much, a good idea so as to not take a lot out of him. Afterall, the BC Classic is only 4 weeks away.

The way I see it, it all comes down to whether he takes to the "pro-ride" surface. If he likes it, it will take a bad trip on his part and another horse to run the race of their life to beat him.

29 Sep 2008 11:32 AM
MikeM

I can't wait to see BB chase Commentator for about 7/8 of a mile.It will be easier to pull him up this time because he's already done it.I see no reason why Curlin won't run his race on Pro Ride.He has shown up on every surface while facing all comers. A truly amazing horse and to quote Jerry Bail, "Those other horses don't breath the same air".

29 Sep 2008 11:43 AM
Grey K

I don't think Big Brown will hit the board. I'm rooting for Curlin but agree with those who say he does not seem to be the same horse he was last year.  Duke of Marmalade impresses me.  If Curlin likes the surface he should finish in the money but maybe second to Commentator or the Duke.  But I know nothing.      

29 Sep 2008 11:57 AM
Pam S.

It looks like we fans are getting what we clamored for, the "Clash of the Titans" indeed, and we should all be thrilled, regardless of which horse we favor.  I know I am.  I was not sure Curlin would participate in the BC, but now I guess the big boy just needs to pick up his feet on the Pro Ride, show them what he can do and he'll be in the gate.  Best Classic field ever? maybe not, but better than we thought a month ago.

I was at SA Saturday and must add my voice to the chorus of praise for Zenyatta.  She is so big and powerful!! Really should try the males, but can't blame connections for being cautious either.  Also just loved "Baby Zenyatta."  Determination and talent were so evident.  The Goodwood was really exciting; think Tiago would have won without so much ground loss.  Now there's an overlooked horse.  

Overall, I think the Pro Ride, which kind of looked to me like dirt with a little dryer lint mixed in, will not be that big an issue.  Seemed like the best horses were winning or running well.  Now there is really every reason to look forward to this 25th BC.  

Almost forgot, did anyone see Coal Play, the one who gave BB such a tussle in the Haskell, run Sunday?  He ran them off their feet in a little stakes at MTH.

29 Sep 2008 11:57 AM
Curlin

    Beyer speed figures are very important in handicapping, but they are not the end all be all.  Pace makes the race and the BC Classic will be no different.  Gary Stevens has said that after he was on the Pro-Ride a couple of times he believes the track plays extremely fair and the afternoon results so far seem to point to him being right.  He also said that unless a horse or horses on the lead can get a breather at some point during the race, they will not be there in the end as the track is tiring.  So, too fast in the early going of the Classic will completely eliminate horses like Commentator and if the pace is slow, watch out for the Euros as a slow pace with a bunched up field and then a sprint for home after the 1/4 pole is the exact way they race in Europe and it's what they are used to over there.

    I don't think the race will set up well for Big Brown because I don't think the pace will be that fast.  A fast pace would be to his benefit as he would sit just behind it and when the speedster start backing up, he would have 1st run and probably be able to hold off the closers because like it or not, he is game and I haven't seen him be passed in the lane yet. (just my opinion).  However, I see a more moderate pace, but not a slow pace like the Euros would want.  A moderate pace will set things up nicely for Curlin as that is what he likes, moderate fractions.  If he takes to the Pro-Ride, he wins, but not necessarily because he is the best horse, although I believe he is, but because I believe the pace will be the most beneficial to him.

    You can never underestimate the home track advantage so I look for one of the west coast horses to finish 2nd.  I didn't get to see the Goodwood live, but did watch the replay.  Even though Well Armed got the best trip by far of the top 3 finishers, I still don't know if they would have beaten him otherwise.  I watched the gallop out as well and they still didn't pass him then either.  So, my top 3 would be:

1) Curlin

2) Well Armed

3) Who cares, I don't play tris!

Now, of course I could change my mind once the post positions are drawn and we see who takes to the post and who doesn't.  

29 Sep 2008 12:02 PM
Speedball

d3Hoss,

I read in an article this morning about the JCG that Curlin's Beyer for the race was 110.  

29 Sep 2008 12:09 PM
grandpa

I am so glad that there's real horse man out there that understand the sport. Not these casual money hungry fans. That dont understand horse racing. I have call out BB feet problems. but dont wish any harm to a king of and island. Not the world like curlin. It would be so great to see there first crop go at it in the derby.

29 Sep 2008 12:29 PM
mg

Bighorsefan, Donna, Monica V & Wizard.

I believe I may have been mistunderstood. I did not suggest that Curlin should have won by open air or that Alberado should have drained Curlins tank prior to the Cup. But regardless he has not appeared to finish his last quarter up to his standards in either the Woodward or JCGC. There are several well stated points in your reponses however he did not finish the Woodward well and simply because did not go to the stick in the Gold Cup does not mean he finished up all that well. Alberado threw several crosses on him and although he maintained a comfortable margin, it was not as simply as an easy hand ride victory. If as you suggest, in your opinion, he was just getting the job done and they did not want to squeeze the lemon before the big dance then Oct.25 will certainly tell us. I hope that you are correct - he's one fine champion.  

29 Sep 2008 12:34 PM
Carolyn in ND

Holy Cow!!  What a great BC it will be!  I was lucky to get tickets & am so wanting to leave NOW!  Excited I am!  Thanks for all the info each of you have given It will help me with my wagers.  Curlin & Commentator will be the battle it out horses.  Curlin will have to put on his stretch drive for a longer time to win over Commentator.  It will be awesome to watch in person!  I'll wait to see who actually shows up to race as there are several weeks & lots can happen in between.  I've owned horses for 40 years & know how quickly things can change.  All pray that all(horses, jockeys, etc..)stay safe & sound.  

29 Sep 2008 12:36 PM
OLD TIMER

Wizard,

Thanks for some astute and humorous comments on Big Brown. (beating Proudinsky, etc.)  I may later eat the words, but have to agree that Brown has not beat much lately; last two races not impressive and still possible foot problems.

Curlin the logical one. However if he does not like the Pro-Ride (remember the Man of War on grass was only loss this year) it could be either Well Armed or the Colonel at a nice price. Home field advantage. As someone said, I could see trying a few bucks on that exacta.

Lastly -- the biggest disappointment of all is the old warrior, Evening Attire won't get to show us his stamina and closing kick in the Marathon. Thanks to a great horse for some great memories.

29 Sep 2008 12:36 PM
grandpa

Question?

zenyate or ruffian? I know there was a differant kind of horse 20 years ago. But thats are fault. Not a match race. A full field lets 12 horse.

29 Sep 2008 12:36 PM
The Deacon

Draynay: to even think Big Brown is in the same class as Curlin is laughable. The Beyer speed ratings is a benchmark. We use that along with racing times, racing surfaces, track conditions and the weight a horse carries to handicap thse races. Monmouth Park had to create a race for Big Brown and line it up especially for his liking. Curlin takes on all comers and is one of the toughest competitors I have ever seen. Big Brown's connections picks spots for him that they know he can win. He should have run in the Travers, not the Haskell. All of this is just words anyway, in about 30 days we will have our horse of the year and put this bantying to rest. I know one thing, if I had a horse in a race that decided horse of the year, I would NOT put Kent Desormeaux on him.  

29 Sep 2008 12:55 PM
Curlin Fan

To mg:

The JCGC was actually a fantastic race for Curlin when you consider that Robby did NOT once use the whip on him.  Robby pushed Curlin just enough for him to win the race but not be totally worn out and unable to run in a month.  Keep in mind, Curlin will have run, within a span of about 8 weeks, 3 races.  Curlin to me looked great still, especially considering the track and the hand ride done brilliantly by Robby.  Curlin will destroy his competition at the BC.

29 Sep 2008 12:56 PM
DONNA

Grandpa, thats a very hard question. Zenyatta or the great Ruffian? I guess we'll never know the true answer only a race in heaven somday and I bet it would be a tie.

29 Sep 2008 1:05 PM
BIGHORSEFAN

mg, my response was more to your question about what Rick Dutrow said. I reiterate that he should be looking at his own colt before making the comment about Curlin. I think he's in far and away more trouble than Curlin. His colt looked disasterous, stressed and distressed in his last three runs. I just wonder about leaving BB on the East coast. Easier to say, he has a fever, new quarter crack etc?

I think everything this colt has done since IEAH bought into him has been predicated on how much he can bring in the breeding shed. Iavarone making the comments on 9/25 about generating interest in horse racing were ludicrous if you ask me. He turned people off and caused a loss of interest when he announced the stud plans and retirement of BB as soon as he won the Kentucky Derby.

29 Sep 2008 1:12 PM
Wilson

Big Brown over Curlin, because he is a better horse and can use his tactical speed to his advantage at Santa Anita.  He should like the surface just fine with his grass and dirt proficiency.  I also like Tiago though, and I know Shirreffs, being a Californian, has been pointing Tiago to the Classic all year, and he seemed to really like the surface saturday, and ran well 10 wide for 2nd money.  A similar ride and another 1/8th of a mile and he's in the mix with anyone.

Since they changed the pick 6 layout the only big bet I'll be making is on the Saturday late pick 4, it should be a great pick 4 though.

29 Sep 2008 1:24 PM
G1Jimmy

Hey Deacon, You need to realize that you are comparing a 3yr old to a 4 year old, BB and Curlin have very compareable beyers as 3 year olds. They ran in the same races as three year olds. Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont and Haskell (why didn't Curlin run in the Travers last year?). BB won 3, Curlin won 1.  Since last year's Gold Cup all the credit in the World goes out to Curlin, he has been the best horse.  Let's just wait and see how Big Brown does against Curlin in the classic.      

29 Sep 2008 1:34 PM
Draynay

Ok... let's get this whole Beyer thing cleared up  ALL YEAR LONG Black Seventeen has been firing Beyers in the high 90's. First Defence 108 Rockefeller 112... 2 months ago Lucky Island 114... but guess what Black Seventeen who has race 3 times this year never hit above a 98 yet he took down every horse in the field.  Anyone who bet that race based on Beyer lost his butt.  Black Seventeen was ready and Fabulous Strike was not at his best. Dutrow is getting plenty of time to have Big Brown at his best bet against him at your own peril. The smart money will be on Big Brown to win...once he makes the lead he has NEVER been caught.

29 Sep 2008 1:41 PM
s lee

Curlin will beat BB, but the surface, the large field and the Europeans will beat him, esp. if he draws an inside post.

I hope I'm wrong, because I've loved that white blazed red face since he came home first WAYYYY back in Arkansas, and maybe a month's work on the SA surface will help him as surely as the long prep in Dubai did.

But most of all, I hope it's a safe trip and a good race for everybody, not just in the Classic but in all the races both days.  Can't wait!

29 Sep 2008 1:42 PM
Wizard

Speedball:

So Curlin got a 110 Beyer in the JCGC after never being asked for too much and with a hand ride to the wire. And BB's best Beyer ever was the Derby, a 109. Hmmmm.

Old Timer:

I agree with you, old Evening Attire will be missed. It's too bad the first running of the BC Marathon is this year and it wasn't started sooner. Evening Attire may have had a BC win or two if they had added it to the BC series sooner.

29 Sep 2008 1:45 PM
Mike S

What a race the Breeders Cup Classic is shaping up to be! CURLIN, obviously, is the one to beat. But if COMMENTATOR, BIG BROWN, CASINO DRIVE, GO BETWEEN, WELL ARMED, COLONEL JOHN and TIAGO all show up it's not going to be an easy race, and the winner will have to earn the victory by beating a stellar field! I'm sticking with my Dynamic Duo of WELL ARMED and COLONEL JOHN.

In the BC "dirt" Mile I am all over SLEW'S TIZNOW. This is a horse on his way up, he's fresh, he's capable, and he ran "lights out" at Del Mar, in his first race in about 10 months!

In Steve Haskins thread about TIZNOW I posted, the other day, that if TIZZY'S TUNE were to win the Pine Tree Lane Stakes that she should go on to the BC Filly & Mare Sprint. She won, and I hope she goes! She loves Santa Anita. 7 furlongs is her best game. She also ran INTANGAROO to a neck back in January (after a year layoff), so that was enough to tell me she's a good mare. By the way, I won $2,180 on her yesterday. :)

I'll be rooting for BEAR NOW in the Distaff...most likely rooting for 2nd, that is. ZENYATTA is a monster. She's phenomenal. I think she can beat anyone.

29 Sep 2008 1:52 PM
Carlo

Curlin for sure is the horse to beat but one horse that keeps improving and is not getting the respect he deserves is Delightful Kiss.His recent win was very impressive and this horse just keeps improving.He may go to the Marathon or the Classic.Either way everybody better watch out!

As for Big Brown...there are so many good probables for the Classic field,I seriously feel Big Brown will not finish in the top three...

29 Sep 2008 1:54 PM
Karen2

Curlin is 4,BB is 3. Curlin is far more experienced and much more mature than BB. To bad we won't get to see BB at 4 at the track. I love both these horses. They both deserve to be in the race and they both deserve our respect. Zenyetta is amazing. I wouldn't mind seeing her run with the boys. She can't seem to find any competition with the ladies. Regardless of what happens, this is horse racing and I love it.  Hope all horses are safe and injury free.

29 Sep 2008 2:18 PM
Ranagulzion

Let's get it on Jason with this sumptuous Breeder's Cup feast that awaits all true fans of thoroughbred racing (forget about the synthetic surface for the time being).  I became very impressed with Big Brown since the Florida Derby but he has not looked like the same horse following his flop in the Belmont so I'm a bit concerned about how he will deal with Curlin, Commentator and to a lesser extent the "synthetic king" Go Between.  Provided that Big Brown is back to his Derby and Preakness best I think race fans would be in for an awesome treat.  However Curlin and Commentator are looking like monsters, especially the latter who has become a better stayer with age.  Zenyatta would add to the interest as she is an extraordinarily talented filly but like Azeri in the BCC won by Ghostzapper she may get beaten by both the distance and the power for the top colts/geldings.  

29 Sep 2008 2:26 PM
Jeremy

Why does everyone keeps mentioning beyer figures? This whole concept on comparing beyer figures really doesnt mean a thing when you really look at it. Beyer figures at the end of the day is just a handicapping tool. It measures how fast a horse ran on that day, on that track, at whatever distance. Condtions of the track also play into fact, whether its a fast track, tiring track, in the slop, etc... At the end of the day its just a handicapping tool, thats the key word, its a man made technique. With that being said, this year classic should be interesting, as far as it stacking up against other fields, it doesnt. the 98 classic was one of the deepest classics ever. With the exception of Curlin, Big Brown and the possibility of Commentator, its just another race. If this was on a regular dirt track, lets say at Belmont Park, some of the horses mentioned like Well Armed, and european horses would be a after thought. As good as Curlin is, I dont like the fact that the classic is being run on a artifical surface and thats giving turf horses a chance at winning. Thats why they have races on the dirt and on the turf. I dont think Curlin will the classic, but i do think he will finish ahead of Big Brown though.

29 Sep 2008 2:30 PM
dailyimpact

Zenyatta compares favorably to all the very good fillies i have seen - Allez France, Dalhia and All Along including. that says it all.

29 Sep 2008 2:36 PM
Bradgm

For some reason supporters of BB, one we don't usually mention, seem to think the colt will be allowed to get on the lead and dictate the race. What if he draws the 1 hole and wants to go for the lead as before, along with a few others. Say he gets boxed in just like before, another fight with the jock if it's KD and another meltdown. His owner even realizes how the race needs to set up for him to win. But no let's take the word of someone who probably hasn't ever seen the colt run in person. Do you honestly think the guys who train these other horses haven't studied this and know exactly what they need to do. Oh I forgot, the trainers know nothing according to one person. Unfortunately for BB the other horses have trainers who actually DO decide how to run the race, train their colts and give instructions to the jockeys. Of course that is the assumption that they consider him a more serious contender than some like Curlin, Col John, Henrythenavigator, Duke of Marmalade, Casino Drive etc.

29 Sep 2008 2:39 PM
Tom

I think Donna asks a great question when she says 'Zenyata or Ruffian.'  And we truly never will know but it is significant enough that we are now mentioning Zenyata in the same breath as Ruffian.  And you can also mention her with the unbeaten Personal Ensign.  And if someone asks who she has beaten, well Ginger Punch and Hystericalady is a pretty conclusive answer.  

29 Sep 2008 2:40 PM
normajean81258

I am going to enjoy this BC, no matter who wins. I like most of the horses, and who wouldn't? They would not be in the BC if they couldn't compete. I'd much rather BB run the Turf and Curlin run the dirt, then I wouldn't need to read all the negative garbage. But that's what makes the sport I guess, differences of opinion. I did want to say how much I enjoyed Stardom Bound. A beauty to say the least. I am thrilled about Wait A While winning, and not having to supplement, also I will miss Evening Attire. What a thrill he is. Hopefully I'll be able to see Him and Lava Man at Old Friends (I can hope)!!

Everyone have a great BC day and good luck with your wagers!!

29 Sep 2008 2:45 PM
Curlin Fan

Wilson, again I state that it is actually highly doubtful that BB will show at the Breeders Cup.  He hasn't shipped yet, even though it is less than a month away.  I am almost positive that in the next week or two, if Jackson puts Curlin into the BC Classic, either BB will develop a fever/quarter cracks/illness and not run the BC at all (after all, the 3yo of the year catergory is cinched, BB wins) or instead of running the classic they'll put BB into the turf.  They aren't going to face Curlin.  They've continually ducked him, first the Woodward, then the JCGC, both races, BB should've run.  BB is a great horse, I'm not taking a thing away from him, but he peaked around the Preakness.  He has been a mess since then, between his hooves and his attitude.  Even at the Belmont, I knew something was wrong when they showed the footage of BB kicking at Michelle and having a tantrum when he moved to the security barn.  He looked lackluster and seriously distressed at the Haskell and not much better at the Monmouth Stakes race, although he did have an easier win (on turf).  In fact, his win was so much easier on the turf than his last efforts had been on dirt, I expect I'm right and he'll be in the BC Turf race.

Either way, he doesn't compare to Curlin, nor does he compare to Tiago, Commentator, Colonel John or any of the rest of the contenders for the BC Classic.  Keep in mind, Dutrow & Iavarone can't afford for BB to lose another race, if he does, his stud fee will drop dramatically.  

29 Sep 2008 2:56 PM
Majella from Ireland

Go Duke Of Marmalade! Us Europeans could spring a shock but as for beating Curlin... Im not sure. Im 14 and I got interested in American racing this year. I love Big Brown but he is going to get STUFFED in the classic. Henrythenavigator won't stay the trip. I also like Commentator.

1. Curlin

2. Duke Of Marmalade

3. Commentator

29 Sep 2008 3:20 PM
Cgriff

Mike S:

I'm on your bandwagon.  I agree - the Tiznows are going to make their presence known Breeder's Cup Day(s)!

Now if we can get Tizdejavue off the bounce and back on his game - what a representation in all those races for the "Big Man!"

I'll offer this - on paper it is Curlin's race to lose-  his JCGC was deceptively close.  He never had the whip brought out once - it was pretty much on his own initiative.  I remember Turcotte talking about not pushing too much on Secretariat in the Preakness - wanting to leave "something in the tank..." - and I think that's what Albarado was thinking, as well.

Whether or not he runs on Pro-Ride - that remains to be seen.

All I know from my own perspective is that Well Armed is peaking into the top of his game as a 5 year old- which makes him wicked dangerous!  

And the Colonel?  Well - I think the posters who are quick to dismiss him do so at their peril.  He is a classic Tiznow - getting good at the end of his 3 yr old year - just the right time - and he's already proven he loves a good fight.

Just like his daddy!

29 Sep 2008 3:24 PM
AEM

The Moss's and Sherriff will never run Zenyatta against the boys.  Not because she can't beat "most" of them, but because they truly put the best interest of the horse first.  They clearly don't need the $; and I'm sure are very content with presently having the best filly in the thoroughbred horse racing world.  

By the way, don't be shocked if Tiago runs big in the Classic.  Sherriffs is a master at training a horse up to a race.  He consistently gets horses to putforth their best performance in targeted races.    

29 Sep 2008 3:27 PM
Speedball

Wizard,

I think this is a good example that you brought up showing that Curlin is much faster than BB.  I donn't dislike BB at all.  I just think Curlin is better.

29 Sep 2008 4:20 PM
MikeM

Maybe I'm missing something about Tiago.He's the new version of Perfect Drift.Unless the new surface moves him way up, I don't see him hitting the board.

29 Sep 2008 4:22 PM
Monica V

I just have to make one comment here.  Curlin ran 2nd in is only start on grass.  I think he had two works over the surface before his race.  I really don't think that he embarrassed himself on grass coming in second behind a BC turf winner.  He may well take to Pro-ride.

29 Sep 2008 4:28 PM
TerriV

Haven't read any other comments yet but had to to say that Sat. was just about the greatest day of racing I have ever had.  It started out disappointing because we were unable to go to Belmont because of the weather.  But TVG all afternoon was fantastic!!  I just don't know when there have been so many exciting races.  Stardom Bound! WOW!  She is just amazing, so much fun to watch.  If all those people who only watch the Triple Crown could only be convinced to watch these kinds of races the Sport of Kings would be on top.

29 Sep 2008 4:57 PM
Draynay

Curlin beat a 7 year old by a single length and last race a horse no one had ever heard of by a single length. Now you expect him to face the Florida Derby, Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Haskell, and Monmouth Stakes winner and beat him? Big Brown would beat Wanderin Boy by 6 just like Bernadini did.

29 Sep 2008 5:37 PM
Wizard

Donna & Tom:

Don't get me wrong, I think Zenyata is an extremely impressive filly. Extremely. However, I saw Ruffian run in person on three occasions, including the tragic match race with Foolish Pleasure. She was truly a FREAK. She was actually the biggest filly I ever saw. Bigger than the colts, I guess you could say she was like an "amazon woman".

She would just go to the front and just pour it on. Never got tired. Totally demolishing fields. It was scary watching her run.

Best I've ever seen..and I have been watching all the best since 1961. Go to YOUTUBE to see her race. Just enter "Ruffian" in search. Notice the size of this filly, especially compared to the other normal sized fillies.

29 Sep 2008 5:42 PM
Clay

MikeM, I truly believe Tiago is a different horse this year. Last year he didn't hit the board in the BC, but it seems he is definetly improving. Tiago is in his home state, has a great jock in Mike Smith, and loves the new surface.

My only concern with Curlin is that he has a knack for lagging behind. No doubt he will have a late kick but he may have too much ground to make up or he will get boxed in. But Robby is the best jock I know for getting horses out of jams and is not afraid of taking chances. Kent D. on the other hand does not make very good decisions and will probably be BBs worst enemy.

29 Sep 2008 5:50 PM
Brian A.

Curlin all the way in the Classic.  There is no way he is going to get beat if he looks the way he did winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup.  I was there to see him run in person for the fourth time, and he has NEVER looked better!!  What an impressive animal, he's such a monster.  It would be great to see Duke Of Marmalade make the transfer to synthetics and make a real race of it.

1:Curlin

2:Duke Of Marmalade

3:Well Armed/Commentator

Go CURLIN!!  (-:

29 Sep 2008 6:14 PM
Filly85'

TO mg and whoever else concerning Curlin:

I have been handicapping races for awhile.  Mg-you could very well be right about Curlin, but let's break down each individual race that Curlin was ran all year.

The two races in Dubai:  One word-phenomenal.  

The Stephen Foster-also phenomenal.  He was carrying a lot of weight and this was his first race since Dubai.  Yet, he still annihilated them.  

The Man O-War:  A very gallant effort for his first time on turf against two BC winners.  Notice that Grand Coutier-a horse that Curlin beat in that race-came back to win a GI this weekend.  I don't really know if it was necessary Curlin not liking the dirt as much as the distance of the race and a phenomal turf horse in Red Rocks that got the jump on him.  Curlin has lost both of his races at a mile and a half.  The distance may be a little bit beyond his scope.  Of course, when he raced against Rags, Rags was a fresh horse bred for the distance while Curlin had just ran a grueling 5 races in 15 weeks.  Being that he didn't run very well in the Haskell, one must conclude that he was a tired horse in the Belmont.

The Woodward:  Saratoga is a wierd track that has definitely been favoring speed as of late.  In addition, some horses love the Saratoga surface while others don't like it at all.  It is also a deep, tiring track which is why you haven't seen really fast times in the route races all year long.  What impressed me the most about this race was Curlin's explosion around the final turn.  I think this race was A LOT better than it appeared.  Notice that Curlin was the only horse that made up any kind of ground on the two front runners in the race who should of collapsed because the initial fractions were so fast.  Again, this shows you just how biased a track can be.  In Past the Point's defense however, he has always been a very talented horse since the first time I layed eyes on him at the Barretts 2 year olds in training sale.  He has always been a very fragile horse.

The Jockey Club Gold Cup:  Wanderin boy had his way the entire race.  He had every reason to run huge with the slow opening fractions that he set on a sloppy surface that he normally loves.  Yet, Curlin had him whenever Robby wanted him to go by.  Notice that Robby never went to the stick, and Curlin is a horse that you have to hit with the whip to get the most out of him.  Curlin could have won this race by 5 lengths if Robby would have wanted him to, but he played it smart in saving something.  Curlin just did what he had to do and got the job done.  Also, notice that, yet again, Curlin was the only horse that was able to close into the pace.  Not even Mambo in Seattle made up any ground.  Of course, with Mambo in Seattle's high knee action, I would expect that he is most likely just a Saratoga specialist and cannot run very well on other dirt surfaces.  That, or maybe he just didn't like the slop.

Pro-Ride at Santa Anita:  It favors more of a dirt track than a turf track from what I have seen.

Horses to Watch:  Colonel John and Well Armed have been working tremendously over the track.  

I think Curlin is still the horse that he was.  I think the pace factors and track bias in the races this year have made Curlin look like he has loss a step.  He has a huge heart and is incredibly tenacious.  I'm not saying to not bet against him in the BC.  I'm just saying that I would expect him to run his usual big race.  It's up to you to decide if Curlin can be beaten by any of these horses when he is at his best.  It's going to take a heck of a trip and a horse to beat him IMO.        

29 Sep 2008 6:15 PM
da3hoss

Magella, thanks for your input, you go girl! I like your trifecta, too.

29 Sep 2008 6:26 PM
DANYLSON

THIS CLASSIC IS BY FAR THE BEST IF ALL SHOW UP..DUKE OF MARMALADE(5 GR.1)CURLIN(H.O.D.)D MEANS DECADE.BIG BROWN,COMMENTATOR(SPEED FREAK LIKE GROOVY AND DAYJUR JUST THAT HE EXTENDS IT),GO BETWEEN(THAT TURKOMAN GENE),TIAGO,HENRYTHENAVIGOTOR,WELL ARMED,CASINO DRIVE. BIG TIME DEEP FIELD. ALL THAT SAID I THINK FROM BEING AROUND HORSE SINCE THE WOMB, THIS IS ABOUT BIG BROWN AND CURLIN WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT. I THINK IT WILL BE CLOSER THAN WE MAY THINK AND THE FIELD WILL BE RIGHT BEHIND THESE TWO, HONESTLY PROBABLY SIX LENGTHS WILL SEPARATE THE ENTIRE FIELD. THE ADVANTAGE CURLIN HAS IS EXPERIENCE AND THAT LONG STRIDE, HIS FLAW IS A HOT PACE.BIG BROWN'S ADVANTAGE IS SPEED AND THE TACTICAL THAT HE HAS, PLUS FINAL ACCELARATION.HIS FLAW IS A SLOW PACE,IN EXPERIENCE AND TOUGHNESS. HAVING SAID ALL THAT THE TWO HORSES ARE PAIRED UP. FOR THOSE CURLIN FANS THE LAST TWO RACES HE HAS NOT SEPARATED HIMSELF FROM THE FIELDS AND HIS TIME ARE SLOW..BIG BROWN HASN'T BEATING REALLY ANYONE BUT HIS TIMES ARE FAST. IT WILL BE A GREAT CLASSIC AND GIVEN THE SCENARIOS AND DEPENDING ON WHAT PLAYS OUT IT WILL BE CLOSE. I REALLY HATE TO SAY A WINNER BECAUSE I REALLY KNOW WILL WIN,IT IS NOT AS CLEAR CUT IF U REALLY ANALYZE THE RACE, THOUGH ONE THING I KNOW IS THAT THE WINNER WILL EITHER BE CURLIN OR BIG BROWN, AND HAVING RESPECT FOR THE ENTIRE FEEL IT IS BETWEEN THESE TWO MONSTERS. I WOULD LIKE BIG BROWN TO WIN BECAUSE OF THE LONG LASTING MEMORIES OF THE RESULTS. IF HE WINS AND CURLIN IS SECOND, CURLINS IMAGE WILL NOT BE TARNISHED ONE BIT AND BIG BROWN WILL HELP HIM AS WELL. IT WILL GO DOWN AS A SUNDAY SILENCE-EASYGOER,AFFIRMED-ALYDAR KIND OF THING EVEN JUST BECAUSE OF ONE RACE, BUT IF CURLIN WINS THE MATCH UP LOSES ITS POWER AND EVERYONE WILL SAY THAT BIG BROWN WAS A FAKE AND CURLIN WILL BE GOOD BUT WILL HE EVER BE GREAT? FOR THE SPORT AND THE LEGACY THE RACE NEEDS TO BE CLOSE AND IF BIG BROWN WINS BY A NOSE WITH CURLIN SECOND THAT LEGACY WILL BE A FOREGONE CONCLUSION. 20 YEARS FROM NOW WE WILL BE SAYING, "I REMEMBER WHEN CURLIN AND BIG BROWN HOOKED UP AT THE HALF MILE POLE.....HOPE IT HAPPENS..

29 Sep 2008 6:28 PM
capridogs

For the first time since the inception of the Breeders Cup (1984), in my opinion IF I were to bet it would be Commentator in the Classic.  In the first place, Big Brown for one excuse or another will not be running, hence the rival between him and the "wonder horse" will not happen.  I realize Curlin just passed Cigar's money record, however he will not ever pass his winning record and to me this is very sad.  The purses now are so astronomical that a horse can now run less than 8-10 races and with luck and placement in the races with the big purses he can pass any record.  Let's wait and see if Curlin can win 16 straight and then tell me he's a "wonder horse".  Anyone want to make a bet on this ever happening?

29 Sep 2008 6:29 PM
Householder

Personal Ensign stayed undefeated by beating Winning Colors by 1/2 nose in the BC Distaff.  Lady's Secret Picks up HOY year honors not by her frequent wins over Precisionist and Turkoman and then taking the BC Classic, but by winning the BC Distaff at Santa Anita by 5.  Bayakoa 2 year campaign of terror, in which she picked up 2 BC Distaff Wins...her lone loss was the Santa Anita Big Cap against Rhulman and Criminal Type.  (She finished last I think). My point...Zenyatta is almost already asured an Eclipse award for running in her division.  The trainer is doing it right.  However, there is also an outside chance (if everyone fails) that she picks up HOY out of the distaff as well.  

29 Sep 2008 6:49 PM
Householder

Watch both Zenyatta's last 1/8th, and then Ginger Punch's, and tell me who is going faster when it matters.  With easy splits on the lead (111 and 112) Ginger Punch seems to be heading the wrong way.  

Watch Well Armed's Pacific Classic run against Go Between at 1 1/4.  They seem to be able to put this horse anywhere and distance does not seem to be an issue.  A better well timed ride by Gryder and the Tiznow gelding picks up this one as well.  

It was nice to see another dimension to ZENYATTA as well.  The ability to stay right off the pace.  She did it one other time in one of her Hollywood Park wins.  She's at home with a 46 split as well as a 49.  She was only 3 lengths in back of Hysterical Lady at the half.  In the Apple Blossom she was about 12-15 off of Ginger Punch.  

Well Armed avoided the dreaded Dubai bounce to set the track record at Del Mar in the San Diego.  ZENYATTA bests this 3 weeks later.  Go Between also holds a track record at Santa Anita.  

Go Between, Well Armed, Zenyatta all get to sleep in their own stalls come race day.  They know the paddock, the crowd, the course.

Well Armed was 1/2 length off Go Between in the Pacific Classice.  Curlin was 8 in front of Well Armed in Dubai.  Big Brother is no where to be seen.  

29 Sep 2008 7:05 PM
Tom

Majella....thank you for bringing all of us the European perspective...and a fun taunt of Big Brown.  While is might surprise U.S. fans, it shouldn't be a shock if Duke of Marmalade or Henrythenavigator were to win the Classic because they are both incredible horses.  And don't forget Spirit One who surprised everyone over here once on Turf and could do it again.

29 Sep 2008 7:08 PM
Householder

Danylson...I still remember Alysheba, Ferdinand, and Skywalker...3 Breeder's Cup Classic winners facing off at Hollywood (although at the time no one knew this).  This was a little over 20 years ago.  I also remember Personal Ensign and Winning Colors...but my all time favorite has to be Lukas and that Charger owner guy and Lady Secret in the 1986 Distaff at Santa Anita.  No one ever go closer than 5 lengths to her.  Pat Day's finest hour.  

29 Sep 2008 7:14 PM
Paula Higgins

Danylson, I think you're right. Yes, I am a relative newbie to the sport but my gut says if BB and Curlin both run, it should come down to these two. If BB gets a ride that he likes, he is in the running. If not, he's out of the money altogether. I agree with people that say if he doesn't like where he is in the pack, or the ride by Desormeau, it's over. I do think BB will show up unless there is something REALLY wrong with him, in which case he won't. Dutrow and Ivarone will look like complete idiots if they pull him out for any other reason. Commentator is the one that could upset the apple cart if he shows up IMO. I guess everyone thinks Zenyatta won't run with the boys. I don't think the Euro horses will be a factor. I can't wait to see it. As someone above said, they are all wonderful and I would be happy for any one of them and want them all to finish safely.

29 Sep 2008 8:05 PM
Wizard

Draynay,

You are a funny dude, I'll say that. I really get a kick out of your "I see no other than BB" comments.

I suggest you go back to my earlier blogs concerning the BB/Proudinsky/Grand Couturier/Curlin connection.

29 Sep 2008 8:09 PM
Atthebarn2

Danylson, You may have been around horses since you were in the womb but my bet is I had been around them about 40 years by that time, at the very least. To discount all the others in the Classic is ridiculous. To say if Big Brown and Curlin don't run 1-2 will diminish the race and the sport is disrespectful to all the other horses. You love Big Brown, great, but a lot of people have other favorites and they may think their horse not running first will diminish the importance. If Big Brown actually does run and loses most of us will just say what we've been saying all along. He was a good 3 year old in a mediocre year. He still won the Derby and the Preakness and no one can erase that. To say if Big Brown beats Curlin that won't tarnish Curlins image, that's not correct. Big Brown isn't a super horse who's beaten every horse he's come up against by 10-12 lengths. Some people, particularly those of us in the industry don't like the way he's going right now and don't think he's the best ever.

Householder, I saw that race with Lady's Secret, the owner was Gene Klein. That was a heck of a race, but there have been so many the 1994 Juvenile Filly race between Flanders and Serena's Song, once again Pat Day and the filly having surgery after, but what a race that was!!!

I think you can still watch it on You Tube, I just close my eyes and can see it. Tiznow in his two Classics. Let's just not say that Big Brown and Curlin will be the end all and be all, if it even happens.

29 Sep 2008 8:19 PM
steveuk30

Finally others are seeing the light,I did cal it 2 weeks ago that BB will not hit the board in the Classic,I think top 5 will be a reach Well Armed,Commentator,Go Between,Curlin,Henry,Duke and then some....and Wizard glad someone else noticed BB form isnt exactley holding up D'Tara,Coal Man,and geez Proudinsky I knew it was at least 20 lengths.....

29 Sep 2008 8:34 PM
Runfast159

Oh let the fun begin...

Because we really aren't debating right now the merits of the Classic field, but rather commenting on the weekend races, I'll leave my speculations for the Classic for another time.

ZENYATTA - what a class act, another great performance.  If she wins the Distaff and Brown or Curlin come up short in the Classic, she is HOTY.

CURLIN - Congrats to his connections. The Gold Cup was "just" another business like performance, albeit against a moderate field.  Give him credit, he is another one that is all class and he won with ease despite the margin.

Looking forward to the next few weeks of debating...

29 Sep 2008 9:54 PM
DANYLSON

ATTHEBARN, IF YOU READ CAREFULLY WHAT I WROTE, I NEVER SAID A BIG BROWN LOSS WOULD DIMINISH THE POWER OF THE CLASSIC. I ACTUALLY STATED THAT IT IS ONE IF NOT THE STRONGEST CLASSICS EVER. GRANTED I AM BIG BROWN BUT I AM ALSO A CURLIN FAN, AND IF THEY DON'T FINISH 1-2 IT WILL ACTUALLY SUPPORT WHAT I HAVE STATED,THAT IT IS DEEP AND THIS IS HORSE RACING, NOW FOR THE LEGACY OF BIG BROWN IF HE DOES NOT WIN, HE WILL NOT BE REMEMBERED AS JUST AN OKAY THREE YEAR OLD. THE DIFFERENCE IS IF HE WINS AND GETS INTO A STRECTH DUEL WITH CURLIN THAN THE LEGACY IS DIFFERENT AND WE ALSO HAVE TO KEEP ON EYE ON THE FINAL TIME IF THAT HAPPENS, IN SIMPLE TERMS, IT IS MORE IMPORTANT FOR BIG BROWN TO WIN THEN IT IS FOR CURLIN.CURLIN HAS ASSERTED HIMSELF AS A GOOD TO GREAT HORSE, EVEN IF HE LOSES,JUST LIKE CIGAR WHEN HE LOST HIS SECOND CLASSIC.HOUSEHOLDER, I DO DISAGREE THAT BIG BROWN WIL BE NOWHERE AT THE END, IT TAKES A BIG HORSE TO WIN THE DERBY THE WAY HE WON..

29 Sep 2008 10:15 PM
MonicaV

Dear Draynay,

If BB could beat Wonderin Boy 5 lengths, why couldn't he beat Proudinksy by more than a head?  Proudinksy is a grade 2 horse.

Got any answers?

29 Sep 2008 10:36 PM
Wizard

Filly 85'(6:15 PM):

Excellent blog. I totally agree with your analysis.

29 Sep 2008 10:37 PM
kittensjoy

To all you Big Brown supporters, sure Big Brown has a better race record as a three year old but in his last victories he has looked tired. and, although he has won each time i was not impressed by the way he won. i think for the most part he was either racing inferior horses or the good horses got stuck in traffic.

30 Sep 2008 12:09 AM
yipyappyyip

Curlin's biggest opposition is NOT Big Brown in the Classic, but rather a European who might just get first run on him.  Not many horses can run him down.  It's going to be a Euro who can stay covered up (like Arcangues) and then angle out and explode as he's being produced in mid-stretch.  The only way Curlin gets beat is if someone gets the jump on him early (like Red Rocks on turf.)  He's a grinder, and grinding takes time.  And for a 5 million dollar horse race, not a lot of people will or horses will give you time...

30 Sep 2008 12:19 AM
Draynay

MonicaV you want to know why Big Brown who has never run on turf as a 3 year old... only beat 3 MULTIPLE GRADED STAKES WINNERS by a slim margin?  Shakis just beat G1 winners a few weeks earlier at Saratoga and you want to know why Big Brown only beat them by a length ?  Did you ever stop and think that Big Brown took them on their "turf" and beat them at their own game? Curlin beats a 7 year old optional claiming winner and that makes him special ? Curlin has been racing against old second class horses and now will face the best 3 year olds in the world. Talk all you want but I GUARANTEE Big Brown wins the Breeders Cup... I 100% GUARANTEE he wins.  When he does I want you to come back here and tell me how smart I am and how you will listen to me from now on and never question me again.....deal?

30 Sep 2008 12:32 AM
Raggamuffin

Tiago was very impressevive in this prep in defeat , closing like a train wide from last inside the 1/4 pole ...love those Pleasant Taps , he should get in ...i hope

30 Sep 2008 12:55 AM
The Deacon

Hey Jimmy Z, you can not even compare this years 3 year old crop to last year. Stree Sense alone would be far better then aything else running. Hard Spun and Any Given Saturday were awfully good as well. Yes Curlin lost the Derby, and the Belmont. So what! Rags to Riches had she stayed healthy would give Zenyatta all she could handle. Curlin wins the classic hands down. Big Brown finishes 4th at best. Sorry boys and girls good 3 year olds do not beat great 4 year olds. Curlin is a monster on dirt...............

30 Sep 2008 3:07 AM
MikeM

The pre-race strategy for BB will go something like this; "Mike,if Commentator goes to the lead stay just off of hime to the 1/2 mile poll and then find a good spot to pull him up".

30 Sep 2008 11:00 AM
Wilson

Just because someone says Big Brown will use his tactical speed to his advantage doesn't mean than one is saying he's going wire to wire.  Its more like a Kip Deville tactical speed, he likes to get up front or close, in the clear, then power home without having too much traffic.  

As long as it is fast and dry, Curlin is losing to Big Brown, the better horse.

30 Sep 2008 11:06 AM
Atthebarn2

Well maybe I interpreted it differently than you meant it but when you say "BB IF HE WINS AND CURLIN IS SECOND, CURLINS IMAGE WILL NOT BE TARNISHED ONE BIT AND BIG BROWN WILL HELP HIM AS WELL. IT WILL GO DOWN AS A SUNDAY SILENCE-EASYGOER,AFFIRMED-ALYDAR KIND OF THING EVEN JUST BECAUSE OF ONE RACE, BUT IF CURLIN WINS THE MATCH UP LOSES ITS POWER". Well that sort of comes across that the power and importance of the race is determined strictly by what BB does. That being the super horse he is anyone who gets beat by him should feel honored and privileged

and it will make the losers look that much better, newsflash, it never makes a horse look better to get beat. Just like it doesn't really make a basketball team look better if they get beat by the National Champions (some people have that skewed way of thinking too.) If you are in the industry you know that isn't the case attall. Curlin has established himself as all time money winner, yes it's on inflated purses but that's the way it is. Big Brown won the Derby and the Preakness, but they weren't the greatest I've ever seen. And I've seen a bunch of them, most of them live and in person. If BB loses the race(if he runs) it will damage his owners pockets not the other horses or the race. They won't get the incentives they're hoping for by winning the race. With the economy the way it is, even though the stud farms say they're holding the line on stud fees, my bet is before all is said and done they'll be dropping their fees, selling off stock and maybe even more than have already sold out or shut down will be doing the same. How many studs do we already have who have won the Derby? We have a few who have won the 1st 2 legs, but it's the Derby that boosts their earning power. Just because you are a Big Brown fan doesn't make everyone else one. My guess is there may be as many or more pulling against him than for him and a lot of those are in the racing industry. A lot of us are also thinking the surface may help those European horses a bunch.

Draynay,

One question for you. What will you do for us if BB doesn't win or doesn't even show up? Tell Monica that she is the smartest ever? Will you go away quietly? (Ricky? is that you?)

30 Sep 2008 11:16 AM
Monica V

Ah, Draynay, bless your heart.  Big Brown is a formidable horse for sure but this classic will be far different than he has ever been exposed to.  He's running with the big boys and things can change.  I think if the BB from the spring returns, we may well see him win but if the BB of the last two races shows up, he will run his heart out for sure, for he has great courage and heart but I'm not so sure he can win and I'm not that sure about Curlin either as much as I love him.  It's going to be one hell of a race to watch but you have to give some credit to Curlin and you never do.  It's always "one trick dirt pony" who never beat anyone.  Now he only won by a short margin in the JCGC.  Why do you hate him so much?

He is a wonderful horse.  You contantly put him down as a nag and if he truly was one, would he be the richest horse in N America?

That's why I throw things at you about BB.  I don't hate BB and I truly admire his great heart.  He never had to show that until the last two races and that really imprsses the hell out of me.  The difference between  you  and I is that I'm not letting my emotional love of my horse blind me to reality.  Maybe BB or Curlin will win but there is also a chance that neither of them will.  It's horse racing.

30 Sep 2008 11:17 AM
Whatever

Whatever Draynay, kind of like you GUARANTEED that BB would win the Belmont???  LOL...

30 Sep 2008 11:21 AM
Matthew W

Great blog! I've been in and around racing for 37 years, and if the big three go it's the greatest race in those 37 years! Yes I know Zenyatta gains nothing by winning The Classic/HOY---but I stand by my observation that if she does go, Zenyatta's favored in BC Classic! I believe she would win The Classic, still without her it's right up there with the best---and please with the '98 Classic being so tough---no horse in that race hits the exacta in the '00 Tiznow/Causeway Classic--so enough! Big Brown v Curlin is a race for the ages! Throw in Zenyatta and you've got an all-timer! Dray I'm going with a tri that's kinda close to yours: Big Brown over Col John and Curlin in a close three way! If the filly runs, all bets are off--horses that close like that/every time--are freaks!

30 Sep 2008 11:41 AM
Saratoga AJ

Draynay,

BB was all out in a desperate head win over Proudinsky...Proudinsky loses 3 weeks later by 23 lengths to Grand Couterier..the same Grand Couterier that lost to Curlin by a half dozen lengths in the Man'O'War in July. Does that tell you anything?

30 Sep 2008 12:05 PM
Alex

Like Big Brown, love Curlin.

Mind you, still a Pyromaniac.

30 Sep 2008 12:07 PM
the_wiz

CMON COL. JOHN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please finish ahead of the Big Ole Browneye in the Classic so lil ole draynay goes away forever as he promised if you do.

One thing is for sure, Curlin would wipe the floor with Brownie if they ever faced off on dirt.

The Jockey Gold Cup is proof enough. Curlin was hand ridden to the finish and still posted a far higher Beyer Fig than Brownie ever has on the dirt. There is no comparison there. Curlin's figs on the dirt consistently exceed The Big Ole Browneyes who has never even reached a 110.

By the way, Wanderin Boy would have beat Big Brown in the Gold Cup as well. He ran a Beyer Fig bigger than Brownie is capable of reaching too.

30 Sep 2008 12:55 PM
schabelli

draynay,

I'll take the deal you offered MonicaV on one condition. When Brownie loses in the Classic you admit to us all how wrong you have been then you shut the heck up and dissappear for good. I'll put some humility on the line if you are willing to do so as well.

30 Sep 2008 12:59 PM
LavasLegand

Am I hallucinating?? Zenyatta can 't get the distance, per "Draynay"? I dont know whether to laugh, or seek medical attention. She's by Street Cry out of a Kris S mare, she can run CIRCLES, miles of them, around what's commonly referred to these days as "royal" breeding. If that wasn't enough...well, have ya seen her 8 races??? Distance will never be her issue. E.V.E.R.

Curlin's a toss eh? Based on...? Surface?? Yeah, alright. If ya say so.

Big Brown showed heart against who, exactly, in that allowance turf race? Proudinsky?? Oh SURE, 'cause Proudinsky sure flattered Big Brown with his badly distanced place finish last Saturday!!

In any event, this is why, IMO, this year has been so great. Most imprtantly, it will all be put to rest on October 25th, when the Big Red One powers home in front on that gunky ol' surface in front. Ditto for Zenyatta, and Stardom Bound (though I am also taking a long hard look at Sugar Mom after Saturday's performance as well!)

And I agree with a couple other posters here who said don't leave out Colonel John! I don't think he can WIN, but he should be a player in the last furlong, for sure.

Let's also not forget about Casino Drive. While still a BIG question mark regarding "How good IS he?"...err on the side of caution and presume that he IS that good.

This has turned into one of the most highly anticipated BCs in several years, and I think it's GREAT, no matter who you're rooting for. I'll be there, both days, and can't wait! May they all run safe, and come back, along with their riders, sound!

As for Curlin....ah my boy, you still have some doubters it seems. 4 more weeks, you can  shush 'em then ;)

30 Sep 2008 1:13 PM
Tigger

I love how everyone keeps saying "Curlin' shows up when it matters" like Big Brown has not.  Am I high or has Big Brown only lost once in his career....and wasn't that when he was pulled up?  I don't think it is ever fair to write off the Derby winner...I love Brownie and hope he has a great race....I also love Curlin' and want him to do well....would love to see a repeat of Rags to Riches Belmont stretch run with Curlin' and Brownie.   Now THAT would be exciting.  

Zenyatta is a monster and should stay with the fillies.  It wasn't so long ago that so many were lambasting Larry Jones for running Eight Belles with the boys.....you can't have it both ways.

30 Sep 2008 1:19 PM
brettzky99

Let's face it.  Clearly Curlin's last 3 starts have been nothing special, and likewise for Big Brown. The speculation of BB not showing are ridiculous, as a weak or strong performance will have no affect on his potential stud fees.  Bottom line is he 3x removed Northern Dancer on both sides, which will always raise questions of his pedigree, even if he were to dominate the classic.  His connections have already cashed in anyway. Dynaformer will still be the premiere stud @ Three Chimneys.  One race on Synthetic won't make or break either horse.  However, I'll go on a limb and take Big Brown (albeit not real confidently).

30 Sep 2008 1:33 PM
the_wiz

draynay,

You clearly do not understand how to properly put in perspective Beyer Figs which does not surprise me.

While Black Seventeen had been running races recently with figs in the high 90's anyone who understands how to apply these figures would have known that he has in the recent past run with figs in the 109-110 range. That would have told you that on his best he was right there with the rest.

It doesn't take a genius to figure that out, just someone who understands handicapping those figs. This was not a 9 yr old animal who's best was behind him. This is a 4 yr old who was still capable of reaching those levels.

Big Brown has never come close to reaching the level of Beyer Figs Curlin has consistently put up on the dirt. At his best Big Brown would fall short by a couple of lengths to Curlin's average Beyer Fig over the dirt at a distance.

Put another way, at his best Curlin would defeat Big Brown at his best by multiple lengths on the dirt. The figs don't lie.

30 Sep 2008 1:40 PM
grandpa

Can somebody tell me what that so called prep-race for big brown in monmouth stake was? overall a grade 3 or grade 2. I think it was more like a grade 3.

30 Sep 2008 1:57 PM
JG

Some of you are so funny with your posts.  It makes great reading material.  If I read one more comment that the best 3 year olds don't beat the best 4 year olds I am going to puke. SECRETARIAT!!  Do you remember him?  He could beat 4 and up as a 2 year old.

Why would you count one of the best 3 year olds we have had in a long time out this year in the BC?  Was it really that long ago that Big Brown won from post 20 in the Kentucky Derby?  It would have been the largest margin of victory in history if Eight Belles hadn't had the unbelievable sacrifice.  Was it really that long ago that he had the most impressive finish in Preakness history?  Was it really that long ago that NO ONE thought he could be beat in the Belmont and we all wanted to see if he could do 20 lengths?  Then all of the sudden everyone wants to throw him in the distant passed?  If it wasn't for Big Brown running this year thoroughbred horse racing would not have near and I mean NEAR the amount of interest.  We still don't truly know what happened in the Belmont. It could be too much pressure on Kent, loose shoe (even though Penney Chenery told me that wouldn't have made the difference), or the fact that he got kicked by DaTara in the front stretch.  Penney said conditioning because of the quarter crack so I will go with that one.  I shed my tears that day and probably for a week later because I wanted to see history.  No one wanted to see a horse like DaTara beat a potential legendary performance.

It is horse racing even the best horses ever have been defeated and then they came back to win and win and win it proves they are worthy as champion.  Look at all the support for Curlin last year and this year.  He got beat by a filly in the Belmont and was criticized.  It isn't talked about too much now.  I just hope we get the two in the turn for home with no excuses and we see who is better.  I have to tell you if Big Brown is anywhere close with 1/8 to go it is all his race.  But last I checked they had to train, get in the gate, get out of the gate, keep their shoes on, jockey needs to stay on, have a good trip, and feel and perform like a champion on that particular race day.    

30 Sep 2008 2:09 PM
BIGHORSEFAN

Tigger, When Big Brown was pulled up it was because his jock said he had nothing when asked. Same jock?

Probably. If you read what the owner said and what has been reiterated on here is that Big Brown wants things his own way from the way they've 'prepped' the colt so do the connections. None of these tough colts in this race are going to give him an inch.

As far as you saying we were lambasting Larry for running his filly I think the ones of us supporting Zenyatta, never bashed Larry and in fact said we hope and actually think if someone has a filly that fits the Derby or any big race should and many WILL step up to the plate.

Like Atthebarn said Draynay, what do YOU promise? I'm sure you won't go away because then you won't be able to list your 1 million excuses. My guess and hope is that Monica will tell you where to go and how to get there regardless of what happens. Your negative blowhard attitude wore thin about the same time as Dutrow's did. (Hey Atthe if you think it sounds like Rick, I'll go along with that, because you'd definitely know that).

Did anyone even read Iavarone's transcript? He said he's keeping his colt in the East until the last minute so he can have his hoof experts around. This doesn't sound like what Brown fans want to hear when getting ready to take on the greatest horses in the world, unlike his races in the Derby, Preakness, Belmont etc, etc, etc.

Danylson,

I think you may have been in the womb about 14 years ago because it never helps a horse to lose a race, what a convoluted way of thinking. I've seen a lot of the big races in person, know a lot of the trainers and KNOW for a fact that they don't enter these races to be satisfied with finishing 2nd to a colt like Big Brown.

30 Sep 2008 2:33 PM
Monica V

Grandpa,

That race created for Big Brown was not graded at all.

30 Sep 2008 3:24 PM
Wanda

Hope this one makes the page Jason. With all the tactical speed horses that are talked about running in the BC, how's it going to play out? A horse like BB who seems to be a free wheeling kind of runner who doesn't like company all that well. Don't think for a minute that anybody's going to get an easy front. This will be one tough race to handicap if all the players show up. I think Curlin is still the man even with the Euro's and he can lay his body down when it counts. I still can recall the stretch drive him and Rags to Riches both of them all out at the wire.

30 Sep 2008 4:03 PM
Speedball

Mike M,

  I loved your blog about the pre race running plan for BB.  Nothing personal against BB, but I hope Dutrow takes at least 2 extra shirts to the track on race day.  I think he's going to need them if BB chases Commentator.  In fact, I think Dutrow could become so dehydrated that intravenous fluids will be necessary to revive him.  I just have a sad feeling that Zito will not run Commentator or if he does, he'll run him in the mile. I just hope he does run somewhere because everyone admires the old boy tremendously.  Although I've read the track will not favor horses with early speed and would play against him, Commentator does rate so I hope this will off set this if he runs.  What do you think??  

30 Sep 2008 4:22 PM
The Wizard

BB worked 5 panels at The Big A in 1:04.21, the 24th fastest of 32 workouts at the distance.

Of particular interest was that both Dutrow and Iavarone were not doing the usual bragging that "BB will beat Curlin" or "BB is way better than Curlin" as they had repeatedly done over the past few months. Quite the contrary.

Dutrow: I hope we can beat him". Iavarone: Curlin ran really good..very impressive in the JCGC.  You have to put your best foot forward when it counts. If we get beat, that's the way the game is".

Interesting. That is about as humble as I have seen them get. I think the reality of how daunting a task beating Curlin is sinking in now that it looks like they will definitely meet.  

30 Sep 2008 4:36 PM
Mike S

BIG BROWN has only lost one race, that's true, but to say that it was the race where he "pulled up" is misleading because there was absolutely no reason for him to pull up, and he was only "pulled up" because Desormeaux was embarrassed that his horse had plummeted to last place before they hit the stretch and was trying to "save face" so that people could not say, "BIG BROWN finished last." Well, I'm going to say it - "BIG BROWN finished last."

The people who say, "BIG BROWN could have finished 3rd in the Belmont Stakes" sure weren't watching the same Belmont Stakes I was watching. In the race I was watching BIG BROWN was struggling the whole way, in 3rd, and at the far turn began to drop back, and was about 7th or 8th when they hit the top of the stretch, and was on his way to last.And last is where he finished. BIG BROWN is an excellent horse, but he ran last, and that just was not his day. His Belmont was not good, to say the least. The rest of his races have been stellar.

30 Sep 2008 4:50 PM
Ellie M

It's just super that the two "big" horses could be running in the Classic together. I don't see anything being able to get away from Curlin if he's running his race but I've got a soft spot for the Brownie too ... can I hope for a dead heat?  :)

30 Sep 2008 5:06 PM
Tony

I think the race on poly is go betweens to lose. Well Armed is tough but Go Between loves Synthetic.

30 Sep 2008 5:11 PM
Saratoga AJ

JG:

I'd like to point that Secretariat did not fare all that well against the 4 yr olds he raced against. Yes, he did beat his stablemate, the very good Riva Ridge in the Marlboro Cup at Belmont. But he was beaten a length at equal weights in the Whitney at Saratoga by 4 yr old Onion. And two months later, he was soundly beaten by almost five lengths by 4 yr old Prove Out in the Woodward at Belmont, despite carrying SEVEN POUNDS LESS! Incidentally, both Onion and Prove Out were trained by who else...the great Allen Jerkens.

Anyway, the point is 3 yr olds can and have beat 4 yr olds. BUT more often than not, the 4 yr old has the advantage because they are the more mature horse. It's like a teenager competing against an adult.

30 Sep 2008 5:35 PM
Clay

Did you also note that Dutrow stated that no top horsemen sends their horse out immediately after a race? That seems like a slap in the face of Asmussen. Dutrow can't help but put his foot in his mouth. Back to his old self. But last time he did this he jinxed himself and BB bombed in the Belmont. Can't this guy just shut up? Just like Dray guaranteeing 100% that BB will win the BC. Like two peas in a pod. When he loses you won't care because "I told you so" won't bother you. But if he wins it will be the greatest achievement of your life and you'll ram it down our throats. I'll guarantee 98% that Curlin wins the BC, now that leaves 2% failure I can live with.

30 Sep 2008 5:36 PM
Wanda

JG: Let me clear one of your comments up. Da'Tara DID NOT kick BB. BB lugged out into him and got stepped on in the process. A horse cannot kick out when they are running that fast, they would fall down on their beak. Check with Mrs Chenery on that one.

30 Sep 2008 5:45 PM
Bradgm

Wanda, glad you're back you know we all value you hope we're still homies, you're our Canada connection keeping us up to snuff on what's up, up North, eh? I agree that BB won't get the lead easy and it's going to be tough because these guys are in it to win it, no doubt.

The Euros seem tough, wouldn't it be neat to see Zenyatta since we can't see Rags? Let me tell you, she is a beauty to watch live. The 2 year old filly was unbelievable, wish I was rich, I'd buy her.

Wizard, Sounds like the preamble for: he's got a new quarter crack, a fever and we are a bunch of blowhards with a yellow streak a mile wide and the incentives don't mean doodley because if he loses the other negative caveats may take place.

Speedball,

It's supposed to be 92 here tomorrow, the track is like 20-30 degrees hotter, you can feel the heat coming off of it. It may not be that warm in 25 days but it has been that warm at that time of year before. Maybe one of the Movie studios would loan Dutrow a cooling suit. They thought it was hot at the Belmont, 115-125 on the track.

JG, talk about posts that make a person laugh, such vehemence wow! Penny told you about the shoe, well some of the best trainers in the game said the same and the conditioning issue was the problem.

Time for excuses are over, everyone of these horses faces issues and runs in the same conditions so NO MORE excuses please.

Speaking of excuses, Draynay, what's your response?

30 Sep 2008 5:59 PM
MikeM

Mike S   Why did you have to go and mention the Belmont? Now we are going to have to endure all of the "bent shoe" excuses again.

Speedball I think Zito will enter Commentator in the BCC.He always wants to have a presence on the biggest stage and Commentator is his best chance.

30 Sep 2008 6:02 PM
Monica V

JG,

I think Smarty Jones's Preakness was a little more impressive as he won by almost 12 lengths.

30 Sep 2008 6:56 PM
josue555

i'm too exicited that curlin and big brown are facing and even though i want curlin to win, let the best win. does anybody knows if Pyro is going to the breeders cup and what race he is doing next as a prep if he is going.

30 Sep 2008 7:16 PM
Householder

Last Saturday at Santa Anita it was like 95 degrees and very humid.  The track was "west coast" fast.  Maiden Special Weights ran 21.78, 44.30, 108.87, and 1:15.37. Street Boss (the biggest disappointment of the day) ran second to a horse that got loose on the front end, a horse that had previously posted a 110 beyer.  He just could not catch him at 107.53.  Minus the September humidity and heat, it seems like a track that would favor a horse like Big Brown or Commentator.  Send him and send him fast Kent and hold on for dear life because your gonna have a horse that refused to die (Well Armed) a former BC Classic Winner, a synthetic wizard (Go Between), all taking shots at you from various different points in the race.  Good luck BB and if you win, you win HOY.  If not, your welcome to stick around for the Santa Anita Handicap and give it another shot against this crew.  

30 Sep 2008 7:18 PM
Draynay

Bradgm: My excuse for what? Big Brown with 4 good shoes on his feet is undefeated and since there will be no Maidens in the race to step on him I believe they will all be chasing Big Brown to the finish line.

Clay... your 98% sure ? I am 100% sure Big Brown wins. Curlin has already shown he can't run on turf so there is no reason to believe he will stand out on Pro Ride. He is a very talented horse on dirt but on any other surface he is average. Dutrow will have Big Brown rested and ready to go and no excuses will be necessary.  However all of you in the Curlin camp, get ready to explain why he didn't hit the board. Or better yet why don't you tell me about all the talented horses he has faced in his last two races.

30 Sep 2008 7:31 PM
Householder

Here is a new scenario.  Giacomo's half brother takes out the BC Classic "biggies" which gives Zenyatta HOY.  Being a Sherreff, Moss, Smith connection, and with Sherreff working Tiago with Zenyatta what does this group know that the public does not.  Can Zenyatta beat Tiago in the last 1/8 mile?  I'm putting Tiago back in my exotics.  Well Armed, Go Between, Tiago.  They eat, sleep, drink, Santa Anita.    

30 Sep 2008 7:37 PM
Householder

You Tube the 2008 Santa Anita Big Cap.  Go Between tries to chase down Heatseeker.  Well Armed bests Heetseeker 2x.  Well Armed gets beat by 1/2 length by Go Between in the Pacific Classic.  There is not a lot separating the two.  I give the edge to Well Armed based on his middle eastern travels and exploits against Curlin and his averted "Dubai Bounce."  Could be a Eoin Harty exacta.  Well Armed and Col John (he LOVES SA). I wonder if they have been working out together.  

30 Sep 2008 7:45 PM
G1Jimmy

I think Big Brown will run a career high Beyer in the Classic, will it be good enough to win on the fake dirt, who knows, but hey last year in the Classic Curlin never ran in the slop before and he ran a career Beyer. T -25 days!!!

30 Sep 2008 8:05 PM
Flyinhome

GRANDPA: the grass prep BB ran on was ungraded. It was a nobodies race that switched to turf.

30 Sep 2008 8:32 PM
Speedball

Bradgm,  Great suggestion about the Cooling Suit for Dutrow!  I called MGM to see if they had one for loan on Oct 25th, but they said they'd just sent their last one to a gentleman in NYC today.  I wonder who that could be?

Mike M, Thanks for your input about Commentator.

30 Sep 2008 8:44 PM
Curlin Fan

Y'all are dreaming if you honestly believe that BB will hit the board in the Classic (that's IF he shows up, which I still highly doubt).  BB has not beaten anyone at their best, honestly, in the Derby & Preakness, who did he beat?  Not a single horse who was in their best form.  When he faced Da'Tara, who was in great shape and form, he choked!!  He can not handle serious competition.  I love Big Brown as much as the next person, I think he was great for 3yos this year, but honestly, if he had been around last year, or the year before, Bernardini, Bluegrass Cat, Barbaro, Curlin, Street Sense & Hardspun would've made him look like nothing more than a poor claiming horse.  He'd have never have had the season he had this year, because this year he had a relatively poor crop of 3yos (at the time) and it was easy pickings for him.  This year, the ONLY loss Curlin had was on turf against a BC Turf winner.  The BC Classic is Curlin's race to LOSE.  Unless something is seriously wrong, he is unstoppable and will win the race.  Will it be close?  Probably.  Will he lose?  Unlikely.

30 Sep 2008 9:05 PM
Clay

You're nuts Dray.

30 Sep 2008 9:20 PM
Bradgm

Draynay,

Well considering you are the king of excuses it reminded me that you haven't responded to anyone who is taking you up on your 100% guarantee, and saying what you will give up if you're wrong.

Like I've said before I'm not a Curlin fan, nor a Big Brown fan in particular, just like a great race.

However as far as showing that BB is more talented on the grass than BB,I don't think that manufactured race proved anything.Red Rocks is an awesome turf horse winning the BC turf in 06 and 3rd in 07, nothing like that in the BB fantasy race.Oh and wasn't it you who said way back that you can't compare races on two different tracks? Turf courses are way different, more so than dirt. Or is that only applicable in BB's case?

And last of all I think the Duke may have something to say about it all.

30 Sep 2008 9:27 PM
Paul

Fabulous Strike looked great.

Thanks for making note.

30 Sep 2008 9:33 PM
Clay

Dray-2% Curlin doesn't win. Anything can happen in a horse race. Stumble out of the gate, getting slammed into the rail, breaking out of gate before the start, clipping heels, jock falls off, horse breaks down in front of him, or he just does'nt feel good race day.

P.S. Man that workout of BB sucked didn't it Dray. His stablemate kicked his butt.

30 Sep 2008 9:33 PM
Big Brown Fan

I don't understand why we can't give all the horses running in the BC Classic the respect they have earned.  Non of them would be there if they didn't belong.  People keep saying that Curlin's races aren't as impressive as they were because he's only doing what he needs to to win.  Well, Big Brown did the same thing in the Preakness and the Monmouth Stakes.  Only what he needed to do, but people seem to say, "ok Curlin is only doing what he needs to do but BB is struggling"  The rules have gotta go both ways, people.  He frolicked in the stretch of the Monmouth!  Even the tvg guys thought so!  People thought he looked beat at the top of the stretch in the Haskell but he pulled it off.  It was his first real race since the Preakness!  He's got talent, wants to win, and can pull it out when he needs to...have to keep your eye on a horse like that no matter if you like him or not!

I also think it's funny that people on here keep saying that he won't run in the BC.  Probably the same people who kept saying that he wouldn't run in his last two races...that he would get "sick".  Surprise, he ran and he won.  But it won't matter, I know.  For those people, no matter what BB does they just won't give him a break.  And people complain when Ivarone and Dutrow are out spoken and you bash them when they are much more humble...what do you want them to do??  Obviously you need to tell them because they just can't win either!  Maybe you didn't like BB's last two races but they were all a part of training up to the BC.  That's the goal.  I would bet money that Dutrow has BB in tip top condition come BC time.  He knows horses, if nothing else, you have to give him that.  

Will BB beat Curlin?  Don't know, none of us know.  I know that older talented horses tend to have an advantage over talented 3 yr olds. But that's not written in stone.  I'm crossing my fingers for a show down between the two of them all the way down the stretch to the wire, though!  But there are lots of talented horses in the Classic, the synthetic track question, and so many other factors to consider for all the horses.  No one is asking these horses to give BB and easy trip...some of you are acting like they're obligated to part the seas for BB and let him win.  We all know that's not going to happen for BB or any other horse.  But trust KD to take care of BB, he knows what he's doing.  I feel that I need to defend Draynay a little here.....ya'll all seem to be ganging up on here for him support of BB.  That's Draynay's opinion.  Ya'll certainly get on here and spout your wisdom, root for certain horses and trash others.  Draynay has the same right.  I happen to be a BB fan, too but you've got to respect all the horses running.  You can't count any or them out.  BB has down some very impressive things in a very short year.  Curlin has also done some impressive things in the last two years.  Neither have been running against stellar horses this year but both are excellent horses and have won their races in style weather it be a display of talent, courage, or heart.  Win, lose, or draw, both horses should have our total respect and thanks for bringing so much excitement to what probably would have been an ordinary year of horse racing.

GO BIG BROWN!!!  BC Classic winner and HOY!!!!!  :D

30 Sep 2008 9:35 PM
drzaiuss

Ill be very happy once curlin destroys big brown and shuts up dutrow once and for all.big brown is just lucky that he is involved in the worst 3 year old crop i have seen in ages.

30 Sep 2008 9:43 PM
MonicaV

Draynay,

Always antagonistic.  Always nasty when it comes to Curlin.  Why didn't your horse run in a grade 1 race against BC winners?  Where was he?  I give credit to BB all the way but why can't you give any credit to Curlin.  Curlin ran second.  He didn't run last. You continually snipe at him.  Why is that?  I think it's more than your love for BB, you actually hate Curlin and I don't understand that.

I don't understand it at all.  I don't hate Big Brown, I think he's a wonderful, gutsy horse.  I don't have to hate him because I love Curlin.

On another note, do you actually think that the training BB is getting is going to help him win this race.  I kind of doubt it.  They have to be careful of his feet and has to have foot specialists around everyday.  This does not bode well.  I only hope that this race does not seriously injure him as he doesn't deserve that.  No horse does.  He has been a great thrill this year and I hope he does well in the classic but I can't help but think he isn't quite the same horse he was.

I know he will run as well as he can because he is determined and don't discount Curlin.  Curlin has raced on several different tracks with different types of dirt surfaces. He is a force to be reckoned with no matter where he runs.  Let's see what happens and I will decide what I want you to do if BB loses.

30 Sep 2008 10:03 PM
Karen2

this is becoming interesting. Draynay, I love your confidence in BB. I don't think you should go away even if BB loses the classic. You add some flavor to these boards. Before I get bashed, I am not defending Draynay, just getting a kick out of him.....

This will be an interesting classic because of the surface. I basically think you can throw all your handicapping devices and past races out the window. It will come down to who likes the surface and runs well on it. The best horse may not win.

30 Sep 2008 10:04 PM
Karen2

Big Brown Fan: Amen!

30 Sep 2008 10:08 PM
Paula Higgins

You know when I hear the words "worst 3 year old crop I have seen in ages" it really irriates me and here's why. These animals run their hearts out for us and they are living, breathing creatures who deserve our respect, the best of care and our affection. Some run better than others,and some not so well, but they all try. All for our amusement. Let's show respect for all the horses, regardless of what you think of their connections. For me, the horse that may not be so talented but shows heart is especially near and dear to my heart. So maybe it's not a great "crop" this year, but I have really enjoyed watching them all run and so have many others. Sometimes it's the "Rudys" of this world that make it special and memorable.  

30 Sep 2008 10:22 PM
Whatamidoing

BB Fan, The people 'ganging up' on Draynay have all been victims of his cutting remarks and snide comments. Just from reading this stuff I've garnered that tidbit of wisdom and insight. Those who are saying Brown may not run, very well may have horses that they wouldn't run with all the issues this colt has. I don't think anyone on here dislikes the horse in particular, they just don't think he's the cats meow the way you and some others do. That's what makes horse racing, that's what fills the stands (well at least at the bigger meets) and that is what the lifeblood of the industry gamble on. The my horse is better than yours theory. I think personally that these are absolutely not the only two horses in the race and to say that is tempting fate with the racing gods. What folks are saying about what kind of trip it will take for Brown to win is simply mirroring what Mike Iavarone said.

As far as people bashing the owners or trainer, I think most of that is directed towards Rick and if you'd ever been on the receiving end of one of his little salvos you wouldn't take kindly to it either, much like Draynay. I don't appreciate Rick's disrespect of racing, other horses and other trainers. Other than that he's a good horseman and an okay guy, if you can look past that.

30 Sep 2008 11:03 PM
Draynay

If Big Brown loses I will never bring the horse up again. And BIG BROWN FAN is right if any horse has proven himself it's BB and for many of you to dismiss him and Dutrow is just not smart.  BB will be ready to run and they are going to have to catch him... good luck doing that.

30 Sep 2008 11:10 PM
Matthew W

Love it that Curlin's here!! He's danced all the dances/he's not ducked anyone!! The best by far of a good crop! That doesn't mean he's better than Big Brown! I thought they got all they needed in Big Brown's turf prep--Enough of the talk about poly this/dirt that--it's the same for everyone and I thought the weekend preps ran great and pretty true to form---Curlin is a true 1 1/4 hoss and so are Big Brown and Colonel John! Forn that matter so are Well Armed and Go Between and Tiago---they should really be coming in Santa Anita stretch!! Commentator will try to get a Ghostzapper run---I would hope Team Brownie has figured out that he needs to run free/I hope to see Kent engage Commentator on the turn/put him away and scoot free for the last 1/8 of Curlin & co!! But OH....I'm going for both days!! And yes the gals have some talent! Stardom Bound is a real good horse...and Ladies Classic is as tough as any!! Thought Curlin belonged in The Goodwood/Ginger Punch belonged in Ladys Secret---running in the mud instead/and hard....looking forward to the Euros (who did well in 03 at SA)....Juvy is wide open/as is Sprint...hey, after she breaks the record, maybe they can card a race foe the New Mexico bred filly for Fridays BC Card...some special cheapie starter alw just for her! Thats what its all about--bring out the stars! Let us celebrate them all!!

30 Sep 2008 11:38 PM
DANYLSON

THE FUNNY THING IS THAT THE SEABISCUIT-WAR ADMIRAL MATCH UP WAS KIND OF THE SAME, SEABISCUIT HAD WON OVER NO ONE, REALLY, AND WAR ADMIRAL HAS JUST ABOUT SMOKED EVERYONE ELSE...THE SAME SMACK THE SAME TALKING THE SAME PUT DOWNS...AND WHAT HAPPENED, THE BIG HORSE LOST AND THE ONE THAT HAD BEAT NO ONE, WON.... LETS NOT UNDER ESTIMATE NO ONE. LETS WALK THE WALK BEFORE TALKING THE TALK. MAY THE BEST HORSE WIN AND FOR THE BETTER OF THE SPORT!!!

30 Sep 2008 11:39 PM
DANYLSON

BIGHORSEFAN,ATTHEBARN,GRANDPA; BIG BROWN IS A VERY GOOD HORSE; EASY GOER AND SUNDAY SILIENCE WERE GREAT THE REST OF THAT CROP SUCKED TO PUT IT NICELY,BUT YOU PUT THOSE TO IN ANY OF THE LAST 20 YEAR CROPS AND THEY SMACK EVERYONE SILLY.NO ONE RUNS FOR SECOND,WE ALL KNOW THAT....I AM PRETTY SHORE CURLIN AND BIG BROWN AREN'T SAYING, "GEE LETS RUN HARD AND COME IN SECOND AND WE WILL BE JUMPING OUT OF OUR SEATS BECAUSE WE WILL FINISH SECOND". FOR ALL THE EXPERIENCE SOME OF YOU POTRAY, U SURE HAVE NAIVE WAYS OF THINKING. GO BIG BROWN MAKE CURLIN RUN HIS HEART OUT.

30 Sep 2008 11:48 PM
Matthew W

Curlin's JC Gold Cup was strong---he finished into a soft pace and he did it easy! You just never know about the SA track--it played so fast you wonder about the cushion! Hope the horses all came out ok! Curlin is just a true blue racehorse! I'm thinkin' he'll be there! Curlin! Curlin vs Big Brown! That alone is HUGE!! Yes Curlin looked GOOD in his final BC prep---I think Big Brown is gonna throw a huge race of his own in BC Classic! Curlin/Big Brown firing big in Classic! That's what I hope for! Give me this: give me this thrilling anticipation/give me a thrilling stratch match----- "...Keep the sharks, the bloddy sharks, from the heart..."

01 Oct 2008 12:04 AM
Matthew W

Dray I love your comments! If Brownie loses I would hope you'll mention him again! I didn't think last years crop was super and I DON'T think any one of them beats the 20 hoss in the '08 Derby! His prep doesn't bother me--heck he DIDN'T run on a lightning SA Track or in the Belmont mud---I thought he looked great holding them off on the turf---He should fire his best shot in Classic and that race wins!

01 Oct 2008 12:12 AM
Atthebarn2

Danylson, well I don't potray nothing, I don't even portray anything. I've been in this game for 50+ years and around horses for a lot longer than that. YOU are the one who talked about running for second. "IN SIMPLE TERMS, IT IS MORE IMPORTANT FOR BIG BROWN TO WIN THEN IT IS FOR CURLIN.CURLIN HAS ASSERTED HIMSELF AS A GOOD TO GREAT HORSE," Now if you're going to correct people and try to put them down you best remember or re-read what you wrote. I think we all took it that it's okay for Curlin or anyone else to run second.

Maybe that's your interpretation of the best scenario, but that's your opinion don't try to make it like we should all agree with you. I guarantee that it's pretty dang hard to be the least bit naive at my age and would have to say that you are naive because your argument and assertions don't hold water. You are the one who made the statement, your zeal and support of Big Brown is making you oblivious to what you're actually saying.

01 Oct 2008 12:13 AM
Horse Lover

I Can't Wait To See Curlin And Big Brown Race Together It Will Be so COOL, My Ticket Will Be

Curlin

Big Brown

Colony John GO GO GO GO!!!!!!!!!!!

01 Oct 2008 12:45 AM
Jeremy

Saratoga AJ, I just wanted to comment on what you said about Secretariat not faring well against the 4 year olds he faced. Yes he did lose to Onion in the Whitney and to Prove Out in the Woodward, but those were 2 races he should have not ran in the first place. But history doesnt tell us that. It just says that Secretariat lost. In the Whitney, Secretariat became ill, his connections still ran him away. I think he missed valuable training time. In the Woodward in which he lost to Prove Out, that came 2 weeks after he set the world record in the Marlboro Cup beating hall of famers Riva Ridge and Cougar II. Onion was also in that race and finished 5th, but no one talks about that either. Secretariat was a tired horse by the time the Woodward came around. So based on that, I will say Prove Out got lucky on that one. I know Prove Out also ran another big race winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup

01 Oct 2008 12:50 AM
Jeremy

And another thing, Im just elaborating on someone on here saying that this year was a weak crop. Some people are just never satisfied. Whenever there is a horse who just dominates the others, the first thing thats said is that the competition is weak. But if its a couple of horses who takes turns beating each other, then its said the competition is even. People what y'all need to learn is appreciate greatness when you see it. We all cry for a superstar to come, but when the superstar comes, y'all find ways to chop that horse down. Instead of talking about the accomplishments, all you hear is the negatives. As far as this year Classic goes, it will be interesting to watch. but i dont think the big 2 (Big Brown or Curlin) is going to win. Its going to be one of those synthetic loving horses which is a shame if you ask me. If this was ran on a real dirt track those synthetic horses would be a after though. Watch out for Well Armed and Tiago. But Student Council is the sleeper to look out for.

01 Oct 2008 1:12 AM
RJPPDP

Hey the classic will be great with all the heavy hitters. I can't wait to see Curlin, Big Brown, Commentator, Henry the Navigator and the harty boys. The only thing that scares me and makes horse god sense is Go Between. Curlin usually needs a race on the surface before winning. If commentator is in the race, Big Brown goes up against a horse that is faster than him. Henry The Navigator on a new surface and travelling from Europe makes him a difficult play. I see go between winning opening up for the true horse of the year Zenyatta

01 Oct 2008 1:25 AM
Saratoga AJ

I have come to the conclusion that the best way to handle Draynay and his continuous outrageously bias comments concerning BB is just ignore him. Let him rant on and on. Don't bother responding, it's a waste of time.

The rest of us can carry on the intelligent debating concerning the BC Classic.

01 Oct 2008 5:09 AM
Curlin

I think Big Brown is a truly talented horse and I've said that all along even though I'm a Curlin fan.  However, even though he has not been passed when leading at the 1/4 pole, he also has never had horses breathing down his neck in the stretch like he might in the Classic.  These horses won't hang like the ones he's faced thus far.  Do you honestly think horses like Curlin, Duke of Marmalade, etc. will not be able to pass Big Brown in the stretch after he has been forced to run on or near fast fractions for over a mile and on a track, that although has had a bias against speed, has not shown a bias towards it either?  These horses are not Proudinsky!  Pace makes the race and I just can't see a pace scenario in the Classic that favors Big Brown.

01 Oct 2008 5:25 AM
slyder

I've seen the comment here more than once that Big Brown with 4 good shoes on his feet is undefeated. That is simply untrue.

He was brought to post in the Belmont with 4 good shoes on his feet and was soundly trounced by an Allowance Horse and a Maiden among others. The fact that he finished the race with one shoe loose was his fault and his fault only. It was he who spooked unprofessionally and broke out into the Maiden causing his own problems with the shoe.

Big Brown went into the race with 4 good shoes and was beaten. That is a fact. His unprofessional behavior and the results of it was what caused him the race. Let's not forget he was almost uncontrollable during other parts of the race as well. That's called cause and effect. The root cause of his defeat was himself and nothing more.

01 Oct 2008 7:57 AM
draynot

I'm still waiting for draynay to respond to Saratoga AJ's comments to him.

draynay loves to put together partial bits of information and try to ridicule or prove a point with it.

I love AJ's point that the Big Ole Browneye was all out to hold off Proudinsky in his last race then Proudinsky turns around and gets thoroughly whipped by 23 lengths by a horse that Curlin whipped by a half dozen.

AJ threw draynay's type of logic right back in his face and he can't even respond. Thank you AJ, your point was well received.

01 Oct 2008 8:21 AM
Speedball

Matthew W,

I think you are writing Commentator off much to easily.  If he runs, he has a very smart,experienced trainer with a history of knocking off the favorites and a very  experienced,smart jockey in John V.

Neither BB,Curlin,or Commentator have run on this new surface and no one knows how they will react on race day to it.  Post position could certainly factor into the race results, and as almost everyone knows, the best horse may not win.  I would certainly think that Well Armed, Tiago, and Go Between can't be brushed off since they have proven themselves on Poly.

Although I have a lot of respect for Big Brown and wish he'd won the Triple Crown inspite of his connections, blowing by Commentator in the stretch or Curlin is going to be extremely difficut especially for a three year old.  May the best horse win and all the horses and riders go on to run many future races.  They are all champions and should provide us with one of the most exciting Classics ever.

01 Oct 2008 9:33 AM
MikeM

If Commentator runs in the BCC,BB will have a VERY tough go. Commentator is a high level front running horse. He will run as hard as he can,as far as he can. Zito is a mastor at having his horses ready for a top effort on the big days. Dutrow must be praying that horse doesn't run in the Classic. Dutrow is very good at keeping a horse together. After all his background is training hard knocking cripples.

01 Oct 2008 10:18 AM
Curlin Fan

drzaiuss I agree with you about Dutrow and I still believe once Curlin is officially in the BC Classic, BB won't run it (Dutrow & co have ducked him too many times this summer and then offered a match race after Jackson specifically said he would NEVER enter Curlin into a match race).  But it is insulting to say that this is the worst crop of 3 yos in ages.  It isn't the most brilliant crop of 3 yos but give credit where it is due ... Pyro, Colonel John, Da'Tara are three of the 3yos this season and they are not horrible animals.  Regardless, as another poster said, give credit & respect to all the horses who run for nothing more than our amusement and their love of it.  

01 Oct 2008 10:37 AM
shane

Just to clarify. Curlin also has tactical speed for some reason people forget that. The reason they dont use that is because of the ability to rate and relax him; whereas other horses can only do one thing or the other. If you need proof of curlins speed goto youtube and watch his maiden(all the speed you ever would need and more). I truly am a curlin fan but I try to look at racing for what it is. How can u knock his consistency? Look back when they touted Bernadini as the next coming and Invasor wiped him clean. Why? because invasor showed up to every race ready to beat the horses in the race. Horses like that win on their own. Curlin is of the same mold right now; Big Brown is not mature yet and those are the facts. I know we love our horses and are big fans but Draynay and others who say curlin stinks are just not looking at the facts on the ground. You probably thought bernadini would beat invasor didnt you...lol.

01 Oct 2008 10:40 AM
RacingFan

I just have a simple question in regards to Karen Johnson's piece that describes Big Brown's work at Aquedect: Are Dutrow/Ivarone schizophrenics? A few weeks ago they showed essentially no respect for Curlin and made us believe they weren't even concerned with his whereabouts. After reading Karen's article with Dutrow's quotes, now he seems borderline petrified and doesn't even want to send Big Brown out to CA early because he may mistakenly walk by Curlin's stall and have a heartattack from his sheer presence. Is anyone out there still seriously considering a Big Brown upset. Curlin equals superhorse!!!

01 Oct 2008 10:41 AM
shane

oh yeah and please let Curlin go off at 2-1 or better....I dare you lol

01 Oct 2008 10:49 AM
Karen2

I like your post Paula. Every one of these horses deserves our respect!

01 Oct 2008 11:51 AM
schabelli

paula higgins,

You speak as if the horses actually know when someone points out they are the weakest class to come along in years. Let's get real here. They have no clue and it hurts them none what anyone says.

They run for us but have no clue they are doing it for that purpose. These are animals you are talking about and they have no idea they are running for our pleasure. They do what they are trained to do and what their instincts tell them to do.

My point is what anyone says about them does not affect them in any way. None of these animals is thinking that he/she is running to please the masses. They are simply doing what they are asked to do by their trainers and jockeys. Kinda like the circus. The tiger don't jump through flaming hoops just because the crowd wants it to. He jumps because his "master" tells him he has to. Some jump and some don't jump so well and this years crop of 3 yr olds hasn't jumped very well. It doesn't hurt or disrespect them to point that out. It's just a fact.

01 Oct 2008 12:17 PM
Pam S.

Very good post, Big Brown Fan.  You know, every year the top horses are criticized for running against weak fields.  Like, in Mineshaft's career finale in the JCGC, he was panned for beating some horse named Quest.  Well, all the big horses aren't going to show up in the same race in the summer or early fall because the trainers don't want that.  Aren't they trying to keep themselves in the best company and their horses in the worst company, or whatever that saying is?

With all the races out there and the few elite horses, it seems they are always beating "nobodies."  Or sometimes a "nobody" is underestimated or peaking at the right time and pulls the upset.  But then hopefully, every animal who has proven itself will show up at the BC.  If Curlin, BB, Commentator etc. had already run in the same race there wouldn't be all this great anticipation.  So I get tired of hearing that our top equine athletes "haven't beaten anybody."  And remember, after some time passes you might look at the quality of a particular competitor a little differently.

01 Oct 2008 1:00 PM
Curlin

    First off, Draynay, you're kidding right?  You state that how can we expect a horse who beat a 7 year old by one length and an unknown horse by one length to beat the Florida Derby, Kentucky Derby, etc. winner.  Well 1st off the 7 year old Curlin beat by a single length in his last also only lost by a single length to Invasor in the Pimlico Special just a few years back as a 5 year old.  By the way, that was the same year that you state Bernardini beat Wanderin Boy by 6 and we all know what happened in the '06 Classic when the best 3 year old (Bernardini) tackled the best older horse (Invasor) don't we!  Wanderin Boy is still a game horse even at 7.

    Second, you aren't seriously bashing Curlin for winning his last 2 by a length over suspect competition when Big Brown had to be all out in the Haskell to beat an allowance winner by 2 and then was hand ridden, just like Curlin was in his last, to beat a group of Grade II horses (and not even good ones at that) by a head, are you?

   Third, to answer your question, I do expect the Arkansas Derby, Preakness, 2x Jockey Gold Cup, BC Classic, Dubai World Cup, Stephen Foster, Woodward and Jaguar Cup (since you ridiculously mentioned Big Brown winning the "Monmouth Stakes" as an accomplishment) winner to beat Big Brown.  He will beat Big Brown in the Classic and he will beat him in the breeding shed as a stallion.

   Finally, anyone else agree that if Curlin does happen to lose the Classic, Jackson and Asmussen take the high road and don't use the surface as an excuse, but if Big Brown loses the Classic, you'll need a calculator to count the plethora of excuses Iavarone and Dutrow use?  I have said this in previous blogs and I know others have stated this in this blog, but if Curlin takes to the Pro-Ride and seems to be training like a monster over it in the next few weeks, Big Brown doesn't get on the plane for Santa Anita the week of Breeders Cup due to some illness, foot problem, etc.

01 Oct 2008 1:07 PM
Brian A.

Draynay-To say Curlin has already proved that he cannot run on turf is crazy.  He raced against a duo of Breeders Cup Turf winners and came in second.  Robby Albarado lost Curlin the race by giving him the worst ride of his career.  Everyone knows that Kent D. is a great turf Jockey, and Robby is a better dirt jockey.  But the turf to Synthetic strategy might not even pay off for the Big Brown camp.  The jocks in CA at Santa Anita have said it rides more like a conventional dirt track than anything else.  Either way Curlin is the clear-cut winning choice.

Go Curlin!!  (-:

01 Oct 2008 2:01 PM
danny

been in love with Zenyatta for months now but amazed very very few have talked about her or really known about her. ESPN has barely mentioned her. Even after her traveling to beat Ginger Punch. Figured it was because she was 'west coast' but she is the best happy story in racing this year-she has yet to lose and is gorgeous to boot. Steroids? I think that may be why we DON"T see Commentator in classic--zito has refused all along to answer the question of what his horses race on most notably before the Belmont. Really like Commentator tho.

All the flap about Curlin vs Big Brown sets it up nice for some other horse to steal it. And to the poster above who said "CURLIN all the way...to tell you the truth, he hasn't had to TRUELLY show us every ounce of heart..." i say REALLY??? What about the belmont, the derby, the haskell last year and what about man o' war this year--did he lose those because he didn't have to show heart?? He is a great great horse but certainly not invincible.  

01 Oct 2008 2:32 PM
Brooke

GO CURLIN!!!

01 Oct 2008 3:48 PM
Draynay

I am going to answer all of you Draynot,Shane,Saratoga, and Curlin. Curlin I am going to start with you first... Big Brown first race back off a grueling Triple Crown campaign wins his first race by 2 and going away in the same race that Curlin came back in last year and finished THIRD !!! His next race on turf faced 3 veteran MULTIPLE GRADED STAKES winners including Shakis who just beat several Grade 1 winners and beat them at their own game. Finally, Wanderin Boy is 1 for his last 8 races and his only win was a optional claiming race.

Now... how about some of you answer me... Since Curlin has come home who has he beat ??? He faced nothing in the Jockey Gold and he faced nothing in the Woodward.  Funny thing when he did meet some good horses he got whipped. Red

Rocks is no longer a top turf horse yet he beat Curlin by distance...so... the first time he meets some decent horses he gets beat and now you expect him to beat a field of tough horses ? None of you have addressed the fact he came home in over 14 seconds at Saratoga ! 14 seconds ! You think that will catch Big Brown ???

SaratogaAJ you have come to the conclusion you have no answers. Because you have none you tell everyone to just ignore me.  Instead why don't you come back with some facts and tell me the error of my ways.  Silence me with your articulate banter, your visions and daunting knowledge.

Shane... I have never said Curlin stinks but until he proves he can beat horses on another surface he is just a one trick pony.

01 Oct 2008 4:51 PM
JG

Again, thank you for sharing your posts because it truly makes for great reads.  The person that argues against the Great Secretariat needs to discontinue your envolvement in thoroughbred racing.  I won't acknowledge your next post for sure.  Read the history books about the illiness and when he was healthy what happened?  I forget how many world records he put up in 73'.

Anyway, it will be interesting how quiet the Curlin fans will be if Big Brown takes the BC Classic.  If they both get beat by Commentator then the old man will get it.  If one of the others like Well Armed or Henrythenavigator takes it then you have to look at Zenyatta for HOY assuming she takes the distaff.  Who could definitely hit the board with the boys too if not win.  Sorry but it is true.  

01 Oct 2008 5:05 PM
Wanda

Yo Yo homies. I got all the respect in the world for the posse. You think it's hot in Cal right now. It's 25C(80F) right now in cowtown. I see he who we don't name is up to the usual blah,blah. I see we have a DN junior.Hang in there Atthebarn,the posse is there for you bro.

Did you see the splits for Zenyata Brad? Man the way she's running right now she'd kick*** against the boys. Those are super filly times.

Got to go but know that you guys got me past a rough time. Thanks!

01 Oct 2008 5:21 PM
The Wizard

danny:

NO horse is invincible. Even Secretariat lost 5 races, four of which he had absolutely no excuse. And that includes a 5 length drubbing by Prove Out, who was carrying SEVEN more pounds than Sec. in the 1973 Woodward.

ANY horse can get beat.

01 Oct 2008 5:21 PM
drzaiuss

for those who get offended when i say that this was a crap 3 year old crop just look at the facts, no 3 year old other than big brown has run 2 turns over a 104 beyer, to me that makes this crop of 3 year olds disgustingly bad,any half decent 3 year old from years back would have also crushed these loser horses, silver charm would have beaten these horses by 20 lengths in the derby, its sad that watchmaker has casino drive ranked as the 4th best 3 year old around considering he has 2 stinking races to his name, that tells me how bad this years 3 year olds are, you may not like what im saying but you cant disagree.big brown is a very good horse but has alot to prove still and has not acclomplished that much considering who he has beaten so far, i can name a dozen horses that have won the first 2 legs of the triple crown that werent that good , war pass, charismatic,real quiet,funny cide,.win the classic, beat the older horses, run a 120 beyer, run as a 4 year old, then ill believe big brown is one of the greats until then hes another flash in the pan.

01 Oct 2008 5:50 PM
Dan Omaha

I can't wait for the Classic.  Such amazing horses all on one track.  I like that Big Brown has shown some heart in the last 2 races but I still think Curlin is gonna roll!!  HOY again!!  I am a HUGE Big Brown fan, I just dont think anyone is gonna touch Curlin.  But who knows.  I also cant wait to see Casino Drive and hopefully Henrythenavigator.  I am surprised more people arent talking about the Ladies Classic.  That is gonna be an awesome race!!

01 Oct 2008 6:20 PM
Brownfan

This is Brownfan from NM, not Big Brown Fan, but I agree with him.  This will be one heck of a race and I am really looking forward to it. Why do you all give Draynay such a hard time? He likes his horse, as do I.  I see PLENTY of unflattering posts about Brown and other horses.  And, as Paula Higgins stated, they all deserve our respect.  If they weren't any good, they wouldn't have gotten here in the first place - the pinnacle of horse racing!  And granted, this is a horse race, so anything can happen, but I really think Big Brown is sitting on a great big race and everyone had better watch out...GO BROWN!!!!!

01 Oct 2008 7:13 PM
Bradgm

Wanda hope all is okay for you now. one of our other homies katsan has been off for a while was having a lot of tragedy hope all is okay with her if she's reading.  

Anyway, To the Draynay supporters who seemed to have popped out of the woodwork, this guy has done more to make posters on here pull against Big Brown than almost anyone other than Rick Dutrow. I being someone who loves horse racing period,have never pulled against a horse, I just pull FOR mine to win. However I'm definitely a realist when I evaluate them since I'm a gambler. I just don't think all of this bravado and calling people out over a horse is good for racing, you see what it accomplished for Rick Dutrow. Draynay, you need to allow other people to have their opinions and realize that they aren't stupid or biased negatively like you are. I have seen Curlin recently (helps to know folks) I saw BB at the Derby and on TV since then, man there is no comparison. I know it's not a beauty contest but he looks amazing. I still haven't seen the European contingent but they should take to the Pro-ride surface quite well. The Duke is amazing, and even in defeat so is Henry. Still holding out hope for Zenyatta, beg Mikie, beg on hands and knees.

01 Oct 2008 7:14 PM
Householder

I've been high on Zenyatta since her El Encino win and thought the press/handicappers completely dismissed her in the Apple Blossom.  Complained about the "East Coast" bias on this blog.  I've seen the likes of Bayakoa, Serena's Song, Paseana, Winning Colors, Gorgeous and the other great Santa Anita girls. Zenyatta is this good.  I've also touted Well Armed since his San Antonio.  The handicapper have also dismissed this one and it has only been recently that Jason can even say his name. Sure we have Curlin and Big Brown.  But the Go Between Well Armed match ups look like the Alysheba Ferdinand Santa Anita match ups that I enjoyed watching up close in my youth.  On the other hand the Curlin/BB matchup has been wildly played out in the press by the same people who have pretty much dismissed all things west of the Mississippi.  Come bring your money because Zenyatta, Well Armed, Tiago, Go Between, Street Boss, Colonel John, Baby Zenytta, and I are all sleeping in on Breeder's Cup day.  It will be just like any other day for us at "The Great Race Place."  

01 Oct 2008 7:31 PM
BIGHORSEFAN

Hey Wanda, glad you're back hope you are a-ok now. It's 91 here in Arcadia was supposed to get to 100, although we're having a cold spell this weekend 71-77 but back up to the mid to high 80's next week. I do not know why it's so hot on the track, maybe the fibers are heat conductors or something. Think I'll ask one of the jocks. Big Brown suffered in the heat at Belmont, that was one of the many excuses. If this heat keeps up and the track stays as hot as it is, he'll melt. If it's as hot as the last time it was here they'll have a bunch of horses with heat stroke, especially with the track being 20-30 degrees hotter. The shippers better get here and acclimate if they want any kind of a chance.. Zenyatta was absolutely STUNNING. Curlin looks like a monster. The Duke will either run in the Arc or a race in Ireland on the synthetic. Raven's Pass and Henry are both thinking. Curlin works on Monday, if he works like he looks, it's going to be tough.

One thing though, for those who didn't want the race in the same locale 2 years straight might not have to worry. With Magna in the toilet who knows what's going to happen with SA.  

01 Oct 2008 7:43 PM
Curlin

    Draynay, you say Big Brown finished going away by 2 in the Haskell after a hard TC campaign.  Why don't you say the same thing for Curlin in that he too had a grueling TC campaign and I would contend even more grueling than Big Brown's?  Differenc is, Curlin was actually fighting in every TC race, he didn't just enter the race!  Big Brown took one off.  You say Curlin finished 3rd in the Haskell, same race Big Brown won, but who were the 1st and 2nd place finishers ahead of Curlin in the Haskell?  I'll help you out, Any Given Saturday and Hard Spun.  The fact is Curlin has never been beaten by any horse other than Grade I horses!  Not by a maiden, not by an allowance horse.

    We can go on and on here if you would like.  You say that many of us are foolish for stating over and over that Big Brown has not beaten anybody, but yet you try to use that same angle when talking about Curlin since he has come back from Dubai.  You say Wanderin Boy is 1 for his last 8, well what is Shakis' record in the last year.  If I'm not mistaken he is about the same and his last win before this year's Bernard Baruch was last year's Bernard Baruch.  I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.  You say Red Rocks is not a top class turf horse like he used to be, but want to actually say Big Brown beat Shakis who has beaten multiple Grade I winners and try and make that sound like a huge accomplishment?  Shakis is no longer a top class turf horse himself so if you want to play the "Shakis has beaten multiple Grade I winners" card, then I get to play the "Red Rocks beat more Grade I winners in 1 race ('06 BC Turf) than Shakis has beaten in his whole life.  Yeah, Big Brown beat Proudinsky, the same Proudinsky that came back 2 weeks later to finish almost dead last at Belmont.  You want to say he beat Shakis?  Shakis really beat a great group in the Bernard Baruch didn't he?  He beat Thorn Song by 1 3/4 lengths in that race.  That's the same Thorn Song who just a race or 2 back, finished dead last in the Woodford Reserve to Einstein.  Let me see here, oh year, Einstein lost by 4 to Curlin in the Foster this year.  I know, I know, before you can post and say Einstein was racing on dirt and not his preferred surface of turf, I'll go ahead and have my rebuttal and say Curlin lost to Red Rocks on the only surface Red Rocks has ever known and not the preferred surface of Curlin.

    We can give all the excuses we want and have all the rebuttals we want for both Curlin and Big Brown.  Fact is, pace makes the race and the Classic will be no different.  I simply do not see a pace scenario unfolding in this year's Classic that favors Big Brown.  Too slow of a pace and good luck trying to catch Commentator or if Commentator wilts on a slow pace (highly unlikely), good luck holding off the Europeans because the field will be so bunched up.  A moderate pace and Curlin won't be beat.  A fast pace and Big Brown is near it, he folds.  A fast pace and Big Brown is 3 or 4 off of it might be his only prayer, but I would bet in that scenario Well Armed would have 1st run and not Big Brown and I don't think he passes Well Armed.  All of this being said about the pace, we don't even know if he would like the Pro-Ride or not.  

01 Oct 2008 8:11 PM
Texas Fan

I think that it will come down to:

Curlin

Casino Drive

Commentator (if he runs, I don't believe he's officially been entered yet)

Colonel John

Tiago

Wanderin Boy

I don't see Big Brown winning this one.  I don't like that he's not shipping to SA until a few days before the Breeders Cup, and I don't like that Dutrow is wanting to train him on turf for this race.  I think Curlin right now is on a roll, his only loss this season having been to a horse that won the Breeder's Cup Turf.  I think the Pro Ride surface is not going to play as much as some people think, it appears to favor more dirt runners than other synthetic surfaces have.

Is Pyro running in the Breeders Cup Classic?

01 Oct 2008 8:28 PM
Paula Higgins

Karen, thanks for your comment.

Schabelli, do you really think horses don't respond to positive reinforcement and know when they win a big race? I think they know. I think they know when they are the center of attention and they love it. Do they know we are criticizing them on this board? of course not. But I do and it bothers me for their sake. I don't think it's good for the sport to run them down either. Negativity breeds more negativity. If it were me, I would tout this years crop as the second coming of Secretariat to get the public involved. However, I do assume that everyone here loves horses or they wouldn't be posting.

01 Oct 2008 8:48 PM
Matthew W

Zenyatta has done in EIGHT races what I've seen no horse do: Win from far back at two turns--and win big! RARELY do horses win two turn races from the clouds---Zen does it impressively every time---Her last two races were awesome, and, scary thought, she wins big'n'easy against the cream of the crop--There's no doubting the greatness of Curlin/spectacular Big Brown----but Zenyatta casts her own shadow...I cannot compare her to any horse of either sex and that's saying a lot! I've always been against running fillies v males at 1 1/4....6 fur or 1 1/2 turf OK---but with Zenyatta...it's like "I want to see more"....How spoiled am I! To see Zenyatta/Curlin/Big Brown in BC is great, but I wanna see them together!! ...'Be the best race I've ever seen and the big filly wins by two.....

01 Oct 2008 9:32 PM
Matthew W

I love Commentator, but no I think I'm NOT overlooking him as a likely bet against! His career is not dotted with Gr 1 wins at 1 1/4 and there's no way in this lifetime he'll change his stripes in the strongest field he'll ever have faced! He's GOOD, he's Precisionist good---Congaree good---other horses that couldn't get the distance---He'll run out and if he doesn't go, Big Brown will be VERY tough to beat! Nick is smart enough to lay off The Classic---but I'd LOVE him to run and take some $$$$--none of it mine!!

01 Oct 2008 9:40 PM
Matthew W

Well Armed and Col John will race as an entry for Classic. Two Tiznows. Well Armed is a nice horse but I'd be shocked if he won The Classic! Col John has intrigue as a late developer with obvious talent---but out of The Goodwood Tiago caught my eye....soft pace (for that fast track) and he had to swerve out in stretch and still finished fastest---HE'S the longshot with a shot for part! He likes SA, if not poly... Sherriffs/Moss big Cup??? Mike Smith has Tiago, Stardom Bound, Zenyatta....I'll make sure to say "Have a nice day" to Mikey!

01 Oct 2008 10:17 PM
Whatamidoing

I'm curious if the filly Stardom Bound looked as good in person as she did on the monitors. Brad you and your friends seem pretty astute and said you saw her, how did she look. Seemed to me that she was more impressive than any 2 year old colt I'VE seen anyway, pretty thing too isn't she? Zenyatta, man even on the small screen she looked really awesome. I also know the three gambling amigos have been touting her on here, do you feel like she might run? Got to see Curlin huh? Pretty awesome isn't he?

01 Oct 2008 10:34 PM
schabelli

paula,

I didn't say horses don't respond to positive reinforcement. All animals do no matter how small the brain. As for do they know they won a big race? They may know they beat the others to the line but I'm quite sure they have no idea whether they won a claiming race or a stakes race. They can't read or comprehend the conditions book.

As for "running them down", stating facts or opinions isn't running them down. It's just what it is.

Everyone has an opinion and to express that whether or not you agree with them is good for the sport. It shows people have interest. The alternative is to not discuss anything and that would be bad for the sport.

02 Oct 2008 9:31 AM
draynot

Curlin,

How dare you rebut draynay so eloquently. Don't you know when comparing who beat who it only applies when he does it and with who he chooses and in what race he chooses to use?

I stand by my assertion that on the dirt and at their best Curlin would wipe the track with Big Brown. The Big Ole Browneye has never and will never put up a Beyer Speer Figure approaching Curlin's best on the dirt. That is a fact nobody can dispute. Brownie is multiple lenghts behind in that regard. In fact he is lengths behind what Wanderin Boy just put up in the Jockey Gold Cup and this is one draynay says is a nobody.

Curlin's effort on the turf was every bit as good as Big Brown's and even better. You can't dispute the fact that they wrote a race on the grass for Big Brown. He was the only one who was trained and pointed to that race. The others went there because of the purse and their training was altered to quickly get there. It makes a huge difference to be pointed and trained for a specific race like the defending Turf Classic Red Rocks was when he faced Curlin. The Big Ole Browneye was facing lesser quality animals on the turf and ones who did not have the advantage of being pointed to that race and trained up to it for any length of time. A clever move by the connections of Brownie but none the less it gave him quite an advantage since they were the only ones who had the opportunity to train specifically up to the race.

As I have stated before the connections of The Big Ole Browneye have cleverly chosen his races since the Triple Crown Series where he faced the weakest 3 yr old class in memory and even got whipped by some of them, to face the weakest competition they could. This has given Brownie a one shot race for HOY. Kudos to them, they were smart to duck Curlin and even Wanderin Boy on the dirt.

02 Oct 2008 10:01 AM
shane

Draynay,

He beat a breeder cup winner(G1) on the turf, I dont understand why you say that he cannot run on the turf? So because Big Brown lost to every horse in the Belmont should we say he cannot run on that surface? or that those horse are better than he is? its not like he came back to beat those horses, so maybe they are better than Big Brown. just being difficult...lol

02 Oct 2008 11:58 AM
Draynay

Shane, Draynot, and Curlin I will address you one more time but please respond to this.  Curlin came home in a very slow over 14 seconds in the Woodward do you really think that is going to catch top flight horses in the Breeders Cup? Second, Curlin faced NO ONE in the Stephen Foster, He faced NO ONE in the Woodward, and he faced NO ONE in the Jockey Gold. He did face some competition in the Man O War and he got beat.  Red Rocks was a great turf horse a couple of years back but few consider him a top turf horse now. So... my conclusion is that Curlin has been beating over the hill average horses by very slim margins.  When he faces some tough competition like he did on turf he gets beat. He has risen to the occasion twice in the Breeders Cup and Dubai since then he has faced very little competiton.  Curlin, for the last time I do not care what Red Rocks did 2 years ago.  Shakis had just beaten Grade 1 winners at Saratoga 3 WEEKS before meeting Big Brown and could not come close to catching him. Say what you want but you have to address the fact Curlin only beat a 7 year old horse who's last win was a optional claiming race. Please also tell me how Curlin will catch anyone if he comes home in over 14 seconds like he did being dragged home at Saratoga... that was painful to watch.  Please go back and look at his last 4 races and notice the total lack of any good horses at all except a few in his turf race.  You can't really expect him to beat very average horses by 1 and then take on one of the best 3 year olds in the last 30 years and beat him.  Just like the Derby when many of you said Big Brown wouldn't win and I told you it was in the bag and you didn't listen then... I don't expect you to listen now but you are making the same mistakes.  If you aren't willing to learn from your mistakes aren't you doomed to repeat them ?

02 Oct 2008 2:40 PM
JG

Correction, Big Brown did not lose the Belmont.  He was pulled up because something was wrong. If he would have had it that day he would have beaten those horses by 20 or more.  He is in a much higher class than those others and everyone knows it.  I was kind of high on Colonel John and he was my second choice in the KyDerby but Big Brown beat him by some 20 plus lengths.  So how can some of you people think that Colonel John would beat Big Brown.  

The race will come down to the final turn and Big Brown's speed will be too much on the pro ride.  There will be 3 superior horses at the BC this year on the pro ride surface.  Big Brown, Zenyatta and Curlin.  Everyone else is just trying for an upset. However, Curlin does have 4 losses with no excuses and one to a girl.

02 Oct 2008 2:57 PM
MikeM

The ONLY time BB faced any adversity was in the Belmont.He would have finished dead last but was pulled up. Shoes ,photogaphers,heat,detention barn, the list of lame excuses for this over rated wonder horse never ends. Since then he has faced a field of allowance horces and secound tier grass horses and was life and death to win. I hope all the BB groupies bet him down so that there will be value for the legitamate contenders.

02 Oct 2008 3:13 PM
TerriV

Kudos to Paula Higgins and Big Brown Fan!!  All these horses deserve respect and appreciation for what they do.  They have hearts greater than any human being.  The Classic is going to be a "horse race" There are so many variables and possibilities, it is racing at it's best - heart stopping excitement.  Who do I hope wins - that would be Big Brown!  Because he has been denied the respect he deserves.  He didn't even lose the race he didn't win.  The Belmont I watched had him being pulled up out of 3rd.  I don't think his biggest problem is his feet.  Having his mouth yanked to pieces and being hauled back when all he knew and understood was to run, has changed him.  I saw him in person at both the Haskell and Monmouth Stakes - he was not tired.  After he crossed the finish line he ran strongly most of the way around the track again.  He was not blowing or drooping or agitated in the winners circle afterward.  To me he looks uncertain when it's time to make that final push - he remembers being pulled up.  Horses remember those kinds of things for a long time.  His biggest problem is his jockey - Kent D fights with him every race now.  And not only Big Brown! Kent D rode a horse on Sat - Interpretation or Interpreter, something like that, and he was fighting with that horse too.  Whoever wins the Breeders Cup will be fantastic as long as all come home safely; but my heart remains with Big Brown.

02 Oct 2008 3:41 PM
Speedball

Matthew W,

Glad to hear that you think Commentator is a worthy opponent in the Classic for BB; however, I saw a clip on TVG of Curlin getting out of the van at Santa Anita, and I've got to tell you that his muscles sure impressed me.  He's supposed to work on Monday so that should tell us all something.  I tend to agree with many of the others that Dutrow and IEAH will end up not bringing him.

I hope that won't happen but they have suddenly become more humble in their retoric.

02 Oct 2008 4:48 PM
The Wizard

Why do you all continue to debate with Draynay? Why waste your time? He obviously doesn't know what he is talking about. Just ignore him. The last thing he'll admit to is reason. I can guarantee you'll never hear from him again after October 25th.

02 Oct 2008 4:53 PM
Wanda

Brad give us the down low on Stardom Bound. It looked to me on the TV that she wasn't even running.Her head was up and she kind of wandered down the lane.

Did she look that impressive in person? Me and Whatamidoing need to know.

02 Oct 2008 5:46 PM
Saratoga AJ

Speedball,

Yes, Curlin is a magnificent looking horse. He trained up here in Saratoga all summer, as he did all last summer. I had the privilege to see some of his workouts, as well as the Woodward.

It's amazing that he's been able to hold his form, and weight through one of the most  ambitious campaigns in memory.  

Think about it...from breaking his maiden in Florida (GP), to spending 6 weeks in Arkansas (Oaklawn), to Kentucky (CD), to Maryland (PIM), to NYC (Belmont), up to Saratoga for the summer, down to N.J. (Monmouth), Back to Saratoga, back down to Belmont, back to Saratoga, then back to NJ (Monmouth). Then to Kentucky, then to the Mideast (Dubai), back to Kentucky (CD), then to NY (Belmont), back up to Saratoga for another summer, back down to NY (Belmont), then to California (S.A.)...all in the span of 19 months. NINETEEN MONTHS! I defy anyone to tell me another horse that has kept that type of schedule presently in training. And amazingly enough, he's held his form and just keeps winning. You are all truly privileged to be witnessing one of the greats. Enjoy it while it lasts.  

02 Oct 2008 6:47 PM
Curlin

    Alright draynay, I'll correct you once again.  You are trying to say that Shakis beat multiple Grade I winners just 3 weeks before he lost by 3/4 of a length to Big Brown, correct?  What a load that is!  There was one, I REPEAT, one Group/Grade I winner in that field and that includes Shakis.  Elusive Fort won a Group I (Horse Chestnut Stakes) in South African.  That's it, one group/grade I winner and only one group/grade I win between the bunch and it was a stakes race in South Africa no less, not the U.S., Dubai, England, Ireland, France, Japan, but South Africa and that was 2 years ago.  The closest anyone of those horses Shakis beat 3 weeks prior had come to winning a Grade I race was a 3rd place finish.  Feel free to look it up yourself if you would like.

    I will also repeat what I had earlier when you were trying to bash the 7 year old Wanderin Boy for only winning 1 of his last 8 starts at that is the 8 year old Shakis had not won in exactly a year before this year's Bernard Baruch and that was last year's Bernard Baruch.  I'll take Wanderin Boy and Past The Point over Shakis and Coal Play any day and I'd be willing to bet just about anyone would including yourself.

    You continually want to bring up the fact that Curlin came home in the Woodward in 14 seconds and I'll give you that, but you neglect to mention that in the Jockey Gold Cup, run at a 1 1/4 just like the Classic, he came home in just over 24 seconds flat without being urged much and not having the whip used on him.  Both Big Brown's time in the Derby and Curlin's time in the Jockey Gold Cup were within a 1/10 of a second of each other, but the difference is that Curlin came home in just over 24 seconds flat after chasing slow fractions (:48 and change) over a sloppy track and Big Brown came home in just over 24 seconds after quicker fractions (47 flat) and a fast track.  I'm not saying this means Curlin will win the Breeders Cup because of his last, I'll I'm saying is that if you take the race, fractions, finish for what it is, Curlin's JCGC (definitely not the best he has ever run) was a more impressive race than what Big Brown's KD (many consider this his best performance) was.

    Now do you think that Big Brown, who has not been the same horse since his impressive wins in the KD and Preakness and subsequently being taken off steroids, will beat Curlin who is just coming off a very nice, but not his best performance, in the Classic?  The only way Big Brown beats Curlin in the Classic is if either Curlin gets a terrible trip or he doesn't like the Pro Ride and Big Brown does, that's it.  If that happens, then so be it.  Big Brown wins horse of the year, congrats to him and that's horse racing, no excuses.  However, all things being equal (both get good trips and both like the Pro Ride) Curlin beats Big Brown by open lengths.  He is more talented, more mature and definitely more sound than Big Brown.  He will also have a huge advantage over Big Brown in that he will have been at Santa Anita for a month and had a chance to get use to the surface, weather and surroundings and Big Brown's connections foolishly are electing to ship him in the week of the race.  Wow, I wonder how Big Brown will do with having a long 7 hour flight from New York the week of the Classic and how he will do going from temperatures in the 40s-mid 50s in New York to temperatures in the 90s-100s in California?  Big Brown can have 5 shoes firmly attached and not beat Curlin in that scenario.

02 Oct 2008 6:54 PM
Mike S

BIG BROWN didn't lose the Belmont? He was "pulled up because something was wrong"?

BIG BROWN did lose the Belmont - IN A BIG WAY!

And he was pulled up because something was wrong - he was in LAST PLACE after trying, unsuccessfully, to catch DA' TARA.

It's time for everyone to face it: BIG BROWN finished LAST in the Belmont. For whatever reason, that was just not his day. He gets credit for all his wins, but he also gets "credit" for that dreadful Belmont of his.

02 Oct 2008 7:11 PM
Mike S

I don't know what's worse - the people who can't admit that BIG BROWN was last in the Belmont, or the people who can't admit that DA' TARA won the Belmont and ran a good race that day.

02 Oct 2008 7:14 PM
Bradgm

Stardom Bound is an awesome filly, she's not a dark grey kinda light color for a 2 y.o. 10th by 1 1/2 at the 3/4 pole 4th in the stretch and zoom, hasta la vista baby. 5 wide and running easy, mowing em down she did lose focus a bit and drifted in but was under a hand ride, imagine whatshe would have done if she'd run straight and not had to be way out. Simply amazing. Zenyatta, a 4 horse field and she was on vacation, toying with them, I think she could've beaten 24 of them. Wait a While, glad I waited, terrific. Red Giant, Out of Control, both broke the world record. Well Armed, man that was for sure. The whole card was amazing and the BC should be spectacular, although that move by Stardom Bound, took your breath away. Don't tell my wife but I have a new girl in my life, I think I'm in love with Star. You know her mama is My White Corvette and that is just what she looked like, in a drag race on the track.

I'm hoping to get to see Curlin work if I'm here. , he is an awesome specimen for sure.  Well gotta go there at the gate, later. May be going to Keeneland this weekend, not sure yet.

02 Oct 2008 7:17 PM
Atthebarn2

Jason, I agree on that filly Stardom Bound. Watched it on the tv, then watched it on NTRA and You Tube to see if they had a better view. Wouldn't that have been something to be there? Or were you? If so, since we haven't heard from Brad or any of that group, how was it? That was quite a day. Think Keeneland will be special Fiday and Saturday too.

02 Oct 2008 8:09 PM
Jason Shandler

Atthebarn: Keeneland will be awesome this weekend. Five grade I's and a great atmosphere. I think I like the fall meet even better than the spring meet. Something about the fall weather and the anticipation of the BC. Hope to see some of you out there!

02 Oct 2008 8:49 PM
Paula Higgins

Thanks TerriV!

Schabelli, I agree that discussion is great for the sport. I have learned a ton on these threads of Jason's and it was from all of you. I am a newbie to this sport. I still don't know what a slow split is from a fast split. All I know is I love animals. Horses, along with dogs, are at the top of the list. But one other thing. I DO believe that horses know when they have gone eye to eye and won a big race. Yes, they have small brains and they aren't going to discover a cure for cancer, but they have an emotional I.Q. IMO. Do you remmeber after the Belmont when BB was looking for the cameras and they weren't there? That is very telling. How much they know and feel, I don't know.

02 Oct 2008 8:52 PM
Atthebarn2

Jason, it is one of the prettiest places on earth at that time of year. I wish everyone could get a chance to see it, get to the farms.

I did see Brad answered, I think he has one of those new fangled computer deals, phone whatever and was at the races. Man, to have a filly or colt like that just once in a lifetime, wow. I thought it looked great then to hear about it golly. Then when you remember she was kicked by the pony on the Friday before the race and was doubtful. Like they said in the blink of an eye. Hey Brad, did she have a parachute behind her to slow her down like the drag race cars?

Only 7 in the Alcibiades and Mani Bhavan is favored. Let's see how she does or how any of them compare.

02 Oct 2008 9:32 PM
Bradgm

Jason, I'm hoping to go, tenative to leave tomorrow if not then Saturday. It is beautiful there any time of year but the fall is magic. Well, unless you have a heat wave or a snow storm. But, I said long ago that Saratoga, Keeneland and Del Mar are my favorites. Let's hope they don't mess it up trying to get the BC.

Atthebarn, yes I was at the races, the 'they're at the gate' gave me away huh? These 'new fangled' things you referred to are cool.

Tell you what if I owned Star, you could train her. What a filly.

Wanda, wish you could have been here to see her. I don't know if Monica was, I think she said she lives close by. The weekend card at SA and The one at Keeneland this weekend are what all these horse lovers should be talking about. The rest has been overtalked.

02 Oct 2008 11:10 PM
Bradgm

oh, also, the filly kept running on it seemed to me. and Atthe, I think she ran right thru the parachute, the after burners flamed it.

02 Oct 2008 11:11 PM
Curlin

I just watched the Oak Leaf on replay for the 1st time myself and Stardom Bound is very impressive.  It will be hard to deny her the win in the Filly Juvenile.  I hope the horse who ran third, Oro Blanco, decides to go in the Filly Juvenile as well.  She wasn't going to beat Stardom Bound, but down the stretch she had a lot of trouble being cut off and had to swing wide herself.  She'll probably be a good price and would have a great chance to round out the exacta with Stardom Bound and add value to the exacta even with the chalk on top.

02 Oct 2008 11:49 PM
MonicaV

Atthebarn,

I've been to Keenland in the fall and it's wonderful.  The weather is great and the track is beautiful.

I really think it is so ludicrous when people bring up the fact that Curlin lost to a "girl".  Have they never heard of Winning Colors?

Have they never heard of Personal Ensign?  Have they never heard of Genuine Risk?  They beat the boys and some pretty darn good ones too!

Winning Colors beat Forty-niner and Risen Star to name two.  Two of those fillies won the KY Derby and they beat all the boys that day.  Was there shame in that?  Why is there shame that Culin lost by a head to Rags to Riches?  He'd had a pretty tiring schedule when he ran the Belmont and she was a fresher horse.  There was no shame in that but maybe it was the starter, maybe it was the heat, maybe it was a loose shoe....No excuses he lost to a fantastic filly who, by the way, also beat the rest of the boys in that race.

Why isn't that ever mentioned.  I believe she beat Hardspun as well, didn't she?

02 Oct 2008 11:58 PM
MonicaV

This has been another great blog.  I have enjoyed it immensely.  The people who post are true race enthusiasts and post very insightful things, many from veteran horseman.  One thing that is prevalent is that we all have our own opinions.  Everyone is entitled to what they think.  This is what makes this interesting and fun.  I have read many things against Big Brown and just as many if not more against  Curlin.  The battle rages on!  One cannot argue against Big Brown's phenomenal spring campaign.  It was brilliant and he made it look so easy but his true brilliance showed in his lesser races that were not won so easily.  He showed great heart and courage.  He has won all of his races but one.  You can't argue with that.  Curlin has had a remarkable year as well.  How can people take that away from him?  He has won all but 1 this year as well.  He also broke the earnings record.  He didn't do that by being a lousy horse nor did Big Brown.  We all have to give credit where credit is due.  We all love horses but we are all entitled to our opinions and that's horse racing.  There will always be opinions we don't like and that's fine but no one is hurting the horses by stating them.  That is just not realistic.  Big Brown and Curlin are not the least bit touched by this.  They don't care.  They are both being very well taken care of and are happy with their lot.  Nobody here would wish ill on any horse but they will take races apart and analyse them and find the weaknesses.  There is nothing wrong with that, it's what a handicapping blog is for.  

Thank you all for such interesting comments.  Even you, Draynay.  We may disagree but for some strange reason I really like you!  Go figure.

03 Oct 2008 12:24 AM
BIGHORSEFAN

Monica, are you the one who said you live close to Arcadia? Did you see that card? Holy cow! Stardom Bound, while not as imposing physically as Winning Colors but runs dominatingly like her from what I remember. I was young when I saw her in person, but i was in awe of her and Lukas. I felt that same awe when I watched Stardom Bound and Zenyatta.  I don't know if you saw Rags in person but she was an awesome looking filly as well.

03 Oct 2008 1:27 AM
shane

Draynay,

Curlin ran into a 23.3 4th split in the JCGC and then came home under a hand ride in a 24....He will be cocked and loaded for the classic. I think we will finally see what this guy can do. If you watch his races this year Robby has not been getting after curlin (remember the preakness, watch the stretch run...he will run like that for the FULL last 3 furlongs) many horses cannot do that. He will be gunning them down. Remember last year Asmussen said horse cannot stay at their peak all year it just doesnt happen. They have him coming around now and he looks like he is getting stronger. Besides Commentator I cannot think of horses who have not had tough gutsy races that might have taken something out of them for the classic. JMO

03 Oct 2008 8:18 AM
Speedball

Saratoga AJ,

I'm jealous of all your racing adventures in seeing Curlin race at Saratoga and the east coast.  I live within driving distance of Keeneland, Louisville, and Turfway so I was able to see Curlin win the Clark and this past May when he was paraded at the Derby.  I also got to see him come in third when he ran in the Derby.  Yes, he is a magnificant animal, and we are all extremely fortunate to get to see him race as a four year old, thanks to Jess Jackson.  Too bad that almost every other successful three year old is rushed off to the breeding shed before they are given their chance to really shine.  He deserves many frequent flyer miles for all his durability as a traveler!!

 I hope to make it to Saratoga one day as I hear that it is beautiful there.  I hope that you can make it to Keeneland one day if you haven't been there  It is beautiful.   Lexington and the surrounding area with the farms is gorgeous.

I think Curlin is going to be extremely tough to beat in the Classic unless he doesn't take to the track, but I think that's unlikely to happen.  I'm also routing for my speedy buddy Commentator if Zito decides to bring him.

03 Oct 2008 8:41 AM
draynot

draynay, you crack me up.

First of all you said Red Rocks was a great turf horse a couple of years ago. Red Rocks won the Turf Classic less than a year ago. That was a great accomplishment. So hear you are saying Red Rocks is no longer a good horse. Funny thing that in the next breath you said "when Curlin meets tough competition on the grass he gets beat". You are flip-flopping quicker than John McCain. So first Red Rocks is no good anymore then he's tough in the next breath. Ha Ha, you crack me up.

Wanderin Boy put up a Beyer Speed Figure higher than Big Brown ever has on the dirt in the Jockey Gold Cup. That qualifies him as tough competition in my book. He would have beaten Big Brown in that race.

03 Oct 2008 8:43 AM
Big Brown Fan

amen, MonicaV. I totally agree with you, especially about Big Brown's brilliance!  ;-)

One note about Curlin breaking the earnings record...yes, it's an amazing thing to have a TB that earned over 10 million dollars and Curlin has earned his money well.  But having the title as 'the winningest TB in north america by earnings'...is just that, a nice title to have.  It doesn't really mean he's the best TB of all time (purses are much higher now and gotta think about inflation) but here's my big thing with it: Curlin didn't really earn all his money in north america, Skip Away did.  He should truly be #1 if we're talking about north american based horses.  Normally, I wouldn't think it was such a big deal, Curlin only had one race outside of north america...but look at it this way.  The reason I say this, to be on that list, all you had to have done is raced once in north america.  The #19 horse is that way, for example.  I believe he's based in Japan, but he came to the US and won a race or two and is now #19 on the list.  99% of his earnings were earned in Japan but to look at the list, wow!  He's # 19(!) in earnings  of north american based TB's!  A bit deceiving, don't you think?  Now I'm sure I'm gonna make all the Curlin fans mad with this....but I'm not taking anything away from his achievement.  To have earned over 10 million is great and a testament to the kind of horse Curlin is.  I just don't put a lot of stock in the 'title'.

Looking forward to the Breeder's Cup days!!

GO BIG BROWN!!

03 Oct 2008 9:53 AM
Wanda

Thanks Brad for the first hand story on Stardom Bound. All these comments on who beat who 2 months ago then beat so in so 3 weeks ago, it don't hold water. You can't compare races that were run this spring and summer with races run in the fall. They aren't machines and some of them are off the shelf, some are due for a break. All you can safely say is that the ones who dance every dance and light the board are pretty tough hides. Those type are the ones who can lay their body down and run the race of their life come BC day. That's the thing you hope you have- HEART.

03 Oct 2008 9:54 AM
Female Racing Fan

to JG: "However, Curlin does have 4 losses with no excuses and one to a girl."  As a GIRL (okay woman) I feel VERY insulted by that statement and must respond ...

Curlin lost the Belmont by a head to a filly who had been bred to run the mile & a half.  Curlin is a classic distance runner, the Belmont was his only attempt at that distance and he ran a tremendous race (look it up if you don't believe me).  The filly he lost to was a spectacular filly who does not deserve to be disrespected in the manner you are doing.  She was FANTASTIC but she was NEVER the same horse after her win in the Belmont and she fractured her leg in the next race.  

Curlin's loss in the KD, he was still very immature and he was up against the 2yo champion Street Sense.  He ran a great race, but did not have the maturity and experience needed to win.  

Curlin's ONLY loss this season was on turf and it was to a BC Turf winner.  There was no shame in that race, it was needed to see how he would run on turf and to see if a turf campaign would be possible for him.

As for his Haskell loss, who knows.  But bear in mind, Big Brown nearly lost it to an allowance horse.  It took him running his best in order to beat an ALLOWANCE horse and y'all expect him to beat Curlin???  Never going to happen!

03 Oct 2008 10:43 AM
Wanda

Off the topic but can someone tell me how I can access this site without having to open,then close the BC Bracket heading? I'ts very very annoying. Tell me in very simple terms cause I'm not computer friendly. Thanks.

03 Oct 2008 10:44 AM
horse fan

What I don't understand (maybe someone can explain it) is, if BB is running in the BC Classic, why is Dutrow looking to do the balance of BB's training on TURF?  Also, why has Dutrow & Iavarone not shipped him to SA and why are they waiting until a few days before the race?  All of this, to me, adds up to either (A) BB will not be at the BC or (B) BB will be running the BC Turf.  

Thoughts???

03 Oct 2008 10:56 AM
Saratoga AJ

Speedball:

No reason to be jealous, but every racing fan should visit Saratoga and Belmont at least once in their life. With all due respects to California and Florida, Kentucky and NY have the  most famous and most historical tracks in the country.

I was raised 5 miles from Belmont Park before moving to Saratoga Springs, and the "Big Sandy" is still my favorite. It is such a massive track. To give you an idea how big it is, the INNER Turf course (over 3/16 mi.) is bigger in circumference than any other outside dirt track in the country! (The outer Mellon turf course is over 1 5/16 mi, and the dirt course is the famous 1 1/2 mile oval). You could fit two Saratoga facilities (track and grandstand) in the enormous Belmont Park facility.

I would love to get down to see historic Keeneland And Churchill  someday. Looks like you going to have a great cards at  Keeneland today and tomorrow.

A little tip for what it's worth. In my opinion (and many others) the greatest trainer of my lifetime, Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens, is bring a very fast mare down there from NY for tomorrows 9th race, The Thoroughbred Club America Stakes. Mr. Jerkens is close to 80 now, and he wouldn't be bringing ANY LIMIT  all the way to Kentucky for nothing! Worth a look.

03 Oct 2008 12:08 PM
Monica V

Bighorsefan,

Yes, I live about 6 miles from Santa Anita. I didn't go but watched all the races televised and really enjoyed it.  I've been thinking of going in the morning to watch the works.  Would love to watch Curlin work.  I've just gotta see him up close.  Everyone says he looks amazing.

03 Oct 2008 12:26 PM
Monica V

horse fan,

BB's training is on the turf because of his tender feet.  He has a lot foot problems and the grass is kinder to them  They are not shipping until a few days before the BC because they are sure Pro-Ride translates like grass.  I think they may have miscalculated there but then BB his equally good on both.  I just hope his feet don't pain him.  I do think they should have brought him out earlier to acclimate.  Charlie Whittingham always did that for big races.  His horses were always there for a month before and Curlin' connections do the same thing.  That's very smart.

03 Oct 2008 12:37 PM
TerriV

I am concerned about the decision not to send Big Brown to CA until just before the BC.  He won't have any adjustment time or time on the new surface.  Does anyone else have any thoughts on this decision?

03 Oct 2008 1:39 PM
schabelli

TerriV,

Big Browns connections are ducking Curlin as long as they can. Curlin is already at SA and they are afraid that if Big Brown came face to face with Curlin he would be totally intimidated and lose the race right there. Big Brown's connections are hoping to keep them seperated until post time where they hope his mind will be only on the race.

03 Oct 2008 1:57 PM
Big Brown Fan

You know, trainers don't always send their horses out to races super early.  It depends on the horse and lots of factors.  This is something that Dutrow has had success with before.  With BB and other horses.  He knows what he's doing concerning his horses.  Ya'll just relax.  BB with be there in good shape with bells on ready to kick some butt!

03 Oct 2008 2:03 PM
draynot

draynay,

I'll give you further response to your drivel. I suspect that if Curlin comes home in 14 sec like he did in the Woodward he will not win. I also suspect that if Big Brown comes home like he did in the Belmont he won't win either. Wait Big Brown never made it home in the Belmont!! He got whipped by a mere allowance horse, a MAIDEN, and a host of other nobody's!!

For either to win if they all show up it will take one of their top efforts. In Curlins case he has more and better top efforts in his career. If this race was on dirt I agree that Curlin would whoop Big Brown even if he only put in one of his top 4 or 5 efforts. His top Beyer Speed Figs far outshine Big Browns on dirt.

03 Oct 2008 2:14 PM
Wanda

TerriV: Like Monica said he is staying there because of his feet. He could train on the grass in Cal but that would take him away from his shoer etc. It costs big bucks to fly the guy out, and they had to do that earlier in the year. My personal opinion is that his feet are as bad as they can be and they have had their fingers crossed for months. If he faces the starter in Cal I'd be surprized. I heard that he popped another quarter anybody know that for sure?

03 Oct 2008 2:25 PM
horse fan

I definitely think they've made a mistake in assuming that the Pro Ride surface will translate like turf, when reports & races show it favors dirt more than any other synthetic.  I read the BB won't breeze on the Pro Ride and his first time on it will most likely be the race itself.  I think Dutrow is being overly cocky in this, assuming that BB doesn't need any time to acclimate to the track or the climate in general.  

I just hope BB stays sound.  I don't believe he has a chance in this race, not against Curlin, Commentator, Tiago & Colonel John (and Pyro if he runs).  Col. John has improved dramatically over the summer, whereas BB seems to be a bit worse than he was.  Col. John's Travers win was impressive.

03 Oct 2008 3:14 PM
JordanA

horse fan, Iavarone said on his talkin horses segment that he was waiting to ship until the last minute so BB could have his hoof specialist and farrier etc around him 24/7. The turf deal, they seem to think that's prepping him for synthetic from what he says. Remember used to be they said turf horses ran very well on synthetic? Well this synthetic seems a little different.

TerriV

This is just my opinion and a feeling that I have but after hearing Dutrow's about face and the comments by Mike, I think they are nervous about how well Curlin did and looks. I also know they are very impressed with The Duke of Marmalade. So maybe they want the option to opt out or maybe they're trying to be a 'D.Wayne off the plane' like Lukas used to do, ship in a few days before a big race. Just seems to me a race  this important would warrant som time at the venue and on the surface.

And Jason, the dirty dogs left me again. Hope you are enjoying Keeneland, I may head over to SA in a while, but it looks beautiful there on TVG.

03 Oct 2008 3:49 PM
JordanA

How about it Jason, heard any gossip about a new quarter crack, like Wanda asked?

Wanda, I can email the buds and see if they can nose around and find anything but I'm betting the BB connections will keep it quiet until they hear just who is coming, they seem to really respect the Euro's.

03 Oct 2008 4:13 PM
MikeM

If you ship a horse too early and he does not like the surface you are stuck training over it and the horse may get muscle sore etc.If you run him right off the plane you reduce the chances of that happening.

03 Oct 2008 4:26 PM
Wanda

Sorry MikeM I don't buy that a horse will get "muscle sore" galluping and working over a differint track. If he doesn't like the track when he runs on it he'll be more than muscle sore, hit himself,stop running etc.

03 Oct 2008 4:51 PM
Wanda

Thanks Jordan for taking the time. How's the leg holding up?

03 Oct 2008 5:38 PM
BIGHORSEFAN

Hello girls and boys. Get on a plane, train, drive your pickup truck but get here as fast as you can. (hey I think that's a George Strait song) Keeneland is absolutely beautiful. The spill with John and Jamie was scary, Kent got slightly pushed in I think he took his mount in more than needed and they clipped heels with his horse and crashed big time. Jamie is fine, John should be okay. I haven't heard anything about a quarter crack on BB, have you Jason?

MikeM, hmm that's an interesting theory. What happens when you ship in and the horse doesn't like the surface and he's running for 5 million, kind of a moot point if he's body sore or not. I'll see if I can ask some of the trainers around here. Maybe I can catch Lukas and ask him.

03 Oct 2008 6:24 PM
darryl

Draynay

You are blinded by a derby

winner. Who has BB beaten. Mabye you should read up more on horseracing, because it sounds like you think that the derby winner is automatically

the best in the world.

03 Oct 2008 6:52 PM
JordanA

Wanda, no prob. I think Big is going to ask somebody about the horse being sore, shipping etc, so maybe he can ask for the gossip on BB. I think a few of those guys still have some horses in New York.

The leg is better, thanks. Ankle still bigger than my calf, May end up having surgery, the tendons ripped off the bone. I can walk without a bad limp or crutches so may just keep waiting. Hey maybe if I don't walk to the betting windows at Santa Anita I won't be sore on Breeders Cup day.

03 Oct 2008 7:49 PM
MikeM

Wanda  You may not buy it but it is one school of thought given by some trainers. Why do you think some traners ship well in advance?It's not just to get used to their surroundings. I'm not saying it's an absolute but it is one of the reasons.Every surface is different and every horse is different as Im sure you know.

03 Oct 2008 7:52 PM
Mike S

How is BIG BROWN going to be able to contend with COLONEL JOHN and WELL ARMED? The Dynamic Duo are too much right now!

03 Oct 2008 8:02 PM
MikeM

BIGHORSEFAN  Some horses will get body sore,ouchy etc. the first few days of training over a new surface. By running him off the van he doesnt have the opportunity because all the seriouse work is done.Ship light training and run.If you notice trainers usually ship in well in advance or a day or 2 before. It's for both mental and physical reasons.

03 Oct 2008 8:04 PM
NEWYORKER

ATTENTION EVERYBODY I HAVE ONE OF THE UPSETS OF THE WEEKEND. PYRO WILL LOSE. HOW, YOU ASK? THE NEW YORK BRED- TIN CUP CHALICE. YES, THE HORSE THATS GOING TO PUT FINGERLAKES ON THE MAP THIS YEAR. I WILL DREAM ALL THE WAY TO THE END OF THE RACE. SMALL TRACKS AND BIG DREAMS

03 Oct 2008 8:32 PM
BIGHORSEFAN

Mike, you didn't get what I was saying. Some trainers ship late without a work over the track because they want to keep the horse calm and in familiar surrondings as long as they can, theory being if they don't like the track then that's the way it goes. Almost no one ships cross country for something like the BC the day before, with the rules now you almost can't. Casino Drive is in Cal, Curlin and a few others. Bet a bunch start shipping in soon. Don't know where you live but do you know it was 120 degrees and up on the track the first few days? I heard since it was cool today and they watered it, the track was more speed favoring. I just think with this new surface, if I was an owner I'd want them there more than a day or two ahead. Your comment originally said "straight off the plane". That isn't far fetched, some have done that, not for a 5 million dollar race. I will still talk to some trainers here at Keeneland and get their thoughts, especially some that REALLY are in the know.

03 Oct 2008 8:35 PM
Paula Higgins

MikeM that makes perfect sense to me. Whatever you think of Dturow as a person, he is a very good trainer and knows his horses. I am sure he has good reasons for waiting. let's face it, BB has some pretty significant foot problems and keeping him home where he is closer to his foot specialist sounds like common sense. If his feet are a mess, getting use to the pro-ride or the  climate is going to be a non-issue.

03 Oct 2008 8:40 PM
Householder

Mike S has it.  The test for the BC Classic was the 1 1/4 Pacific Classic at Del Mar.  After the race Eoin Harty said his TIZNOW gelding Well Armed will get the distance and it was on to the BC Classic.  

03 Oct 2008 8:43 PM
horse fan

Jordan, I agree.  From what I've seen & heard, the Pro-Ride surface at SA seems to favor the dirt horses more than it does turf.  Curlin appears to like the surface, but it takes a lot to upset him, he's such a professional in all aspects.  Won't know for sure, of course, until he works it on Monday, but right now, he appears to not mind the surface.  

Please let us know what you find out about BB having another quarter crack.  Poor baby.  He deserves to retire, he's just not sound enough to race, IMO.

03 Oct 2008 8:48 PM
KatintheHat

I would assume the muscle soreness comes from training with tension in body (dressage background here)which would be caused by working over footing a horse is not comfortable with.  An appropriate workout done in a relaxed manner will not create body soreness.

High hopes that fall cools things off at Santa Anita.  I don't know whether Curlin "loves" slop or not, but I do suspect he is a big horse that is bothered by heat and is more comfortable in cool weather (that tends to go along with slop).  It was a good idea for them to take him them early to adjust to the temperature difference (in addition to his comfort level with his surroundings, which they are obviously well aware of).

Two sentences ending with prepositions - the 11th grade English teacher is spinning. . .

03 Oct 2008 9:41 PM
Jason Shandler

Guys: I havent heard anything about a new BB quarter crack. If I do, I'll let you know.

03 Oct 2008 9:46 PM
MikeM

BIGHORSEFAN  I get what you are saying. I also know that another reason is for a horse to do his main work over a surface they KNOW he is comfortable with. Now, this might not be the reason in every case but it does, at times, come into play. Katinthehat  The key phrase is "an appropriate workout in a relaxed manner".The relaxed part is not always possible with a thoroughbred racehorse.

03 Oct 2008 10:09 PM
Matthew W

That was a flat out strong race by Curlin in The JC Gold....throw out the Woodward (win!) as the track played weird/fast that day! He's DEFINITELY THE MAN! Blog rumors of Big Brown opting out CHILL ME! It was always Curlin who danced all the dances/faced all the fields! PLEASE let there be Curlin v Big Brown! Two great horses that keep firing! Curlin's BC Classic, Dubai Cup, and most recent JC Gold Cup were SOLID---as were Big Brown's Fla Derby/KY Derby, the latter being the world's best race in '08--that is reason enough for me to pick the three year old over the great four year old, in a race for the ages! Of corse, throw in Commentator and Zenyatta, and I'll go with the filly to run by them both, and very easily thank you!

03 Oct 2008 10:58 PM
BIGHORSEFAN

Hey Jason, what a day huh? Were you able to make it out? That deal with Johnny V was some scary stuff. Hope he'll be okay. They've done a lot of cool stuff with the Hi Def etc. I've asked a couple of guys and no one seems to know what's up with BB.

Paula, no one said a word about Dutrow on this deal of not shipping. The way Rick trained BB up to the Derby, now I'm relying totally on my bad memory since Mr. Photographic memory Brad just left to go somewhere with friends (we're still on California time), but didn't he just work him easy then blow him out a couple days before? Help me out here Jason if that's not right. But I think he did the same thing for the Preakness and that wasn't a cross country ship. The Pro-ride does have a bit of a cushion to it but if Big Brown's foot problems are that severe, he won't make it through a hard race if he can't run on anything but soft turf, they won't hold up. I still say if I owned one of these guys going in the classic I would want them here at least 4-5 days before. I'm going to do a poll (ha right, the trainers I know will think I've finally lost it.)But I will ask. Jason maybe you could find out about that for us too while you're scouting out the other situation, we'd appreciate it.

03 Oct 2008 11:07 PM
Matthew W

I would do just as Dutrow is doing! Ship late so as to keep his edge on---keep him home/healthy--ship late---release him to pounce on The Classic! I've seen it for decades and agree with it---Curlin went the other way, he jumped into the fray---but that's Curlin being Curlin! I cannot wait to see him! I only hope thats what Ivarone is doing--the "favorite blacksmith" spin sounds tired! Just be straight forward but he can't cuz of the precious/volatole stud value! I hope he's just holding his cards close to the vest and Brownie's blowin'up!

03 Oct 2008 11:19 PM
MonicaV

I have attended every Breeder's Cup held at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park.  I've also attended at Churchill.  I have to say that the fall at Santa Anita is a goregeous time of year.  I remember in '86 everyone was concerned at the weather and the air conditions being very poor and smoggy.  The big day dawned with pristine clear blue skies and the temps were in the 70's.  The track itself is beautiful.  The landscaping and flowers and the plant itself are breathtakeing.  SA has always put on great BC's.  I recommend that everyone go to SA at least once to enjoy it.  It's well worth it.

I am of the opinion that there has been some really serious issues with Big Brown's feet.  He didn't used to train on grass and they didn't dare run him on dirt after the Haskell.  I just have a gut feeling about it but I hope I'm wrong.  If he is as bad as I think, they shouldn't run him.  Why risk him?

03 Oct 2008 11:27 PM
Wanda

If you ship across the country the altitude is a factor. You either go a few weeks early for them to aclimitize or as you say run them off the plane. What I'm saying is that they don't get body sore from a differint surface but they sure will hurt themselves if they can't handle the track come race day. I know what I'm talking about cause I've been on a plane with the odd one shipping somewhere to run.

03 Oct 2008 11:30 PM
Paula Higgins

BigHorseFan, I know no one said anything about Dutrow. I am saying he knows his horse and/or if anything is currently wrong with BB. Someone mentioned he might have a new quarter crack. Jason says he doesn't know of a crack. Whatever, Dutrow is a very good trainer and he knows his horse. He has his reasons for keeping him there. You know, BB is either going to show up, literally and figuratively, or he isn't. I wish they all could win but they can't. So I will be happy for the winner, whoever he/she is. It should be fun no matter what, as long as no one gets hurt I will be very happy.

04 Oct 2008 12:36 AM
Wanda

KatintheHat: Apples and oranges my dear.You can't compare a dressage horse with a dead fit racehorse. Racehorses are not conditioned to be supple per say.They do not work on teaching them to bend etc. A racehorse is taught from day one to take ahold of the bit and gallup into it. They are jogged to warm up and to gallup x number of miles to get fit. They are worked to get air into them and if done correctly they are trained up to a race. If a horse is body sore, it can mean many things. But a dead fit horse who has had starts should not get body sore.

04 Oct 2008 10:53 AM
JordanA

Paula, I think what I thought and my buddy Big said is that no one  really brought up what we think of Dutrow or the past situation with regards to the shipping issue. We're trying to focus on what's up with the horse now. Jason said he hadn't heard anything. These guys can keep from the press but the track is rife with gossiip and it's pretty hard to keep a secret from within. That or the BB connections themselves is where that information will come from, although it's good to have investigators trying to get us the info. We know they'll all either show up or not, if we didn't discuss it based on that theory there wouldnt be nearly 300 comments. We're all just speculating on what might happen, why and so forth. That's one of the most fun things about horse racing. That's why I don't like to see it one-sided or turn nasty.

04 Oct 2008 12:53 PM
JG

One last post from me here.  I am just glad that this race might include Big Brown and Curlin.  I had nearly given up hoping they would face off.  As I guy that fell in love with Big Brown in March and then went to see him run and win from post 20 at KY Derby I really wanted him to be HOY.  I have made comments that he could only be beat if something happened to him or if the jockey fell off.  Does that mean that I am not affraid of Curlin?  Heck no, my heart is already beating out of my chest taking on a horse with those accomplishments.  Not to mention there are some others in the race that could pose a threat to Big Brown epecially if Zenyatta runs with the boys. Kind of puts the connections in a tight spot with what happened to the beauty Eight Belles.  Hey if your heart ain't pumping like it is going to jump out of your chest when that bell rings then you need not be in horse racing.

Casino Drive coming and his name is Big Brown.  

You all enjoy the race and hope for the best in that they have a good trip and may the best horse win and become HOY.

04 Oct 2008 1:10 PM
MonicaV

That's the attitude to have, Paula, that they all get here sound and come out of it sound.

04 Oct 2008 1:11 PM
KatintheHat

Mike M - I would agree with that!  The point I was making though was that a horse working over a footing he/she is uncomfortable with can "hold" themselves (i.e., tension) in the body and this creates muscle soreness.  Footing is very important.  

04 Oct 2008 5:19 PM
NEWYORKER

 ATTENTION-ATTENTION-ATTENTION

TIN CUP CHALICE from FINGERLAKES is on the sceen.TIN CUP CHALICE beat PYRO. I called it would be the upset of the weekend. TIN CUP CHALICE is small track horse with big dreams those are the ones to watch out for. So where does TIN CUP CHALICE fit for any of the breeders cup races?

04 Oct 2008 7:18 PM
Jason Shandler

Good call NewYorker. Tin Cup Chalice is a nice horse. I'll find out about his BC story soon.

04 Oct 2008 8:04 PM
JordanA

Jason, I know you addressed this but I have a short memory and a shorter attention span. Who did you say you would choose as Horse of The Year if both Big Brown and Curlin run up the track. Say Commentator runs and wins, another scenario, One of the Euros wins and Curlin/BB run last and next to last or if BB doesn't even show? I'm just curious, a Fantasy HOY scenario if you will.

04 Oct 2008 9:46 PM
Jason Shandler

JordanA: In your scenerio it would probably between Curlin and Zenyatta, assuming she wins the Distaff. It wouldn't be Big Brown. Right now, I am of the opinion that BB and Curlin won't win the Classic. Obviously, have to see the field and all the PPs, but I definately wont be betting either if they are 3-1 or less.

04 Oct 2008 10:54 PM
horse fan

KatintheHat:  We already know that BB doesn't like the heat, as evidenced by the Belmont.  I don't think Curlin has much problem with it, not much appears to affect him.  Curlin is a much more professional horse than BB is, having raced longer and in bigger races against better horses than BB has.  The temperature at SA won't affect him (Curlin) as much as it will BB.  The temp alone, knowing how BB handled it at the Belmont, would make most trainers ship early so BB could adjust.  I don't like the fact that Dutrow & Iavorone are keeping BB east until a few days before the BC.  

I like BB, but I am rooting for every other horse in the race to beat him, just because I am so sick of hearing BB's connections (Dutrow & Iavarone in particular) saying how much better than Curlin he is.  I know that's the name of the game & everyone thinks their horse is the best, but come on, Curlin is a monster who deserves more respect than those two show him.

05 Oct 2008 1:28 AM
horse fan

Matthew W: How can you say that the Kentucky Derby was the best race in 08 over Curlin's Dubai win???  Curlin beat some of the best horses in the world that day and very VERY impressively, much more than BB's win over still immature 3yos.  I am still of the belief had War Pass been able to run in the Triple Crown series, we would've seen a different winner there.  We'll never know, but I honestly think War Pass would've beaten BB.

05 Oct 2008 1:31 AM
JordanA

Jason, Let's make it easy for everyone. Zenyatta run in the Classic, wipe em out and you have a bye for the HOY.

3-1 I'm not sure I will go with them even if they go a little higher Curlin yes BB 5-1 maybe, like you waiting for the field.

05 Oct 2008 9:36 AM
BIGHORSEFAN

Jason, Watching the ARC, here's a very intriguing situation. What if Zarkava wins the Arc, then runs in the Classic do you think Zenyatta will also run in the Classic, what a thought that would be even if like they said the winners of the Arc don't win the BCC. The Euros point to the Arc as their end all be all year end race per Simon Bray.

05 Oct 2008 10:37 AM
Paula Higgins

Could someone explain to me what we should expect to see if BB is training well i.e. splits etc.?  I saw a side view of Curlin the other day on the internet and I was shocked at what a monster of a horse he is. He is huge. Perhaps BB should race on the turf.

05 Oct 2008 10:25 PM
Monica V

Zarkava won the Arc and all those male horses got beat by a GIRL!  Gee, I guess none of them are any good.  We don't have to worry about the Euros in the classic, they all got beat by a girl so none of them are any good, right?  What if she runs in the classic?  Or Zenyatta?  Does anyone think that they couldn't possibly beat BB?  After all, they are just girls, right?  Why does anyone use such ludicrous logic?  Like losing to Zarkava or Rags to Riches is something to use as a slam to a male.  Look at those Fillies!  They are incredible!

06 Oct 2008 10:50 AM
Monica V

Just to let everyone know, it was 60 degrees this morning at 7:00 AM.

This weekend was in the 70's.  That is not to say that it won't heat up because when the Santa Ana winds come in, it makes it dry and hot.  The weather right now is perfect for racing.  It is clear and cool and should be in the mid to high 70's today.  Hopefully this will hold and it probably will.  I predict perfect weather for the BC.  Welcome to California at its best!

06 Oct 2008 10:58 AM
Wanda

Paula: Get Atthebarn,Whatamidoing to answer that question. They are trainers who are in the know. Hey guys you out there?

06 Oct 2008 11:49 AM
Whatamidoing

Have just a few minutes.

Big, wrote your post before the race? Filly won't be coming.

Paula,

Splits don't make a huge difference to most trainers during a work, just their action, how they travel over the track and most how they finish up and run out and a few other things. TVG will have 'The Works' and even though they can chatter on, Frank and some of the others have a lot of info and workouts from wherever the horses are training,the week before the BC.

As far as Big Brown, he had to work on the dirt, interesting little deal about the Turf, kinda funny opening it right after BB worked and not returning his calls about availability. He's due for a work today or tomorrow Rick said every 6-7 days shipping on 20th-21st, last work at Aqueduct, hopefully on the turf. That's pretty much on target, 4-5 days, like somebody on here said they would want. Curlin's connections just like him in early and acclimated. Whoever said Altitude, shouldn't matter Cal is sea level.

On Curlin, anybody up at the crack of dawn to see him (if Steve did like always, first set)? Saw he was 10/10 but that was still early their time. He was only one who breezed though, the rest went handily and one was h/g. (All 32 breezed on BB's workout and he was in company, but Rick said he went good, didn't see it myself. He knows his horse but he is a horse trainer too, gotta put your best spin on everything.)

06 Oct 2008 12:00 PM
Whatamidoing

Paula I also should have said that the trainer him/herself may pay more attention to the splits, usually the final time though. It just depends on the individual trainer and what they're looking for. Everybody else might be able to look at the history of the splits on a horse but who knows if that's what the trainer is still looking at. Some riders have clocks in their heads, so to speak, others have a voice in their ear (like Bob Baffert) telling them to slow up or try to get a little more out of the horse. Just know a lot of folks don't like a really fast work if they blow em out right before the race, then again some do. In other words who knows?

06 Oct 2008 12:12 PM
Mike S

In honor of ZARKAVA's Arc Triomphe, I would like to propose a new stakes race that I will call "The Big Brown vs. The Girls," and we can run it after the Breeders Cup. It would be at 1-1/8 miles on turf, with BIG BROWN facing ZARKAVA, NATAGORA, VENTURA and ZENYATTA.

Come on, IEAH! I was going to call it the "Big Brown Is Going To Get Beat By Girls Stakes," but that name is too long.

06 Oct 2008 2:02 PM
TerriV

I sure did miss a lot of interesting discussion this past weekend.  Paula Higgins, I saw Curlin at Preakness 2007.  They have Sunrise at Old Hilltop on Friday early - it is great fun and you can get up close to see all those gorgeous horses (and interesting people too)  Curlin came by us a couple times.  He is huge!  His hindquarters are massive muscles.  And I think he's only gotten bigger and better since then.  To weigh in on the training issues - I don't think there is only one right way - the right thing to do depends entirely on the horse.  Each one is different, with its own set of characteristics, problems, requirements and learning ability.  A great trainer does what is right for each horse; not what everyone else is doing.

06 Oct 2008 2:23 PM
TerriV

Thanks to Bloodhorse for the wonderful pictorial on Cigar.  What a beauty he is!  What an amazing record and thrilling career. It's so easy to get caught up in the new crop of horses each year but we should always remember and honor the greats from the past.  Cigar is rarely mentioned in anyone's list of favorites - I don't know if that's because he has no follow-on career as a stud but he is really a remarkable horse.  Thanks Bloodhorse!

06 Oct 2008 2:56 PM
JordanA

TerriV

You should see Casino Drive, he was over at Hollywood after the quarantine. He's something else too.  I think Whatamidoing gave a good explanation of what trainers do, since he is one. Sounds pretty much like what I've heard from them too. Steve said he's letting Curlin tell them what to do, you hear that from a lot of the guys. They listen to the horse (so to speak) then figure out what needs to be done.Like some horses need a lot of works and some can take it easier. Since I'm not a trainer it sounds good to me.

06 Oct 2008 3:26 PM
Wanda

I know it's off the subject Jason but I would like to say congrats to trainer Roger Hansen on winning the Cal Cup Sprint with Tribesman. Great guy knew him and his family many years ago on the Calgary/Edmonton circuit.

Whatamidoing: I'm the one who talked about altitude in regards to shipping. I was commenting in general, but you are correct it is at sea level.Thanks for responding I know your day is pretty full.

06 Oct 2008 3:41 PM
Whatamidoing

Just had some stuff to take care of. I know what you mean Wanda. I was just trying to think what track might be at high altitude, when I get time I'll Google it and see. Kind of interesting. I think the weather, humidity and so forth might have more to do with it. I just hope they don't get that really hot weather like last time. Add to that the fires, Santa Ana winds and it's bad. Then the heat on the track we keep hearing about sounds bad. Spent some time out there a number of years ago.

06 Oct 2008 5:02 PM
Wanda

I was thinking more in terms of going from a higher altitude to a lower one,or the other way around if you know what I mean.I agree that the heat may come into play here. Curlins's connections have said in the past that he needs to settle in at a track and work over it. I read he worked fine this morning. Thats the way this horse is and it seems to work very well for them. With BB it seems that they need their support group,shoer etc. They may feel that he is better served staying and training where he is at. But if this horse has issues with the heat,which they have stated in the past it may work against him.

06 Oct 2008 5:58 PM
Whatamidoing

Oh, well I was thinking the opposite. Like they talk about basketball players who get winded when they go from sea level to play at altitude like Denver, supposedly have trouble getting enogh O2. Then people who are on oxygen go to sea level and don't need the O2 tanks. But I'm no expert. I think the heat might worry me if I was BB's people especially since they said it affected him so bad at the Belmont and it was the same exact heat for every other horse in the race. Maybe they think it'll be cool.

06 Oct 2008 6:22 PM
Monica V

I really don't think it will be hot for the BC  We have heat through the first part of October then it cools to the 70's through the rest of the year.  I was at Oak Tree's opening day several years back and it was 100 degress on Oct 1.  If I had been one of those horses, I'd have sat down in the gate and told the jockey to run by himself!  It was hot!

It was hot just for that last BC but not for the other 3 I have been to so I'm thinking it will be fine.  It's great today and even cold outside this morning so thank goodness, summer finally seems to be over!

06 Oct 2008 6:49 PM
Bradgm

Monica, I heard it's supposed to be in the 90's then down to the 80's for the weekend. Let's hope it is cooler because if what they're saying is correct it's anywhere from 20-40 degrees hotter on the track. The surface seems to be drawing and holding the heat.

06 Oct 2008 9:00 PM
Bradgm

and Monica I agree about that 100 degree day. Only difference is the dirt didn't hold the heat as much and the water helped.

06 Oct 2008 9:02 PM
Paula Higgins

Thanks everyone I do appreciate the commetns about BB's training. I agree witn MonicaV, if Zenyatta runs with the boys, look out. She is incredible right now. What a fabulous horse. TerriV, I know exactly what you mean about Curlin's backside. My GOD that horse is pure muscle and lots of it too. I was shocked when I saw that picture.

06 Oct 2008 9:25 PM
Atthebarn2

Paula,  On what TerriV said, of course we let the horse tell us what they need and of course we individualize our training. Horses are creatures of habit and like their routines, but you have that human element there like where a trainer likes to send them out in the first set or wait until after the maintenance break and some wait until right before the track closes for training. Sometimes you have to change your training approach on a horse, like Ricky did before the Belmont due to issues or you may just need to try something different, change it up. Splits in a work mean more to handicappers, you have the morning glories and there are works that aren't published. A lot of that happens with trainers that run em in the first set, sometimes you can barely see them (ever see a work with the flashing lights on the riders helmet?)and some trainers will even put on a stable saddle cloth even if they have a designated saddle cloth for a horse they're running in a big race, to keep them under the radar. The one thing a trainer may do is tell the rider they want them to try and hit a certain time in a work like don't go under 50 for 4 furlongs and so forth. Curlin was just getting a feel for the track. Didn't see a published work for Big Brown, should be tomorrow if Ricky wants to stick to his schedule. If the this doesn't make sense to you, let me know and I'll clarify, know you are a new fan and a very avid one.  Curlin is a monster, he was as a 3 year old but is so much more mature and is quite a specimen. Hope this makes sense, I was doing some bookwork and decided ot peek in on this blog.

Also, shipping in on Monday or Tuesday should be fine, keeps em away from the craziness that can go on at these big races. When you see all that media, fans and looky Lous you wonder if racing really is in trouble.

07 Oct 2008 12:31 AM
KatintheHat

Curlin's "people" thought that part of his Haskell performance related to the heat.  There have also been quotes from them on several other occassions about the heat relative to Curlin.  Steve A mentioned relative to working this morning that it was nice and cool.  (Although I think later it was in the low 90s?).  And has also mentioned that cool morning temps is part of what Curlin "likes" abut Saratoga.  

The shipping into high altitude immediately before a race (Denver area perhaps?) has to do with altitude sickness.  It can take several days to manifest itself and if you quickly go up and down in altitude, you will beat it.  This is not the same as shortness of breath problems caused by lesser oxygen at higher altitudes.  That takes several weeks to correct as your body compensates by generating more red blood cells (RBCs) to enable it to carry more oxygen around in your body.  That is why our elite runners train at high altitudes in the Sierras in CA.  Their bodies have more RBCs than runners which train at sea level.  When they drop to lower altitudes to compete, they have more RBCs (and can carry more oxygen efficiently).  It is a kind of legal "blood doping".

07 Oct 2008 12:34 AM
Matthew W

Horsefan: The Derby is a two turn race for (as you said( immature horses--indeed horses who have NEVER traversed 1 1/4 mi---to win from the TWENTY into a stiff homestretch headwind (6 of the 10 furlongs) and just CRUISE!! Yes, that's better than Curlin's Dubai Cup at ONE TURN...Better still than Curlin's own Derby...remember, they ALL were immature---EVEN BIG BROWN!!

07 Oct 2008 1:30 AM
Wanda

KatintheHat:Thanks for the down low on altitude relating to RBC's,very imformative.

MatthewW: Watch Curlins Derby again. He got a bad trip which BB didn't. The 20 hole makes no diff if you've got a horse who has tacticle speed to get to the rail before the first turn. In fact if your horse likes the outside, you stay out of trouble. The only guys that don't want the outside are horses that want the front end now. They use to much energy to get postioning.

07 Oct 2008 11:53 AM
JordanA

We all have relatives from the high country and that's what they all say. Strangely enough both my and my buddies relatives say they feel tired at sea level, strange. I have an Aunt who has a very high RBC count, large RBC's asked the Dr what it meant and said be glad you aren't an Olympian you'd be accused of blood doping, she was and athlete but trust me no Lance Armstrong, she lives in a mile high city, not Denver. If there's a veterinarian out there is that the same principal as the CO2 issue and does it really affect a horse the same way?

The only track up there now is Arapahoe in Aurora. Albuquerque, Ruidoso, SunRay are all near mile high or more, they don't seem to have an advantage when they ship over to Los Al.

Hey, saw BB had his work at Aqueduct over the turf this morning, got my alert from virtual stable any word from Dutrow on the work.

07 Oct 2008 1:08 PM
InTheMountains

Not exactly accurate on the Altitude sickness. It rarely occurs at under 8,000 feet, may occur at 6500 ft, but pretty rare especially since only 20-30% of humans suffer from it at 8000ft. Most of the race tracks are below that, Ruidoso at 7000 ft may be the highest mentioned. As for the theory of training at high altitudes helping, a lot of experts say that's not really the case because but they do say that training at low altitude would push anaerobic threshold, and VO2 max --with sleeping done at high altitude so that the hypoxic stress increases red cell mass.(not practical really). VO2 is aerobic capacity or maximal oxygen consuption and when you figure Greg LeMond measured one of the highest VO2 levels ever at 92.5 and an average TB race horse is 180 I don't think the effect is comparable. The athletes who come to high altitude short term just get out of breath about halfway thru because the air is thinner,there is less O2 available, the VO2 drops a certain percentage the higher you go, the air is dryer so they are 'sucking air' so to speak.

RT for a Pulmonologist and a skier,so I kind of understand it.

07 Oct 2008 1:52 PM
Monica V

Matthew W,

Big Brown's Derby cannot be compared to Curlin's Dubai World Cup.  

07 Oct 2008 3:01 PM
Monica V

Bradgm,

I don't think anyone thought about the heat of the track as SA's meets are in the cooler weather.  I think it will be fine for the BC.  As I said, the morings are really getting cool so this spurt of heat shouldn't last much longer.

I HOPE!  I'm sick to death of the heat.

07 Oct 2008 3:15 PM
Wanda

Thanks InTheMountains I sort of understood it. I really learned alot today you guys rock.

07 Oct 2008 4:02 PM
Bradgm

Monica, Not me. If I'm not working, reading or going to the races I'm surfing or out in the pool. If you think about it our weather is usually fairly warm this time of year. I know the mornings are cooler, then as the day goes on and it gets warmer the track soaks up the heat. Seems like it will make it play differently as the day wears on, especially if the heat does follow the way it has the last several years. Can you imagine if we have one of our heat waves like the last time, 100 degrees and 130-140 on the track. It might have to be cancelled like a day at Saratoga was last year. Either that or put ice water on the track. So I guess for the sake of the BC I'd like to see it cool off. Just hope no rain, how in the world will that affect it? Lightening fast for the front runners?

07 Oct 2008 4:12 PM
Wanda

Bradgm: I've read and heard lots about poly but not pro-ride.

Jason can you get a Q&A session with someone who is expert on the differince in makeup on the two surfaces? I know the base is the same idea but what about the fibres etc. Thanks and thanks...

07 Oct 2008 5:04 PM
Jason Shandler

I'll see what I can do Wanda.

07 Oct 2008 5:12 PM
Monica V

Bradgm,

I don't know how it will affect things but I hope we don't have to find out!  I'm hoping that the weather cools.  It was really chilly on Monday and I thought it would be normal temps as the weekend was really nice but it was 89 when I left work at 4:30 and I understand it is 100 today!  That's just ridiculous.  I'm so tired of the heat I just can't stand it.  I'm still of the belief that it will cool down by the BC.  It is unusual for it to be that hot in late October, not the first week though, it has often been hot this time of October.  If it is hot for the BC, I would say the Euro horses will have a hard time of it.  I'm just hoping it won't be a factor, that the temps are moderate.

07 Oct 2008 5:19 PM
Paula Higgins

So Commentator is not going to be in the running for the BCC. Disappointing, it certainly would have made it more interesting. But understandable since he is an older horse. BB had a reasonably good workout today. What that means for the long term is hard to know. I think all of this is going to come down to whether Curlin likes the Pro-ride or not. If he does I think the race is his.

07 Oct 2008 9:34 PM
Matthew W

Wanda, in 37 years I've seen maybe a couple of Derbys that compared to Big Brown's Derby---his race was better than Curlin's Dubai Cup based on maturity! Do I think Big Brown beats Curlin on First Sat In May? I'm not saying that! Monica, do you think the "Derby Curlin" can compete with the "Dubai Curlin"? No Way! He was far less mature then---but do you think the Derby Curlin can hold a candle to Big Brown's Derby? No Way! In THAT context, I say flat out---Big Bwown's Derby was more impressive! I have no idea, really, how Big Brown is doing right now, but if he's fit'n'ready Oct 25th, I would expect to see the three year old beat the four year old---remember Monica, how much Curlin improved as he aged....now Big Brown has aged, like I say, if he's ready--look out!

07 Oct 2008 10:31 PM
Matthew W

Wanda I watched both Derbys! Big Brown was always wide and, yes, horses with tactical speed can stay out of trouble/don't need excuses! Big Brown has tacticle speed! Curlin's a stud, no doubt, horses that win The Derby by five from the twenty are rare, wouldn't you say? Bad hooves have forced them to take a different path--here's hoping Big Brown is fit and ready Oct 25th---fair enough?!

07 Oct 2008 10:36 PM
MonicaV

Matthew W,

I don't see the same BB that was running in the spring.  His last two races were not like his others.

His training has been strange and his competition has not been stellar but he does have a great heart and courage.  If the BB of May shows up, look out, but I kinda don't think that will happen but who knows?  I really don't think his Derby was better the DWC but we just have a difference of opinion!  You're entitled and so am I!  Good luck to you with BB!

07 Oct 2008 11:35 PM
KatintheHat

In the Mtn - the point of my post was to clarify the philosophy of disembark and race at "altitude" (it's not an O2 issue).   I don't agree with your premise that altitude "sickness", (vs HACE or HAPE) is not a factor at 5000 ft.  NFL football teams have the same philosophy when flying into Denver (disembark and play) and I am quite familar with the low level manifestations (there are certainly degrees of AMS) of coping with altitude when going from sea level (Seattle) to 5000 feet (Paradise/Mt Rainier).  I am also quite familar with full blown altitude sickness having climbed Mt. Rainier and various other of the large mountains (volcanos) in the area and in S. America where I've been up to 20K.  Full blown altitude sickness can manifest itself as low as 3000 feet (although certainly a statistical outlier).   Whether or not horses suffer from altitude adjustment issues, I haven't a clue, although it's not obvious why they would not.  They certainly have a much larger muscle/body mass to "feed" than humans, it's hardly surprising that their ability to absorb oxygen is larger than humans.  The sleep high(build RBC titer)/train low(maximize muscle workout which is hard to do when O2 is the limiting factor) would be rather difficult to achieve with horses (as would having them sleep in a hyperbaric chamber!), but that was not the point.  I haven't thought about this topic in a while, it is interesting that one of the body's first responses to going to altitude is a need to urinate which ultimately causes a level of dehydration which casues a higher hematocrit.  I would assume this is the body's short term solution to the lesser O2 until the body can produce more RBCs.  And I would assume that the higher the number of RBCs that travel through the alveolor (?), the higher probability that they will encounter a less frequent O2 molecule (at a lesser density).

In regards to the person that wondered about bicarb - I'm not familar with horse racing from a "supplement" :) point of view.  I would guess that if bicarb is being given to horses, it is to buffer the build up of lactic acid.  Is this what a "milkshake" is?

OK, back to the regularly scheduled program. . .  :)

08 Oct 2008 12:49 AM
InTheMountains

Wanda, Hope you can forgive my lousy spelling on a couple of words. Actually I am a partner in a couple of race horses, one QH one TB. I've investigated this angle pretty fully, you know the proverbial leg up on things. Didn't just wander on here, I read all the blogs, never felt I had any input until now.

08 Oct 2008 3:11 AM
JordanA

KatintheHat, Not quite sure What your expertise is? If I remember my High School chemistry, and that's a stretch since I slept through most of it, CO2 is Carbon Dioxide, which is released in the bubbles from Sodium Bicarbonate I did read something about decreased CO2 and that being the problem with altitude, it's not a supplement.(they aren't baking bread or treating heartburn) It's a technique used that is against horse racing guidelines in certain levels, that is why I asked a vet or an expert in the field to answer, thinking that it increases their lung capacity. A trainer, mountain climber, handicapper, chemist and pulmonary Dr. wow pretty impressive.

Jason, Dr. Arthur didn't address that, maybe we could impose on you to get an answer.

08 Oct 2008 1:31 PM
JordanA

Sorry, I googled the same info that Katinthehat apparently did and see that it is milshaking and they pump bicarb into the stomache to reduce lactic acid thereby decreasing fatigue. I just know it's not allowed, but not sure what the allowable level is. I should google before I ask so I can get the googled answers myself.

08 Oct 2008 1:47 PM
InThe Mountains

KatintheHat, I don't come on here to argue, just present information which I am familiar with.

Not sure where you got your data but that low level altitude sickness  is a real stretch.

Dehydration is often mistaken for altitude sickness, the air is dryer at high altitude, people don‘t hydrate correctly and dehydration ensues. Personally I don‘t have the urge to go after spending 16 hours a day in the low country, when I return to my top of the mountain residence.  Depends on how much I drink, the hydration process.

Altitude sickness can progress to HACE (high altitude cerebral edema) and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema). Basically the true cause of altitude sickness is still debated and unknown.

The layman’s explanation of the air being thinner is what I was going for so as not to overwhelm people with all of the technical side of it . The altitude sickness symptoms aren’t due to low oxygen, it’s the low CO2 levels causing a rise in blood pH. O2 % in air remains constant with altitude at 21 % but the air pressure and thus the # of O2 molecules drops as altitude increases. So the guess is it‘s the air pressure ie, thinner air. Technical explanation courtesy of one of the 7 Pulmonologists in our practice (simplified a bit). Now if you’d care to debate it with one of them I bet they’d oblige, after reviewing your credentials (even they know as critical care Dr.’s that they’re a bit arrogant and elitist. I have been there for years tell them that all the time and they return the compliment to me.).

Granted the train low-sleep/live high is a bit of a stretch but there are people who live in areas where there are mountains and then low lying desert areas. I live in one. I live in the mountains, the race track is in the city and whereas the city is higher than most, the valley areas where the farms are is much lower lying.

As far as the VO2 levels that is adjusted for size. There are some good schools of veterinary medicine web sites that talk about it. The whole discussion was that  altitude probably doesn’t affect a horse that comes in and runs a 2 minute race, particularly a lower altitude.

08 Oct 2008 2:33 PM
Householder

"...BB and Curlin won't win the classic...I won't be betting either if they are 3-1 or less."

jshandler.

I Jason, share the same opinion.  Just curious as to who you like in the Classic?

08 Oct 2008 7:05 PM
Monica V

I'm going to Santa Anita Monday to watch Curlin work.  I just can't miss that!

08 Oct 2008 7:28 PM
Jason Shandler

Householder: I have not made up my mind yet. It may be a California-based horse or European. Im all about getting value. I will have analysis on all the races the week of the BC.

08 Oct 2008 8:57 PM
LDP

Matt W,

    Just because Curlin got better as he aged does not mean BB will to. SS last year I think peaked starting at the derby till the Travers, then afterward started on a down slope. Basicly he matured quicker and peaked earlier than Culin. BB i think is the same way, except he was at his very best during the Derby and Preakness, and even though he's young i think he's past his best days, some are like that. Culin on the other hand, i think still has even better days ahead of him, yes he was in a bit of a slump in the summer, but he is now getting back on the top of his game. Curlin loves the fall, and is at his best during that time, basicly he is the same Curlin as last fall and spring. BB though courageous, has just not show, or even hinted that he can still compete with the elite horses now. In his last race it looked like to me he on his own was going all out to win against grade 2 grade 3 older horses. I maybe wrong, but i don't see it. Curlin in the JCGC won it with ease, never touch with the whip, only urged with some crosses, it was just what he needed to do. Curlin had he been touched by the whip would've won by at least three.

08 Oct 2008 9:09 PM
Wanda

Wow did I open a can of worms or what? Thanks for the comeback InTheMountains and for yours as well KatintheHat although I couldn't follow all of it. Oh what the hay I coulndn't follow most of it. Anyway we are agreed that flying to Cal from NY and running is okay.

Glad to see a horseowner on this site what track do you run at? Nice to hear from you InTheMountains keep it up!

08 Oct 2008 9:11 PM
InTheMountains

Now that I've bored all of you, which I tried to avoid.

Jason, I didn't think the Duke looked that great in the Arc, Soldier of Fortune a bit better. Henrythenavigator lost his race but still looked pretty decent. I think Aidan will bring his charges over and let's see what odds we'll get. Really looking forward to your analysis, I read all of it very avidly, thanks for your insight (sometimes I agree, sometimes I don't but it's always entertaining and thought provoking.)

08 Oct 2008 9:44 PM
Mike S

I just read that Garrett Gomez will be riding GO BETWEEN in the BC Classic, leaving the mount open on COLONEL JOHN. I am surprised about this only for one reason: I am going to guess that since GO BETWEEN is 5 years old he will be retired to stud after the race, while COLONEL JOHN is 3 years old and will very likely be running all next year, if not longer.

If WELL ARMED goes to the BC "dirt" Mile then why not give Aaron Gryder a shot on COLONEL JOHN? Or why not give the mount back to Corey Nakatani? I can't wait to see what happens.

09 Oct 2008 1:45 PM
Matthew W

I would not say this years older competition has been tough on Curlin! I also was impressed by both of Big Brown's post Triple Crown races! He won Haskell by two and beat elders wire to wire and held off closers the length of the stretch in the grass stakes! Yes I think Big Brown is a better horse than Curlin BUT that doesn't mean I'll be betting on him! There's too many variables involved, not the least of which is "Team Brownie's" obscure road to the BC! At this point I wouldn't want to bet against the filly if she goes! Big Brown's Derby was one for the ages, you don't see them like that maybe two or three times in a lifetime! I wish it (the BC) were at Churchill! I have reverance for The Great Curlin---I am awestruck by The Great Big Brown!

09 Oct 2008 2:21 PM
Bradgm

Let's just say if this isn't the greatest Classic it's definitely the weirdest.

Monica, if you want to watch Curlin on Monday, you'll have to go to the races. He's working in between races so the connections can get the most realistic picture of how it will be for the Classic (talk about bending over backwards to accomodate, oh well)

Then Casino Drive is running in an Optional Claimer on Sunday.

Big Brown is training on turf in a cool wet climate and his feet are doing heaven only knows what. Colonel John's rider supposedly bailed (for the Nakatani thing, who knows with a broken collar bone).

Are we sure the race isn't being run on Halloween?

09 Oct 2008 4:51 PM
Monica V

Brad,

Yes, I just found out about Curlin running between the afternoon races.  It's an excellent idea as it will give a more realistic preview of how he will take to the track in the afternoon.  Weather reports say there will be a cooling trend. I sincerely hope so.

I would love the races to be run in weather no hotter than 75 -78 degrees.  The horses love the cool weather though.  I went to the'88 BC and watched Alysheba kick up his heals on the way to the saddling area at Churchill.  Wish it would be cool here.

09 Oct 2008 7:12 PM
Householder

Thanks Jason. Look forward to your non Curlin/BB picks.  In this economy, I too would like to hit the $29,000 superfecta.  Mike S...Well Armed in the Dirt Mile?  I'm going to be devistated.  I also think Nakatani is out for a while with a broken collar bone.  

09 Oct 2008 8:38 PM
InTheMountains

Wanda, not ignoring you, just really busy today, just got done.

We run in the SW, mostly AZ, NM, Tx and once in awhile at Los Al. Several of us together, makes it affordable.

Wow, this is a weird BC Classic. How did Curlins people manage that? Well I guess the greatest horse in the World (acording to Timeform.) gets special perks.

09 Oct 2008 10:35 PM
KatintheHat

A can of worms indeed.  I am a horseowner but I've never owned a thoroughbred, so no racehorses.  I have warmbloods but have developed an interest in racing the last few years.  JordanA, the reason why I asked if that was a milkshake was because I didn't know but have seen that term used and had the impression it was "not quite legal".  And I put supplements in quotation marks because I didn't mean it literally, but rather tongue in cheek.  Oddly enough, I don't disagree with IntheMountain in regards to the pulmonary info (although it's hard to tell - what's to argue????) but would simply refer back to the original point about the reason why a trainer might have a preference for running a horse "off the plane" as I already have.  Not quite sure what's going on there, but I am done.

Jordan A, I am not a chemist, although I did have 3 1/2 yrs of college chemistry (chemistry, organic, biochem, and physcial chemistry with biological applications).  My intention was to go to vet school (so no sleeping class) but I worked for a vet (cats - big mistake!) for a summer and wasn't interested in continuing.  At the same time I was "inspired" by a molecular biology class (this was in the 70s and my professor had come out of the California hotbed of discovery) and decided to pursue other paths.  I went on to obtain a post graduate degree and have made a pretty good living (well good enough to keep several horses well clothed, if not myself) for about 20 years now.  I am not easily "blinded by science" and quite a bit of the above is covered in the first month of biochemistry, some of it in high school earth science. . .

Mountain climbED would be more accurate.  Did quite a bit in the 80s and early 90s but got out before it was cool (and crowded by people doing it for the wrong reasons - very dangerous).  Although it's extremely gratifying, it's hard, dirty work and the "glamour index" surrounding it is amusing.

I really enjoy these blogs for any iota of info I can learn about horses, I have no interest in gambling.  Any humor and good fun is gravy.  

With all due respect.

09 Oct 2008 10:49 PM
KatintheHat

Oh, I forget of mention ITM, one of my brothers worked as a RT (respiratory therapist for anyone that didn't catch the initials) for quite a few years.  On a small world note.

09 Oct 2008 11:02 PM
JordanA

Katinthehat,

My comment was in jest, thus the bread baking comment.

Even though I did sleep thru HS Chemistry, I didn't need to stay awake for that.

Got my BS and Masters by the time I was 22. Definitely stayed awake in all of my Chem, Calculus, physics, statistics etc classes.

I still wouldn't argue with someone who is a horse trainer, I'm not one. Nor would I argue with a Respiratory Therapist who works for a pulmonary Dr about something they specialize in, I'm not one. I come on here to express my opinion on the things I do know and learn about the things I do not know, from the experts. I find it fascinating. (By the way, I snow ski, snow board and believe it or not have done some hang gliding off of mountains, that I had to climb to get to the top or at least until I broke my leg and ankle in a freaky minor surfing accident this summer, but I'll be back.)

Hey Monica, I hope you get to go see Curlin on Monday, we all plan on going. Not to speak for my buddy Brad but we've been talking about this trying to figure out the compound of the surface that makes it so hot. We're thinking about trying to get a sample of it and doing some testing. Even if it is 70-78 degrees that makes the track 90-118 degrees depending on the fact that we've heard everything from 20-40 degrees hotter on the surface.

10 Oct 2008 12:40 AM
Bradgm

Wanda, Did you get an answer to your computer question. The buds asked why I didn't answer, truthfully with all the disgusting errr discussing going on I missed it.

The simplest way would be to save the Blog Stable to your favorites, the little heart at the top, or the star or whatever way your ISP has it set up. You can right click your mouse and it should show add to favorites also. You can either save it to your favorites or put it in your favorites Toolbar. If you have a particular favorite blog, save that member of the blog stable to your favorites (like if you want to save Jason's, Steve's etc put each in your favorites.) Hope this helped and I'll even waive my consulting fee(ha,ha. actually it's pretty steep). There's other ways to do it but that's probably the easiest.

10 Oct 2008 1:41 AM
Bradgm

Also Wanda, depending on how long you have your history set to remain, you can just go up to the drop down history, click on the blog you were in and it takes you straight back to it.

10 Oct 2008 1:46 AM
Wanda

InTheMountains: Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question. No worrys about being ignored, my husband's an expert at it! (I'm joking of course). I've worked(100 years ago) at some of those tracks you run at and was interested on your take of the comments.

Asking to work a good horse between races is nothing new at least up north. I can think of at least five at differint tracks up here where it happened. Usually because weather cancelled a important work and the track would have been worked on to make it at least "good" for racing. But I agree with you all that because of his star power it was granted. Although is writing a Stakes race for one horse any differint?

10 Oct 2008 11:29 AM
Wanda

Thanks Brad I'll do that.You guys humble me when I realize all the schooling etc. you have. To think of the conversations I have with all of you and in normal life I would never cross paths with any of you. Unless Jordan and I win the lottery of course. Thanks homies!

How steep is steep Brad? (Joking)

10 Oct 2008 1:18 PM
Matthew W

I would think Gryder would get the call on The Colonel/whom I view as an underated horse---I would also say GoGo blew it--I'm not all too sure Harty wanted to run in The Travers--that was a Win Star thing to show he dirts---If any horse can train up to a 1 1/4 race, it should be Col John....I'll watch him closely as an underlay in Classic/especially with the Gomez exit....."enter Aaron, winners circle/stage left"???...I hope Curlin works well--he's the solid race favorite/deservedly so...oh, please that we'll have a race for the ages...stay healthy and show up!!

10 Oct 2008 4:19 PM
Bradgm

Did that help Wanda?

Don't sell yourself short, you have a lot of insight.

As lucky as Jordy is you guys just might do it.

The kid has mad skills.

Depends on what I do for the client. Don't want to be accused of advertising on here. Lot's of prices. As steep as a molehill all the way up to Mt. Everest. For you, Priceless and free, not even a speed bump. I do know a few guys who'll build a computer for a couple cases of beer, although heaven only knows what you'll get by the time they're done. Just remember, don't be afraid to try, you can read the tutorials and they'll walk you through it. If you think you'll blow it up, most the time it can be fixed. Hey take a class at your local college, you're sharp, quick on the uptake and anyone who can figure out racing can figure just about anything out.

The card at SA was iffy today, so staying home and doing my thing from there. A lot of baby races today and short fields. Pretty pleasant temps today still high 70's heard it's supposed to be mid 80's next week.

10 Oct 2008 4:54 PM
Wanda

Thanks Brad. I should be getting in on a course thru work. I've gone over to another department and they want me to do more than I can do now on a computer. Glad to hear the temp's gone down,it has here too. Down to 5C at night now it feels like fall.

Did like you said and works great. No more BC Bracket. I didn't bother even going on that bracket thing but I hear it got some people upset. Like Steve Haskin said don't worry about it  cause it don't mean nothing.

10 Oct 2008 5:20 PM
InTheMountains

Wanda, let's just say the comments range from the ridiculous to the sublime. Some so oft repeated they are forever etched in my memory. I kind of chuckle at a lot of them, get angry at a few and imagine others doing the same. Particularly fellow owners and the trainers that read or post. Bet the trainers are calling the opinonated a bunch of know nothing know it alls, my own trainer is a friend and while he'll listen to a point if I try to tell him too much he refers back to my own occupation and tells me to 'take a deep breath, now blow it out your ***' Telling me he knows as much about my job as I do his, but then again we've known each other for so many years it's not the formal owner/trainer relationship. As far as who I like, the Euro's are very intriguing here, like Jason I await the final lineup.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I'd ask if there is one horse that's been mentioned on here that any of us wouldn't take in a heartbeat if offered up to us? Doubtful, although personally I wouldn't have the same trainers training a couple of them. The horses are all well accomplished individuals. However, some of them have had their moment in the sun, I'm afraid.

I know there's always problems with horses and you have to weigh the risk against the reward. Big Brown won the Derby and the Preakness and that was huge (not the hugest ever like some suggest but the Derby is every horse owners goal or pipe dream). At this point though I would be a nervous wreck to have a colt that has such documented hoof problems. If something was to happen to him after all the troubles, excuses in the Belmont I'd feel obliged to shoot myself if he was to break down.

Also Wanda, it's never too late for 'schooling' personally I've changed careers 3 times and 2 or them are degrees that couldn't be more far apart and totally unrelated. My bet is you can do whatever you set your mind to, that's more of a sure thing than any bet I've seen on here so far.

10 Oct 2008 6:05 PM
KatintheHat

I posted on Mr. Haskin's blog, but in case anyone is a monogamous blogger, Santa Anita has said that Curlin's Monday afternoon workout will be availabe on their workout cam!  It's on their homepage.  Oh happy day!!

10 Oct 2008 6:37 PM
Monica V

Jordan,

I hope I get to go.  Depends on what's up at work since he's working between races.  Would love to see him.  Would have preferred the early morning though.  I have always loved watching the workouts.

There's just something very special about it and the mornings are so beautiful in the fall.

10 Oct 2008 7:22 PM
Wanda

Thanks KatintheHat for the imfo on Curlin.Our Thanksgiving is on Monday so I'll be home to tune in, that is after I cook the bird.

MonicaV how are you? We never seem to hook up at the right time. Hope you can get to see him live(I'm jealous).

Your right InTheMountains it's tough to have a decent one let alone a really good one.His feet have to be a major concern every day. I don't think I could take the stress of it all.

10 Oct 2008 9:07 PM
JordanA

Monica, hope you get to go or watch. Don't remember if you've been to Saratoga or Keeneland, I didn't make it this year but the mornings are my favorite time there as well. Many trainers have said that's what is their favorite time of their day, even more so than the races.

 

10 Oct 2008 9:21 PM
MonicaV

Jordan,

I have been to Keeneland and loved it.  Never been to Saratoga.  

Mornings at the racetrack are just marvelous, especially as the sun comes up.  In the fall, the mornings are so fresh and cool and the horses just love it!  You stand there at Clocker's Corner with your coffee and enjoy the view of those magnificent animals moving gracefully over the track.  What could beat that?

11 Oct 2008 10:20 AM
MonicaV

Wanda,

It's great to see you around.  How are things with you?

I am hoping I can make it over to SA on Monday but if not, I'll make it over there one morning at least, it's so close.  I just have to see Curlin up close, wouldn't mind seeing BB either.

11 Oct 2008 10:22 AM
Wanda

MonicaV: Thanks and please give us the down low on the whole thing when you can. I'd love to hear about it first hand. Bought a lottery ticket for today so I can come to BC and meet you all in person if I win!

11 Oct 2008 12:05 PM
MonicaV

I would love that, Wanda!  Hope you do win.  I've been trying down here to win as well.  Say, if we both win, let's get together with Brad and buy us a horse!

11 Oct 2008 4:58 PM
MikeM

Big Brown out of breeders cup. His shoes must have fallen off during his workout. Who's ducking who now?

What a bunch of BS.

13 Oct 2008 10:59 AM
Monica V

Just heard Big Brown is out.  I'm not surprised by this.  I was just wondering when it would happen.  It was just a matter of time.  

13 Oct 2008 11:03 AM
G

Dutrow, Pompa, and the entire Big Brown Camp are a joke. This includes anyone who had the nerve to even mention Big Brown in the same sentence as Curlin. Guess they got word that Curlin was able to handle polytrack just fine. Scared are we? Maybe just inferior. Curlin horse of the year. Good night.

13 Oct 2008 11:19 AM
shane

Well we all figured that BB would not go against Curlin. I dont care what the excuse is. We all knew they would not do it. He should have retired after the belmont.

13 Oct 2008 11:39 AM
KC

I don't think they were ever really planning on running Big Brown in the BC to begin with, especially after Curlin decided to go.

13 Oct 2008 12:11 PM
InTheMountains

I've been reading these blogs for a really long time. As a partner in race horses I was very interested to see the take on BB. Right after the Belmont a bunch of the posters said BB was done. Wanda, Monica, BIGHORSEFAN,Bradgm and JordanA were the leaders in that theory. With Draynay telling them they were all crazy. Then when the trainers started saying it I really listened because, having been around the race track as an owner, I know that most of them know exactly what is going on in a given camp at all times and gossip is rampant on the track. Injury, no injury this colt wouldn't have run. Too many awesome competitors. My thinking is it wasn't Curlin who scared them off, it's the other three year olds including Casino Drive. One thing to get beaten by Curlin, just a lot of crow to eat. Something different to get beat by other 3 year olds, one which was dismissed as a lightweight by Dutrow, the mouth. To me the guy who did more to harm racing in the last 6 months than any other single thing or person has in the last decade.

13 Oct 2008 1:24 PM
Mike S

What? BIG BROWN isn't coming to the Breeders Cup? You don't say! I'm shocked.

OK, seriously, I think all of us knew, after the Belmont, that we would not see BIG BROWN in the BC Classic. Nice timing for drop-out, too, a day before entries are taken and fees need to be paid. IEAH handled BIG BROWN in a very unsportsman-like fashion, dodging competition, having easy races "created" for them (something I've never seen), and now dodging competition again. BIG BROWN is a very good horse. He's not "great." In fact, he is nowhere near "great."

I am very sorry that I will not be able to see COLONEL JOHN get his shot to even the score with BIG BROWN. I'm also sorry I won't get the chance to see CURLIN beat BIG BROWN as well. It's very chicken-hearted to handle a horse in the manner that IEAH and Dutrow have handled BIG BROWN and, once again, they're not fooling anyone.

13 Oct 2008 3:16 PM
Mike S

OK...I have to eat a little crow now...I  saw the picture of BIG BROWN's foot. So he actually is injured. I'm sorry that he's injured. I like the horse. I just don't like his connections, and I assumed, due to the poor sportsmanship in the last few months, that they were making up this injury. They're not. I apologize. BIG BROWN is an excellent racehorse.

13 Oct 2008 3:31 PM
MikeM

They were living on borrowed time with BB. They were trying to get him to the BC in one piece but in the end something got him.He was never the same horse after the Preakness. In the end his numerous quarter cracks(I think Dutrow said five) was just to much to overcome.

13 Oct 2008 5:48 PM
Whatamidoing

His foot is bad, not the worst I've seen but bad enough to take a month or more to heal. He's got thin hoofwalls and Rick has been dealing with this since he got him. He's going to have those issues forever. Let's hope he doesn't pass it on to his progeny. Someone brought up why wasn't he run in bell boots. Good question but it could've just postponed the inevitable. Who knows why horses grab themselves? Lots of reasons, overstriding, rear hoof's too long (even just a bit can make a difference), just a fluke. BB's problem is his thin hoofwall. What's a shame about BB is that it turned into more about the connections than the colt. People talk about past connections loving the publicity and wanting to be in front of the cameras etc. Nothing has ever compared to this because it turned into something ugly. Rick's comments before the Derby were okay, it was after that when he stepped over the line.

I just hope we get a great horse with connections that endear themselves to people rather than alienate fans and colleagues alike.

13 Oct 2008 6:48 PM
Paula Higgins

To those of you who said BB wouldn't make it-you were absolutely right. I think his foot is toast and the reason is real. I am sorry for everyone who wanted to see him run but most of all, I am sorry for BB. Here's hoping he goes off to stud after his foot heals and he lives a long and happy life. Whether he would have actually made it to the BCC with or without the foot injury is the million dollar question. As for Rick Dutrow having a major impact on this sport in terms of viewership, I don't agree. He isn't on most people's radar, especially the casual viewer's. I do think the death of Eight Belles was not good for viewership and put the average fan off for a while. I expect it to rebound next year. Let's hope Curlin likes the Pro-Ride. I still think it will be a great BCC and I am looking forward to it.

13 Oct 2008 11:20 PM
Paula Higgins

I just saw a picture of that hoof and what an absolute mess!!! People on another site said it was a glue patch that fell off, and not the NEW disaster BB connections said it was. However, whether that is true or not his foot looks like absolute crap. I would NEVER try and run a horse with a foot like that, whether it's an old crack(s) they were trying to patch together or it was new damage. CLearly, this is a horse with SERIOUS foot problems and he probably shouldn't have been running in his past few races. I think this horse was fantastic to give all that he gave and win what he did with such GOD awful feet. He has a ton of heart. He should have been retired after the Preakness (whoever said that is ABSOLUTELY right). He never should have run in the Belmont. I am sorry for ranting but if this was a human, they would be off that foot for a good long time and they sure wouldn't be running any races.

13 Oct 2008 11:41 PM
HaleyB

I believe that Big Brown is a GREAT horse and that is how I chose to remember his career.  His connections may not be the best but the horse has heart and courage.  I was so looking forward to the BC and the Curlin match-up.  For me it is let the best horse of the race win.  It's too bad that Big Brown won't have the chance to at least give it one last shot.  Now my prayer for him is that he heals well and will be very happy making "little" Big Browns.  

14 Oct 2008 9:07 AM
Atthebarn2

Paula, You are such a passionate fan of racing and the horse, too bad we don't have 15 million more just like you.

Now, on the foot deal. it was the right front inside, his original quarter crack was on the left front,outside, just over 1/2 an inch. The difference is the quarter crack happened because he has a thin hoof wall, it was not really a big deal except he was running for the Triple Crown. His hoof wall won't support a nail, like a regular shoe has, therefore his glue ons the small crack was patched. Not sure if you are aware but Cigar fought quarter cracks his whole career. Most people think of the colt in the Derby, Unbridled Song, his quarter was worse and he had to wear a bar shoe. Mike S said that's like running a foot race in combat boots.

What happened on the right was he grabbed it with the rear foot and ripped the piece of hoof off. This had nothing to do with his previous issues and what happened in the Belmont other than the fact that his thin hoofwall probably made it worse than it would have been for a horse with normal hoof walls. What happened in the Belmont was they patched a quarter crack, backed off on his training and affected his conditioning and mental status. IMHO (learned that from the handicappers). Like it was compared before, fixing a qc is like getting a tooth filled at the dentist, once it's fixed it's fine, the only real worry is a possible infection. The timing was bad for BB though, interrupted his training before the Belmont.

Trust me there was no way his hoof had anything close to that before the Belmont. Totally different kind of problem.

Horses grab themselves quite often for lots of reasons. A lot of hard tryers do that. I've seen some lacerate the leg really bad from that. Seen barrel racing horses do it, pull half their foot off literally or go down when the shoe didn't come off.

As far as the bell boots, they showed a picture with him wearing them, not sure if it's old or the day of. We kind of talked about it and if he grabbed the bottom of the hoof, pulled off the glued on shoe and the hoof came with it, then a bell boot wouldn't have helped. Be interesting to see if a video done, course they didn't notice it till after so not sure how long the turf is if it would've been noticeable but a tear that big would have to have been a pretty decent grab, but on a horse with hoofwalls as thin as his must be, might not have been noticed in his action. Now they just have to watch for infection, the hoof will heal and he should be fine but he will have these issues forever. Summer time he would've healed faster but he'll be fine by the time he starts stud duty, barring any more of these types of things.

I have to say that I felt bad for Mike Iavarone. He was humble and obviously very upset, in addition to his attachment to the horse he had an incentive set for winning the BCC and he wants to enhance his partnership, therefore racing with the proceeds.

Also Mr. Jackson was very kind. Rick, well, he was just being Rick. A little more humble, still kind of talking off the top of his head and one statement had me going 'huh?', but it's just too bad for the fans of the horse and the horse himself both of whom put up with a lot.

IMO he wouldn't have matched up with the others in the race and even Rick said that he wasn't sure he'd run like before but was training well.

Now we all know that even though he's gained an iota of humility he would've been full of bluster if he thought the colt could've handled the others easy, he just said that after the JCGC.

Now the big dilemma will come in the breeding shed and who will have the mares that match up and will have the genes dominant to not have bad feet/hooves handed down to his progeny, like his poppa handed down to him.

14 Oct 2008 2:29 PM
Paula Higgins

ATTHEBARN, thanks for your kind words. I love all animals (reptiles not so much) and this picture was painful to see. Dogs,cats and horses are at the top of my list of loves in life. I appreciate you taking the time to explain to me about his feet. It makes me feel better about his last two races. I agree they need to breed him with a mare that has feet like Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire combined. Well, here's hoping Curlin keeps his health and comes out of the BCC with flying colors.

14 Oct 2008 7:10 PM
MikeM

Curlins work over the synthetic suface was awesome. He looked like he absolutely loved it. I don't see how anyone can beat him in the Classic. I don't care who shows up.Also after seeing the picture of BB foot (side view) the actual part of his foot he grabed did not look that bad.However, the other part looked like an old patch  broke loose and that was ugly. I'm certainly no expert but would like to hear the opinions of more experienced bloggers.

15 Oct 2008 9:28 AM
JordanA

Mike,

I think we got a couple of pretty good explanations of it from two trainers. Maybe a farrier or vet but actually anybody who hasn't seen it in person probably couldn't give much more info than they already did.

I looked at some comparison pictures and truthfully if he pulled off the patch he pulled some fresh hoof with it. No way that colt could've run on a hoof patched that much, the cut on the heel was small but no picture of the frog or bottom of the foot. That's what the trainers I asked here said. Although they are only going by photos too.

15 Oct 2008 1:15 PM
Wanda

MikeM: when he ran at Monmouth someone said it was dirt in his feet. I said that it couldn't be dirt cause it was right at the wire on turf. There's no way he would pack all that dirt in his feet while running. So I guess that he was patched when he ran that day and grabbed himself when he worked the other day. Shame on them for going on with him when they clearly should have quit on him. That bothers me to no end. I wouldn't do that to a cheap claimer. Then they are trying to say this injury has nothing to do with the quarter cracks. I disagree with that one. If the horse isn't 100% he's going to be travelling differint, so no wonder he grabbed himself.

That's the last time I'm going to comment on that cause I got it out of my system.

Your right about Curlin's work, he did it so easy.

15 Oct 2008 1:30 PM
MikeM

Wanda - After seeing that foot I too am shocked that they went on with him. What a shame. My respect for that horse has grown ten fold after seeing that... Back to Curlins work, I really feel that he is going to put on quite a show.I got goose bumps watching it and I think the surface might even move him up, if that's possible.

15 Oct 2008 2:46 PM
Brownfan

Where have all of you seen the photos of Brown's injury?  I haven't seen any photos of it.

15 Oct 2008 11:46 PM
Bob B

Where do Canadians watch the Breeders Cup Races if they don't live near a racetrack with simulcasting?

16 Oct 2008 12:52 PM
JordanA

Brownfan,

DRF.com

16 Oct 2008 1:46 PM
Brownfan

Thank you JordanA.  It does look pretty sore.  I'm sorry to see he won't be able to run but I'm glad he doesn't have a life threatening injury, and I know now he'll live a full and happy life at Three Chimneys.  Selfish of me, but I sure would have liked to see him run...he was always a thrill to watch for me.

16 Oct 2008 2:42 PM

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