Don't Crown Big Brown Just Yet


Like everybody else who watched the Florida Derby, my initial reaction to the dominating performance of Big Brown was, "Wow!"

Several factors made the five-length victory so impressive:

A) The fact that his time of 1:48.16 was less than a half-second off the track record, and was nearly a full second faster than Barbaro's winning time in 2006.

B) That he did it while overcoming a usually suicidal post 12 and had enough left to pull clear in the stretch even after running a :22.76 opening quarter and a :45.85 half-mile. That is exceptional.

C) That he made mincemeat out of what was thought to have been a very solid field, in just his third career start.

D) That his victory, and his two previous wins, seemed so effortless.

E) That despite winning from gate-to-wire, he has proven that he doesn't need the lead to win.


All of these things taken together prove that Big Brown is for real. Barring a similar performance by Pyro in the April 12 Blue Grass Stakes, Big Brown will be a well-deserving favorite in the Kentucky Derby. His talent is undeniable and his future, barring injury, is unlimited.

With all that being said, I am here to tell you, do not crown him your 2008 Kentucky Derby champion just yet. Contain your excitement for just a second and digest one cold, hard fact:

No horse in the last 93 years has won the Kentucky Derby off only three starts.

That is a pretty staggering statistic and it is not to be taken lightly. A number like 93 years is not there because of bad luck and it is not something that you can simply disregard. It is there for a reason.

As we all know, the Derby is completely different than any race there is. Many times, the best horse does not always win. Having 18-20 horses bumping and battling for position often changes the complexion of the race and that cavalry charge coming into the first can be intimidating to many.

While Big Brown has shown the ability to both rate and set the pace, there is no guarantee that he will get the ideal trip, and there is no telling how he will react if he gets jostled or doesn't have things go his way in the early going. And that is where experience comes in. There is no substitute for having that 2-year-old foundation. Look at Curlin. We are all seeing how good he has become, yet, he was not experienced enough to win the Derby.

Also, how many times have we seen horses come off dominating final preps and look nearly unbeatable entering the Derby only to flounder on the first Saturday in May? It happens all the time. Sweetnorthensaint (2006 Illinois Derby) and Point Given (2001 Santa Anita Derby) are the first that pop into my head. I'm sure you guys could name a dozen more examples.

Look, I am not here to tell you that Big Brown is overrated. You want to get excited about him, I'm all for it. I hope he becomes a star. Don't forget, I was one of the first to bring him to the public's attention a couple of days after his Gulfstream allowance romp on March 5.

All I'm saying is, let's not get crazy. I'm already hearing talk about Big Brown winning the Derby by seven lengths and even the Triple Crown. It's way too premature for any of that. Remember, less than a month ago the War Pass bandwagon was so crowded there was no room left. All it took was one bad performance for most of those people to fall off, and fall off hard. 

This is horse racing. There are no guarantees. In the immortal words of Denny Green, "if you want to crown his *ss, go ahead."

I think I'll wait.


***By the way, if you are a Big Brown fan and would like to purchase his photos, or photos of some of your other favorites, go to

Also, if you haven't done it already, check out our March Into May contest, where you get to vote for the greatest Thoroughbred of all time.




Leave a Comment:


The other recent horse to come off a dominating performance and then run like a pig in the Derby was Bellamy Road. He won the Wood by like 17 lengths and was nowhere on Derby day.

01 Apr 2008 10:04 PM

Well put Jason, there's no denying his ability, but experience goes a Very Long Way when it comes to the Derby, as history has proven. Pyro is one of the few 3 y.o's who has improved or kept his form from last year,which wasn't too shabby I might add. So,"go ahead and crown his *ss",lol....I'll stick with my boy Pyro!

01 Apr 2008 10:37 PM

I feel the same way. He has not dealt with real traffic. On Kentucky Derby Day he will deal with 19 other competitors about half ho can beat him on that day. He is a great horse but I still love Pyro, Court Vision and Denis of Cork to still give him a run for his money.

01 Apr 2008 11:42 PM

Let me go on record as being the one who said Big Brown will win by 7 lengths and let me tell you why you can put the roses on him now.

1. Many things can happen in a field of 20 but BB is really only in a race with 1 or 2 others because of his early speed.

2. Because of that early speed he will likely sit just off the speed or take the lead into the first turn if there is not enough speed.

3. BB is a freak and can sustain his speed with ease and will not have to rush for position saving him for the long stretch run.

4. His first race this year was a 104 Beyer his second was even higher and his third should have in peak form with a 115 Beyer.

5. No other 3 year old has even matched Big Browns first try on dirt 104.

6. Big Brown did race as a 2 year old and ran away from a large field on grass.

7. Lightly raced and well rested with 5 weeks to train will be a big advantage.

8. The biggest reason is simple this horse is simply a superior athlete.  Did you really have to watch Michael Jordan for more than 5 minutes to figure out he was simply better than everyone else?

01 Apr 2008 11:43 PM

Admittedly it is risky and too early to ignore some good and improving three year old colts at this stage of the season but, based upon the evidence so far, the Kentucky Derby is a two horse race.  Those fans who appreciate that extra class and dominating power in a special thoroughbred cannot look beyond Big Brown and War Pass.  These two are head and shoulders above the rest including the consistent and hard knocking Pyro and El Gato Malo.

01 Apr 2008 11:59 PM

Jason, excellent post and I totally agree with you. Big Brown does look like a freak and a budding superstar; never-the-less, I think the KY Derby is the hardest race to win, and a lot of things have to go right. A horse can't rely on raw talent alone, and all the conditions you mentioned can lead to a horse's success or his failure. It's good for people to be reminded of the facts when some heads may be in the clouds but the feet are completely off the ground.

This is going back a lot of years, but I remember a remark one of my high school football coaches once made: "There's no substitute for experience." With regard to the KY Derby, he hit the nail right on the head.

02 Apr 2008 12:31 AM


I'll agree with you but with an asterisk.  If War Pass doesn't get back to top form, the Derby will be as Trevor Denman says, "...AN ABSOLUTE PROCESSION."  From the 12 hole, with those fractions...even at GP where speed's king at 9f I was very, very impressed.  His feet are a big concern but the top horses in each crop overcome minor ailments while lesser animals run up the track.  IF War Pass wires the Wood...this Derby will feature a fantastic pace battle I feel neither will survive.  Pyro's a supreme stayer and if he gets a prep a la Street Sense last year in the Blue Grass, could 4-1 on him be a possibility on Derby day?  Dark horse:  Texas Wildcatter, who can run 2nd to loose War Pass in the Wood which should give him earnings for the Derby.  A son of Monarchos, who blazed to a Derby win after chasing Congaree in the Wood, the gray may repeat history.

02 Apr 2008 12:55 AM
Jason Shandler

Dray: Your thoughts on Big Brown are well known by now. In fact, we've heard you tout this horse as the next coming ever since I posted his allowance race video. But c'mon pal, enough is enough. He has run three races and you are handing him the Derby by 7 lengths. You obviously have not watched enough horse racing to know that there are many more factors that go into winning the Kentucky Derby than just winning a prep race by a large margin and running a high beyer figure. Let's hold off all the Michael Jordan comparisons until the horse actually wins something, OK? After all, Jordan didnt win anything until he was in the league for many years.

02 Apr 2008 10:52 AM
Billy D.

I'm gonna do everyone a favor and give them this years Derby Winner, Colonel John. Don't thank me now. I've seen too many "he's the Next Secretariat" for me to anoint Big Brown. For example, "Arazi" "Easy Goer" "Holy Bull" & "Favorite Trick" to name a few. All these horses weren't supposed to lose on Derby day. Let it be known, no horse is a cinch on the First Saturday in May, even if they make the race, remember "Summer Squall"? Pyro's 'Beyers' are too slow and numbers don't lie. As of now take heed and 'Colonel John'(pending the result of the SA Derby of course)!

02 Apr 2008 12:41 PM

Yes Big Brown ran away and hide in the grade 1 florida derby, but who did he really beat. In the field those horses barely could hit a 90 beyer. Elysium Fields the highest regarded horse in the race need 5 to break his maiden. Tomcito (my belmont winner) was coming in off a 5 month lay off let alone first in NA. BB got to the lead and no one came at him to pressure him on the fast fractions. Lets see what happens when the gates open at churchill downs and 20 horses fly out of the gate. I dont think it will be as easy as he made it look last weekend.

02 Apr 2008 12:52 PM

draynay:It's obvious your predicting the outcome of the Derby on a perfect scenario,(dream on,won't happen).The Derby is a Calvary Charge going into the 1st turn,and it's practically all-out from then on with EVERYBODY fighting to get position.This is where you seperate the Men from the Boys,when many of horse get frustrated by all of the jockeying,Jostling,Bumping&Mayhem involved.Even if BB gets the lead from the gate,he no doubt will get pressured from the get-go,horses coming at him from different angles.Which is something he has not faced to date,so forget about trying to Rate him behind horses,his handlers already mentioned that he wont do it!.That is were experience and versatility comes in,when things don't go as planned.And this is Exactly the Reason why Pyro is MY choice.He has No problem adapting to different pace scenarios,he's Tough,has been stuck in traffic,bullied his way through in-between other horses and Asserted himself with ease.He should improve in the Bluegrass Stakes and be primed for the Derby!...this is My Opinion,but I will Digress further speculation until after Pyro Destroys the Bluegrass field..heh,heh!

02 Apr 2008 4:36 PM

I'm of two minds concerning Big Brown. The first is that this horse is just better than any other 3-year-old in the country and will run the other horses into the ground in Kentucky. On the other hand, he'll be in an entirely different atmosphere at Churchill Downs against horses and jockeys who won't give him an inch.

As for history, we're almost getting to the point where we can throw the past out the window. Times have changed, and lightly raced horses are almost the norm in the Kentucky Derby. Three races isn't much, but is it that much different than five or six races?

Regardless, the debate and build up make the Derby such a great race.

02 Apr 2008 4:47 PM
Mike Relva

Jason: You make great points regarding Big Brown. While I think he's gifted, I'm one of the few that hasn't dropped off the War Pass bandwagon. I have no doubt Saturday you will see as far as talent fares the others aren't even in War Pass's area code! Also,Pyro is a good horse, but I can't stand his trainer. It was a pleasure viewing his expression on the nite he lost trainer of the year to Todd. We need more trainer's like the great Jack Van Berg and fewer of him!

02 Apr 2008 8:00 PM

A couple of comments regarding Big Brown's victory in the Florida Derby. First, who did he beat? I don't think there were any Grade 1 (North America) winners that he faced; this could mean he hasn't really beaten anyone yet. Secondly, the track ( Florida Derby), was very fast and favoring speed that day, and by the way, I don't think BB's time was the fastest at the distance that day, check out Electrify's win. Which makes me a little hesitant to name him my favorite for the Derby, regardless if he's raced only three times going into it. The track at Churchill can present a whole different scenario for these horses, and it always remains to be seen if they take to it or not. And then there's those darn quarter cracks...

02 Apr 2008 10:11 PM

Well... let's talk about the Wood and the Bluegrass!

I am taking one last shot on Tale of Ekati.  He got pinched back and never got on track... I am picking him for the upset win in the Wood.

Visionaire seems to be improving and Pyro may be upset by an improving Visionaire who should take to the poly surface.

Predicition-  Wood- Tale of Ekati

Bluegrass- Visionaire

02 Apr 2008 10:58 PM

Predict !!!  This is what I mean... who did he beat ?  He beat every horse he has ever faced by 5 lengths or more.  A large field of talented grass maidens got beat by 12.  An allowance group got beat by 10 and in a GRADE 1 race he beat every horse but 1 by 12 lengths!!! He has won on grass, dirt one turn, dirt two turn out of the impossible 12 hole!  No he hasn't raced a Churchill Downs yet and no he hasn't walked on water but he has put up two of the fastest Beyers back to back of any 3 year old in the running.  If your going to back a horse let me know who he is and why... Pyro can't beat War Pass and War Pass came in dead last his last race.

Tomcito got crushed and Blackberry Road has won nothing but his ... who's your horse?

02 Apr 2008 11:10 PM
the wiz

No question Big Brown ran a huge race in the Fla. Derby. I was impressed by the way he did it but he really beat nobody on a speed favoring track. His quarter crack problems are a concern. When he hits the track at Churchill Downs which is much harder it will be a challenge. Post position in the Derby will be critical. If he is stuck outside War Pass and others with some speed do you really think he will be allowed good position into the first turn. He has a bullseye on his back now. This derby looks to have the potential of a huge speed duel. Carrying your speed over the track at GP for 1 1/8 is nothing compared to carrying your speed over the track at CD for 1 1/4. Don't annoit him yet. Certainly the potential is there but that is why they run the race, to see who is the best on the first Saturday in May.

03 Apr 2008 8:30 AM

I'll give Big Brown credit for what he's done. I won't over-hype him but neither will I downplay him. I think he did beat some very good horses from a precarious post in the Florida Derby, and even though the Gulfstream track has been speed bias, it was visually impressive. Now it remains to be seen if he continues going forward, not only on the first Saturday in May but down the road as well. If he does, then more praise will be justified.

In the meantime, War Pass is running his last prep on Saturday. I hope he wins, but if he runs back to his form, a victory isn't absolutely necessary, although obviously desirable. I want him to have plenty in reserve for the extra furlong he'll need to go in the KY Derby, so I'm not looking for 'lights out,' in the Wood Memorial but rather just a solid effort. And I'd like to see him deal with some adversity and not wait until the biggest race to decide if he wants to handle it. I have every confidence that he'll come through like the champion he is.

03 Apr 2008 10:06 AM

I disagree strongly with the remark that Curlin failed to win the Derby because of a lack of experience. Sure he only had 3 starts, but Curlin is a rare exception. Curlin failed to win the Derby because he got boxed in. Watch the race 100 times if you have to, I know I have. Curlin was a horse with patience, and a lot of it. Watch all his prep and TC races. He did what he was asked. Almost all three year old colts do not have the level of maturity that Curlin showed us, and still continues to do so.

Curlin was just one of those good horses, that got a bad trip. As you said above not always the best horse wins.

I would also like to add that Street Sense's win was probably the luckiest win in Derby history. No horse makes his way through a field like that.

Three great 3 year olds of 2007: Curlin, Street Sense, and Hard Spun. I will never forget them,or their accomplishments. However, I would bet money that in 50 years you will have to look in the archives to ever clearly remember them.

03 Apr 2008 1:51 PM
Jason Shandler

Jessica: You are entitled to your opinion, but I happen to think your are completely wrong. Street Sense was lucky? Wow. You said you watched the race 100 times. Maybe you need to watch it 101. No horse who makes that kind of move is lucky. Street Sense was a deserving winner. As far as Curlin, inexperience certainly was a factor. He improved with every race after the Derby. Seasoning, maturity, call it what you will. Three races (none as a 2-year-old) are not enough to prepare a horse for the Derby.

03 Apr 2008 1:57 PM

i saw the florida derby on espn 2 on saturday, and yes i was impress by big brown's performance, but i was more impress by smooth air. i could see him coming in 2nd or 3rd in the derby, and tomcito he could also do something in the derby. i really don't think big brown is winning the derby, i will love to war pass to win but i don't think he will either i think pyro, cool cool man, blackberry road or el gato malo ( which is winning the SD ) will win. but if for some reason out of this world happen it'll be nice, i rather see him win that the overrated denis of cork.

03 Apr 2008 2:06 PM

Big Brown, Big Brown, Big Brown, bet him down!! If he isn't at least 4-1 on the big day he's not worth playing. He had to have this race to qualify for the Derby so was fully cranked. Ever hear of the "bounce"? Remember Millenium Wind who ran a 110 beyer in the Blue Grass in his last prep before the Derby and then wilted on the big day? He had to have the Blue Grass to move ahead as well and was fully cranked too soon. Of course the skin problems may have had something to do with it but his trainer assured everyone it would not. Skin problems, no skin problem, foot problems, no foot problem. Peaking too early, get the pic? Demand some value if you bet Big Brown. We've seen it before even if some cannot acknowledge it. There is no such thing as a lock. Bet him down to 2-1 and I'll be looking somewhere else for my play.

03 Apr 2008 2:50 PM

Three starts, six starts, whatever...records are made to be broken AND there is always the exception.  Like you said "this is horse racing". Records bear out that the Triple Crown is a hard nut to crack, but that too will happen again someday...  

03 Apr 2008 3:10 PM
jon h

does anyone know how many horses started the derby with only 3 career starts???  93 yrs. sounds impressive, but how many have really tried? I like his chances.

03 Apr 2008 3:47 PM
Monica V

I agree this horse seems pretty amazing but He has to run in the derby to win it.  If he's such a sure thing, why don't they just call it off and give him the blanket of roses?  Sorry, he may very well win the derby boy seven lengths but he may not.

Big Brown has to step up and run those triple crown races first before you crown him.  He may very well not like the track, not like the crowd and lose.  I thought Curlin would win last year but it was too much for him.  You just never know, there is never a sure thing in racing.

03 Apr 2008 3:57 PM
"Look at Curlin. We are all seeing how good he has become,yet,he was not experienced enough to win the Derby"

I'm sorry but thats just all wrong. With 20 horses in one race it's all about luck. Unless your horse is just a freak you roll the dice like anyone else. Besides the way horses are ran today there really isn't any experience that will prepare a horse to deal with a pack of that size, let alone 150,000 screaming people.

03 Apr 2008 4:16 PM
Jason Shandler

WDK: It's not ALL about luck. Luck plays a part, but not having a race as a 2-year-old certainly DOES matter in the Derby. History has proven that many times over.

03 Apr 2008 5:11 PM

BB may be the horse to beat, he's certainly talented, but I'm not for giving him the red flowers just yet.  There's always enough speed and traffic in the Derby to get the best horse beat.  It's not the best horse that wins, it's the horse that gets to the finish line first.  Am I the only person who remembers Giacomo?    

03 Apr 2008 5:54 PM

I'm ....sorry,I said I won't comment until After Pyro Destroys the Bluegrass field!! I feel an ulcer attack!!

03 Apr 2008 6:01 PM

Just to throw this out there: I think Rags To Riches was the Best 3y.o. last year, regardless of gender! Might have won the triple Crown,who knows?....ok,i feel better now.

03 Apr 2008 6:27 PM
Mindy Corbin

I really have to agree with Billy D on Colonel John. He is a long striding colt who has had had excellent works under his belt. Eoin Harty has has done an excellent job @ getting him peaking @ the right time. Love his pedigree (Tiznow) as they can run all day.  Go John !!!!!!!!

03 Apr 2008 7:18 PM

Big Brown proved he is awfully talented and special with his victory in the Florida Derby and so did Tomcito who rallied from last to finish third in his North American debut off a 4-month layoff. Word has it Tomcito had a cough on race week and connections intended to work him 3 1/2 furlongs the Monday before the race, but his rider misunderstood the instructions and put the colt through a 7 furlong workout missing the instructions completely. Off this alone I have to think Tomcito ought to move up several lengths in the next race he is enter. As one blogger said, he should be tough in the Belmont if all falls in place.

03 Apr 2008 7:26 PM

Was it me or my TV?  It looked like Big Brown lugged in during the stretch and did quite a bit of dancing around once he cleared horses.  It looked like it was his third start.  Wait until he gets around the 15 other "green allowance types" who are kicking their Santa Fe New Mexico Jockeys.  Easy Goer was beat by a $20,000 yearling that almost died in a truck crash coming back from a sale where no one bought him.  Just to prove this was not a fluke the same horse hooked him again two weeks later. I'm always leary of the second coming of Secretariat types.  

03 Apr 2008 7:53 PM
Easy Goer

    Bellamy Road wasn't the only recent horse to come off a dominating performance in a Derby prep then run like a pig in the Derby.  Just a year later, Sinister Minister crushed the field in the Bluegrass then ran up the track in the Derby.

As for Pyro, no he probably can't beat War Pass at 1 1/8 or below when he is uncontested on the lead.  However, War Pass can't and won't beat Pyro at 1 1/4 even with an uncontested lead (which he won't get in the Derby to begin with). BTW, Pyro will win the Bluegrass if nothing more than because since Keeneland has went to polytrack, the course plays to his closing style. Before polytrack at Keeneland all you had to do was figure out who was getting the 1/4 pole with the lead and you had your winner.

As for Big Brown, he is very talented and there is no denying that. However, one grass race in August at 2 doesn't substantiate a good 2 year old foundation. Big Brown only beat one somewhat proven horse in the Florida Derby & that was Majestic Warrior. Elysium Fields' performance is a throwout as he was simply too overheated to even run well.   loved him going into the race, but even I threw him out once I saw him in the post parade. As far as talent is concerned, Big Brown has the most, but like many have already said, luck plays a part in the Derby.  'm anxious to see how Big Brown will react once Desormeaux has to go to the whip more than once down the stretch. The horse had never had the whip used on him until the Florida Derby and that was only once. Did you see BB try to lug out down the stretch in the FL Derby as well? Kent D was pulling hard on that left reign. He's still green and green horses simply don't win the Derby. There are too many factors and talent alone just isn't enough to get the job done. That is the reason why no horse hasn't won the Derby in 93 years with only 3 lifetime starts.

03 Apr 2008 8:23 PM

Great comments, for the most part, and its great to see all of your passionate opinions. However, many of the opinions are also evidence as to why there is still so much 'value' on the board in most races run each day around the country. Givens: if you ask someone 'who is the most purely talented 3yo so far?' - the answer is clear Big Brown. 'Who has the most pure speed?' - War Pass.  'Who is the most professional?'  Pyro.  But this is all irrelevant at present - for if the question is 'who am I gonna bet on in the Derby' the answer is 'wait'll I get my Form, study it the night before, and check the odds board one last time at 5 minutes to post.'  How can anyone decide who is going to win  - much less who to bet to make a profit - 'til they see the final field, posts, riders, workouts, etc.  If you can truly pick the winner TODAY for the first Saturday in May, you are either a) very lucky or b) very VERY lucky.  

03 Apr 2008 9:07 PM

i'm really offended it by jessica's words, street sense won by luck. are you crazy? he beat curlin fair and square, even hard spun beat curlin that day. you just need to watch the preakness to know that street sense was as competieve as curlin was. don't get me wrong i love curlin but i'm also a street sense and hard spun fan. i was at the breeders cup last year went curlin won. i'm sticking with the second favorite. if you do research before you bet you should know most of the time the second choice win if not as barbaro.

03 Apr 2008 10:05 PM

In my opinion, the horse to beat in this year's derby is Colonel John.  

03 Apr 2008 10:08 PM

the underestimation of pyro against this "fastest 3yo in the world" is mind blowing. this hoss is just starting his run while the other two are gasping at the head of the churchill's PYRO going away in derby...brown and war pass...not against that hoos on that track on that of luck to all

03 Apr 2008 10:31 PM

Derby Prediction:  

Big (not Brown) Truck

Preakness Prediction:  Big Truck

Belmont Prediction:  Tomcito

Can I get a OH YEAH!!!

For all you Big Brown Fans, remember this:  You're betting the wrong BIG horse.

For all you War Pass Fans,

remember this:  He's not really that good (as the Beyers people say he is).

For all you Big Truck fans:  Tagg told you so....

03 Apr 2008 10:49 PM

How many times does Pyro have to lose to War Pass before you say ...hmmm maybe he can't beat War Pass.... is 3 times not enough?

03 Apr 2008 11:24 PM

whoa!!! underestimation of Pyro??  Pyro is 2nd choice as of now to win the Derby when in actuality he is hopeless.  Way too slow, too lightly framed.  Big Brown is a beast...I see this as our next superhorse...That Florida Derby was 10x tougher a race then the Wood/SA derby/ARK derby will be on saturday.  Im saying that Pyro going by Z Fortune and Blackberry Road in the stretch is a given.  Those are horses that would not win a conditioned allowance race at Gulfstream.  War pass will not even make the derby field after disappoiting again in the Wood

03 Apr 2008 11:56 PM

I studied the form the night before, did the number crunching, only to have my pick A.P. Indy scratch the day of the Derby!  Racing luck is right...

04 Apr 2008 1:41 AM

"Dominating Performance prior to the Derby?"  Does anyone remember Mr. Frisky?  Probably not.  

04 Apr 2008 1:45 AM

Even though, I am not from Missouri, I will say that Big Brown will have to "Show Me" that he will win under the pressure of the KY Derby. I really like, Smooth Air. Five starts as a two year old and two great starts in 2008. Reminds me of Funny Cide's record from 2003. I also like Pyro as he has looked great in 2008. Colonel John and El Gato Malo look interesting. El Gato Malo and Yankee Bravo will have to run well this Saturday to even have a spot in the KY Derby. Interestingly, Hank Goldberg from ESPN still has El Gato Malo (The Mean Cat in Spanish) as his top pick!

04 Apr 2008 2:27 AM

All those comments and only one guy mentions Electrify's race and the way the track was playing. Great ride by KD, but I'll pass on BB in the big one and see what the 'Yankee' does in the SA before leaping into the fray. BB and the hype ponies may not hit the board and the exotics may be huge.

04 Apr 2008 8:09 AM

Assuming everything goes as expected for War Pass in the Wood, coming into the Kentucky Derby, it appears to me that he and Big Brown will be the only real speed. If they both get clean breaks from decent posts, they'll set all the pace (I realize this is a big "if").

This really provides a lot of anticipation because we still don't know if one or both will be rated, and if they won't, they'll have to carry themselves a long way. Big Brown may be more likely to rate, but who really knows? Just like War Pass, Big Brown is so used to being out in front and having his own way, that the two horses may really get into a dogfight.

And then...

04 Apr 2008 10:26 AM

Lets wait until the other preps are run and see if anybody hits a speed rating over 100 at 1 1/8 miles like Big Brown did so easily.

So far he has shown himself to be faster than Pyro,War Pass and all the rest.....with less experience.That he overcame the outside post and fast pace in the Fla Derby says a lot about his potential...The problem feet are a real concern as he will need some hard training between now and the Derby.Unless somebody really runs a big race ,Big Brown will be the favorite....IF he makes the Derby..

04 Apr 2008 10:44 AM
Travis Lohre

I'll keep this short and simple, Big Brown is my choice and Curlin was last year, heading into the Derby Curlin won his 3 starts by 4 lenghs farther then Big Brown has. Who's the best horse in the world??? Who won the Derby last year?????

Enough Said

04 Apr 2008 11:05 AM
Jessica H.

(I had to change my post name because I realized there was another Jessica already posting).

PP:  Trying to stir the pot eehhh?

I am very happy that Big Brown won his prep, and I hope that War Pass wins the Wood easily.  Both will be at low odds and will be great bets against on Derby day.  War Pass isn't good enough to win the Derby (never bought into all the hype this horse was receiving).  Big Brown is a freak (has been since his first start), but experience does come into play in the Derby.  With this being said, one day, a horse will win the KD off of only 3 starts just as Street Sense broke the Juvy/Derby jinx last year.  I just don't know if Big Brown will be the one to break it, but I certainly won't be betting him at the price that he will go off on Derby day.  If he beats me, then it will be a great day for the sport, and I will be clapping at such a major feat despite me losing my bets.  I'll stick with Colonel John whose bandwagon I have been on since the beginning.  He's tough, he has heart, he looks the part, and he is very talented.  The Beyers leading up to the Derby are meaningless this year because the synthetic surface BSFs are so dumbed down, so I'm not paying much attention to the speed figures.  Pyro is also better than his 95.  As for the other Jessica, Curlin will go down in history as one of the best we have ever seen.  No one will have to look in the archives to remember him.  As for the Street Sense comment, I have to agree with you somewhat.  The horse was very good, and absolutely loved Churchill Downs, but the seas parted for him on the rail, which was pure luck.  

04 Apr 2008 11:39 AM
Bryce Be Quick

Big Brown IS impressive. Come the Derby, give me a horse who has had dirt kicked in his face, a horse who's character has been tested and who has shown heart. Is Big Brown that horse? I am not yet convinced. Right now, Pyro and Court Vision, to name but two, come infinitely closer than Big Brown in meeting my criterion, above.

04 Apr 2008 11:55 AM

I have the pleasure of having been high on Colonel John since before he won the Real Quiet - now THAT'S taking a handicapping stand on guts alone!  It's so easy for people to jump on the "now" horse's bandwagon - but that doesn't mean they are right.  I was impressed by Big Brown, but Bellamy Road is too fresh in my memory to pick him yet - let alone crown him.  I agree - not enough experience and never a hard trip.  Time will tell if I'm right or wrong.  But...the Colonel has been just quietly getting better - do you hear much about him in comparison to other horses?  No.  Harty is closemouthed for the most part, the Casner's aren't all over the news touting their chances...just quietly going about their business.  To me - that tells volumes.  This is a talented horse with the right style, breeding and prep to run big on Derby day.  He is peaking at the right time - and no one is noticing because he's running on synthetics.  What synthetic question? - his sire sure didn't mind running on dirt - why should he!  Colonel John is my pick as we go into the final countdown!

04 Apr 2008 12:47 PM

I think Jessica H. said it well. I was very impressed with Big Brown's Fla Derby. Exceptional run from the 12 post by a beautiful, powerful striding colt. That said, there's no way I'll bet him for the Derby.  1 race at 2 in Sept.  2 races in March.  3 total.  No thanks.  Besides what I consider to be suspect foundation, his feet issues, and likely low odds... IF War pass is in, it should be exciting up front.  Those that say its no problem for BB to rate... well, we'll see.  I'm downgrading his rating in the turf race... and mainly going by his 2 dirt races.  He may rate a bit but if War Pass is in and he runs just a length or so off and they run 46 and 1.10 or so... I say they'll both be in trouble.  In any event, I just don't think BB has the foundation to win and don't think he'll win the Derby.  I'm heavily leaning to Colonel John right now.  If he runs no worse than third by a few lengths in the SA Derby... and runs a strong final quarter... then he's the pick.

04 Apr 2008 2:39 PM

I'm reading all this about Pyro not being"fast enough",beyers are "too low",he "can't beat War Pass".Nonsense people,Nonsense!..Pyro is a push-button type of horse,meaning he can lay wherever his Jockey positions him,because he's Always going to give you that Tremendous Closing Kick,the Best in his class the last 2yrs.His beyers(which only matter when comparing them to horses that ran in the same race anyways),are so-called low,only because the first part of his Preps have been slow running,and yet he still came home FLYING in an Exceptional final 1/8ths.He's the"fastest down the stretch",no doubt!Imagine what he'll do with solid fractions in-front,and several horses going at-it!..As far as him not beating War Pass "last year".Well,first:War Pass had "easy uncontested leads" in his wins against Pyro,..second:2/3 of the races were 1 turn events,the 3rd. was the B.C.Juvenile in which War Pass loved the muddy track!Yet,Pyro was WELL CLEAR of the other horses while closing with a rush!And I dont think he can beat Pyro going 1 1/8 miles+ any way,especially 2 turning!In fact judging by how Pyro finishes,he should Roll Past his competition going 1 1/4.Pyro is more Professional & Polished than he was in 07'.And as far as being "lightly framed", dotcom:a rival owner ducked him in the LaDerby because he thought Pyro looked like a "Beast" with forearms like "Sonny Liston"!And about the FlaDerby being the toughest prep?,the contenders didn't run a step,so the field he beat is"suspect"!Lets wait til' ALL preps are over and done with first!..Big Brown won't know what hit em' when he's surrounded in the Derby and feels the Whip turning into Churchills' loooong stretch for Home.I think ALL of these "new" situations will Undo Big Brown and he'll "give it up",like a suburban teenager being sequestered by the KGB!...

04 Apr 2008 3:38 PM

To Jason, the Jessica that mentioned Street Sense's lucky trip and to the Jessica that liked Colonel John (Maybe the same Jessica).

Disgruntled Hard Spun Fan here in Philadelphia.

Jason, of Street Sense KYD win you wrote "No horse who makes that kind of move is lucky."

I agree - in part.

Surely it requires power, class, vision, experience, etc. for a horse and jockey to execute that move.

However, for a horse and jockey to be given the opportunity to attempt THAT move in THAT race makes them some of the luckiest SOBs I have ever seen.

(Not that I consider them SOBs, it's just the Philly thing.)

All props and respect to SS, Carl and Calvin.

The best horse at that time won that race, and to win it, he had to be the best.

But we are also talking about a degree of luck which approaches divine intervention.

Watch it 100 times from the overhead camera.

And I'm with Jessica on Colonel John.

I like the Tiz and the Turk mix.

No concern regarding the stamina and distance.


04 Apr 2008 6:14 PM
Hester B.

Maybe Big Brown won't win the Derby, whether its due to lack of seasoning, lack of luck, lack of soundness...whatever.  But horses like him are what make horse racing fans out of people like me.  He gives you goosebumps when you see him run, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, we will all end up witnessing something remarkable on the first Saturday in May.  I'm only 25, so I don't know what it was like to watch a horse like Secretariat or Seattle Slew approaching the Triple Crown races.  They did not disappoint their fans. I have NEVER seen a Triple Crown winner, and until I do I will continue to hold out hope that one of these years, the "freak" of the crop will deliver.  It's still okay to dream, right?

Oh, and for the record, in one year we saw Rags to Riches buck 102 years of history and Street Sense break the BC Juvenile Jinx.  All it takes is one good horse to rewrite the history books.

04 Apr 2008 6:34 PM

Derby hype...the same thing happens year after year.  Only recently have Derby "favorites" began to win.  I'll be looking forward to the $35,000 superfecta.  

04 Apr 2008 8:22 PM

Really interesting comments, I have enjoyed reading all the different comments! Whether your a fan of Big Brown or Pyro or Colonel John its still 30 days till the first Saturday in May and several very important prep races to go. If your a fan of Colonel John I don't understand how you can possibly be satisfied running third in the Santa Anita Derby? If your a Pyro fan, if he gets to far off the pace, it might be very hard to get around and through a wall of horses coming down the back stretch. What if Big Brown draws a post on the far outside, it may have to run 7 or 8 wide for a long ways before he can get towards the inside. I think someone made the point that several of these horse are good enough to win the derby, but only one of them will get the dream trip the first Saturday in May! Good Luck to All!

04 Apr 2008 11:03 PM

I'll tell you what I hope doesn't happen. If War Pass and Big Brown  get it on, I just hope they don't beat each other into submission, not only because some other horse will swoop down and pick up the pieces, but also because I'd hate to see either horse "knocked out" and unable to race for awhile.

War Pass still has a distance question and if he gets into it with Big Brown, he'll probably have to run his eyeballs out. Even if he does win, he might possible be spent and the next race is only two weeks later. I remember Saint Liam trying to beat Ghostzapper in the 2004 Woodward and that duel took so much out of him that he was knocked for a loop and missed that year's Breeders' Cup.

As for Big Brown, he's already been sidelined twice with quarter-cracks. Even though he looks awfully tough, he's never been tested like he will be in this race. His speed may carry him, but will his feet? And then depending on how he does, he might go in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. That's a lot of racing over considerable distances of ground in a span of only five weeks. Hopefully the foot issues are all behind him.

I hope everything works out, not only for these two, but that all the horses run well and finish up sound.

04 Apr 2008 11:40 PM

KY derby exacta BB over Smooth air...sound familiar? will pay way over 100 bucks too!!

05 Apr 2008 1:00 AM

OK, Draynay, This may surprise you coming from me after what I posted earlier about Big Brown....but he really is my horse for the Derby. I think if he stays healthy, he could win the Triple Crown. He shows me things I haven't seen since Seattle Slew. Big Brown shows an attitude to be in front of any other horse he faces, and that combined with tremendous physical ability will carry him past every other horse I've seen this year. When he and War Pass go at it he will destroy that horse and when he's done with him he will repulse Pyro and anyone else who comes at him, with shear physical superiority and a stallions attitude that only the best of all time seem to share. Some here speak of experience and number of races, etc. ,etc. ,but this is a horse that rises above those statistics, if you just listen and watch you will see that people who have close experience with Big Brown, and I mean people who have lived and breathed horses their entire adult life, people like Kent Desormeaux , know a great horse when they see one, and they are all saying this is a great horse.

05 Apr 2008 1:26 AM

For those who like Pyro...the Horse to watch in the SA Derby is Yankee Bravo.  Similar closing kick in the LaDerby just a little too far back.  Add another 1/8 mile and his breeding easily passes Pyro.  

05 Apr 2008 2:45 AM

I hope they can get Big Brown to run straight in the stretch.  It is difficult enough turning the corner and seeing 100,000 screeming fans come Derby Day. Are 3 races and a good race against some allowance types enough?  Other than the ability to clear the field from the 12 hole what did he get out of the FLA Derby?  Add 19 horses, 10 of them also dancing around, a bistering 45 sec 1/2 mile split, Jockeys who have never started at CD, and you have the typical KY Derby upset.  I'm looking for this years Giacomo.  

05 Apr 2008 2:58 AM

You saw Rags to Riches forced into a race she didn't belong in and beat Curlin due to a 5 lb advantage.  Curlin went on to be horse of the year and Rags to Riches NEVER won another race. The strain of Belmont ended a great fillies career. Some history that is...

05 Apr 2008 10:37 AM

Somebody mentioned that Big Brown could possibly win the Triple Crown. Sure, anything is possible, but whoa! He still hasn't won the KY Derby yet, and I hope War Pass beats him to the finish line.

Let's take it one race at a time. If a horse wins the first two legs, then I'll get excited  about a possible Triple Crown sweep.

05 Apr 2008 1:34 PM

draynay:  of course Rags to Riches belonged in the Belmont,SHE WAS the Best 3y.o. last year.She beat Curlin fair and square regardless of the 5lb. advantage. After stumbling & going to her nose at the break,she raced 5 wide throughout,widest of all horses in the race.Rags to Riches was a Tremendous Filly, I wish they would've ran her in the Derby, It's just too bad she was injured.

05 Apr 2008 2:43 PM

It's nice to be right !!! As predicted Tale of Ekati wins the Wood and now I can stop hearing about Denis of Cork or War Pass winning the Derby. If you a fan of either horse... find a new horse!

Next... Visionaire wins the Bluegrass!

05 Apr 2008 6:42 PM

Yes, Tale of Ekati won the Wood, but he needed help to do it. Fair enough, that's horse racing, but if Inner Light hadn't been in there forcing War Pass to set those kind of fractions, the champ would have won. There's no way Tale of Ekati could have taken down War Pass by himself.

My hat does go off to the winner,  but I'm very proud of War Pass. I hope people now realize that this horse has guts and is willing to lay his heart on the line.

Whether War Pass runs in the KY Derby or not, I can tell you this: I'm NOT looking for another horse. I love this horse.

05 Apr 2008 11:51 PM

i just came back from the wood memorial great race, it was preaty close for war pass, too bad he loss a close second. tale of ekati will not be that lucky on the derby, the only thing i'm greatful is that denis of cork loss like he did. visionaire will not win the blugrass if pyro don't win i could say cool cool man should. war pass ran a decent race, i hope he does star in the derby. i could see him either placing or showing.

06 Apr 2008 12:05 AM
Frankie S

OK. I have listened to all the comments about War Pass, Pyro,Big Brown,Colonel John,(who was very impressive in the SD).Although War Pass ran 2nd in the wood,it was his 1st real race since the BCJ and a tough one that he needed.I!m not so sure he can get the 1 1/4 miles of the Derby but I cant count him out either.The one horse nobody talks about is FOY winner CoolCoalMan.Was he tired or just loafing at the end of that impressive race.Being by Mineshaft and a late May(24th) colt he has much room to improve even more.We will see in the BG although being on Poly won!t be a difinitive answer,and only giving him 3 weeks before the Derby I am not happy about.So, in the end I stil think he is the horse to beat,as I have since last year.

06 Apr 2008 10:05 AM

Will the Santa Anita Derby runner up Bob Black Jack be this years Hard Spun?  He was supposed to hit the wall 1/8 ago.  This adds a new dimension to the unidimensional War Pass.  War Pass' final 1/16 just does not suggest he wants anything to do with distances over 1 1/16 and remember his Breeder's Cup victory came over an off track.  If Bob Black Jack goes it will once again be a blistering pace.  A pace that War Pass has demonstrated that he is unable to handle.  

06 Apr 2008 11:39 AM

Tale of Ekati...could this be the year that a Storm Cat Horse actually wins the Derby? or will the Jinx continue?

06 Apr 2008 12:04 PM

I agree with Frakie S about War Pass needing that tough run in the Wood Memorial. This could really set him up to peak in the Kentucky Derby against the other "monster" Big Brown.  Colonel John appears to be improving rapidly and could be the "fly in the ointment" for the big two.    

06 Apr 2008 2:43 PM
wilson prince

I like the variance in opinions here, thats what its all about.  Maybe I'm chasing a Derby win but after watching Barbaro's final works in 2006 and still not believing my eyes and betting on Lawyer Ron from post 17...I am going to trust my eyes this time and I'm going with Big Brown regardless of any statistics anyone can quote me.  So long as he is healthy and looking confident like he did in the post parade at Gulfstream I'm all in on Big Brown.  Good luck all around, and even still I will really be rooting for Z Fortune to win, because I loaded up early on...I can't bet enough on Big Brown at these odds to make more than I already stand to make on Z Fortune....But my eyes tell my wallet to side with Big Brown on Derby Day.

06 Apr 2008 3:17 PM
Mindy Corbin

Colonel Johns explosive performance was electrifying !!!

He did not have the best trip and still prevailed in a monstrous way...  If he has a clean, (Pray) n the Kentucky Derbey, watch out...

He has the right ''mind'' to handle it all...

06 Apr 2008 8:40 PM

Along with Pyro, Colonel John is going to be one tough cookie. Not only that, but after what I saw yesterday at Oaklawn, I have to think the California synthetic form will transfer to Churchill, even though these are two different tracks.  

Bob Black Jack is worthy of the Derby if his trainer brings him there. He doesn't have to be on the lead either, as yesterday's Santa Anita Derby demonstrated. I hope he's entered, because having a world record setting sprinter capable of going a route of ground will only add to the excitment. He seems a bit green yet, so hopefully he'll work that out. He certainly enhances the dynamic of the race. I hope Court Vision has a good race as well. Maybe he's sitting on a big one, who knows.

The horse that could actually set the pace is Recapturetheglory, although Big Brown and "my" War Pass will make sure he isn't lonely.

06 Apr 2008 11:12 PM

Colonel John certainly has the right pedegree, is super consistent (never worse than second), works well, has a trainer who interned under the best, and ran the fastest 1 1/8 of the weekend preps.  Based on breeding alone he should handle War Pass, Pyro, and BB.  

07 Apr 2008 1:03 AM

colonel john looked good because of his running style on the poly...i hate synthetic surfaces, especially for derby preps. i will tell you that the derby tri will not have one california horse or bluegrass horse...florida derby winner BB looks like a beast and watch out if tomcito eeks in on playing BB over tomcito, smooth air, and golden spikes in the derby

07 Apr 2008 3:36 AM
Matthew W

Yes, Col John is coming up to the Derby the right way--Consider: 'John didn't have to win the SA Derby---while Big Brown HAD to win Fla Derby cuz he had no graded earnings---a bounce is not under the realm---having said that, if he shows up he wins, he looked that good...and I like Col John to place 2nd to 'Bwownie----I think Pyro's Louisiana Derby was weak---his time was 10 lengths behind Circulay Quay's race on the same card-----I'd love to see Tiznow score a Derby winner---he was just that good of a horse---people forget about his back problem as a four year old----he was a whole lotta horse....

07 Apr 2008 4:21 AM
the wiz

Colonel John's performance on Saturday was brilliant. I am still concerned that no matter where they place him he always runs his first 3/4's in 1:13+. That may leave him with too much to make up in the Derby even with his explosive kick. Remember Captain Bodgit? Tale Of Ekati and War Pass could they have crawled home any slower? Unless they have adjusted the times I have seen, the last quarter by both was dawdling. I haven't seen the Beyer fig for either of these but am guessing it will not impress. The Illinois Derby although run in a very respectable time likely produced very little as far as a top Derby contender. Ever see anyone as surprised as the connections of the winner that they actually pulled it off? I can't wait for this weekend's surprises to set up another thrilling Run For The Roses. Enjoy the ride!!

07 Apr 2008 8:06 AM

Col John closed in time and won a close what? He did not run a fast time and he did not run at fast splits. Do you honestly think he can close on Big Brown who would have had a 8 length lead at the stretch? Col John has yet to break a 100 Beyer and you think he has a shot in the Derby?

07 Apr 2008 10:14 AM

I heard yesterday that Tomcito will be running in the Lexington Stakes on April 19. I guess the connections are still hoping he gets the earnings for the KY Derby, but that's only two weeks after that (if that's what they're pointing for). I like this horse and it seems that he'd be rushing it to get in. I still think his best race would be the Belmont Stakes.

I hope it works out.

07 Apr 2008 10:38 AM

dotcom: Didn't Street Sense prep for the Derby on Synthetic last year?(Bluegrass 2nd.)..yeah,thought so! Anyway, only 1 of the horses that ran this past weekend is going to factor in the Derby,Colonel John. Like I said a couple weeks ago,he's legit!..And you can toss-out the Fla.Derby horses,though I would love to see War Pass/Big Brown eyeball each other along w/the other speed horses.Watch what Pyro does to his competition in the Bluegrass next week!!...stay tuned..

07 Apr 2008 11:40 AM

draynay: If Big Brown ran on any track other than Talladega...I mean Gulfstream, the splits, final time and his beyers would be far less than what he's been given so far. And he'll be just another "impressive looking" Derby prep winner, like sooo many other Derby flops have before him!

07 Apr 2008 11:54 AM

Can anyone out there properly explain the numbers given this weekend?  Specifically, the beyers and chef-de-race performance point (PF) numbers for the SA Derby and Wood.  Tale of Ekati gets a 93 beyer and Colonel John a 95.  PF points given (the lower the number the better) were a -67 for Tale of Ekati and a -45 for Colonel John.  I understand that the Wood was run on a supposedly drying out and tiring track but c'mon.  So Tale ran a far better race?  Don't think so.  According to PF points that -67  for Tale equates to running to Par for a Kentucky Derby WINNER.  I've said all Derby prep season that there is a bias against the West Coast horses due to the synthetic surfaces.  El Gato Malo couldn't break a 100 Beyer when running a 133.2 mile.  There are other glaring instances of shaky numbers assigned.  But Colonel John can't break 95 for a 1.48 1 1/8 coming home in 23.80?  Something's out of whack.

07 Apr 2008 12:53 PM
Jessica H.

Slot, and all the others who liked the Colonel before the SA Derby, I hope you got a nice win bet off on him at that price...I can't believe that he went off at 5/2.  I was screaming for him to get up, and didn't think that he would because he was so far back.  As for the Beyers, I agree with you.  They have definitely been dumbed down on the synthetic surfaces this year.  It is ridiculous that the Colonel didn't break the 100 barrier.  That is why it is so important to watch the races.  

07 Apr 2008 1:58 PM
Jessica H.

One more thing, it's going to be really funny if the Colonel wins the KD in a really fast time because his Beyer will have to drastically jump up.  On another Gayego in the Arkansas Derby;)

07 Apr 2008 2:02 PM

With regard to Big Brown again, for anyone still not sold on him, that's perfectly legit. As I stated earlier, I'm not overhyping him, but still think he'll most likely be one of the top three KY Derby finishers.

I know we're already aware of this but it merits revisiting: his bloodlines. Big Brown's grandsire was Danzig, his damsire Nureyev. He's 3x3 Northern Dancer, 3x4 Damascus, and 4x5 Round Table. From what I've seen so far, he probably has a very high cruising speed, and whether it's dirt or grass, fast pace or slow, should run all day.

07 Apr 2008 2:58 PM

What more does the horse have to do? He won as a two year old on grass by 14.  First time ever on dirt he runs a 104 and wins by 12.

He runs in the Florida Derby against the best and brightest from the impossible 12 hole and crushes the field with mind blowing splits... what more does he have to do before you say hmmm he is going to be the one to beat in the Derby!!!

08 Apr 2008 11:27 AM

forget about what horses did in the bluegrass, that was a speed favoring track anyway if Big Brown runs a beyer in the 110-115 range he wins it for fun. I think this barn might have him ready to do it.

08 Apr 2008 11:28 PM
cybertron log

I'm not sold on Big Brown. He's big, he looks good, he ran down the rest of the field in the Florida Derby, it looks like his pedigree can pull it off, but I don't like his lack of experience and his feet. Maybe one day a horse will come and win the KDerby off of one race or something, but right now I'd like to see a horse with a solid 2-year-old foundation, like Pyro. Also, I'm not very fond of horses who have issues with their feet. It's not that I'm prejudiced against horses who have the talent to overcome their physical problems, but I'm worried about soundness issues in the future.

I can never understand the numbers and sheets game, but I think it's because my high school calculus teacher installed a healthy hatred of numbers and stats in me. I prefer looking at the horses themselves, how they move, how they run, what they've run in and against who, how they're bred, and all of you guys' comments. That's why I threw out Dennis of Cork once I heard he was being pulled out of the Rebel and going into the Illinois Derby. Forget the sheets; he NEEDED that Rebel.

I think Pyro's a great horse and I don't care that people say he's too slow. He does what he needs to do, and he's shown us what he's got while doing it. So what if he lost to War Pass three times? He's coming into his own now. I think War Pass needs to get seriously lucky to win the Derby on the front end, but War Pass (and Big Brown and Recapturetheglory and hopefully Bob Black Jack) would provide a fantastic pace.

And as a West Coaster, I'm biased towards our boys and girls. I'm endlessly amused by this intense dislike (to put it mildly) of the synthetic. I didn't like it in the beginning, but since they're not removing it anytime soon, might as well adapt to it. Looking at the Colonel, I don't think it would matter what kind of surface he ran on. His dad beat up the world on dirt, and there's Turkoman, too. Distance and stamina isn't an issue at all. He needs to quicken up, though, and stop swerving when he gets the whack on the left side. Bob Black Jack's a shocker for me - he DID look like a serious sprinter and then he comes out running in his first two routes. I hope he joins the Colonel in the KDerby gate.

09 Apr 2008 2:09 AM

Draynay, Big Brown still has to win the KY Derby, not an easy feat for any horse, no matter how good he may be. This, in my opinion, is the toughest American race to win. I hope Big Brown runs well, but he's going to have 19 other exceptional three-year-olds to contend with, including War Pass (I hope he gets there first), Pyro, Colonel John, Recaturetheglory, Court Vision, plus other horses, all wanting to get there first.

It's good to have confidence in your horse, but I would never get cocky nor would I ever underestimate my opponents.

09 Apr 2008 4:10 PM

I watched War Pass this weekend and I also watched Big Brown run in the Florida Derby. Both are magnificent horses but the things that I noticed was that War Pass never looked comfortable in the post parade or in the gate, he didn't look like he was in a positive frame of mind. When the race was over he looked completely wore out.

 When I watched Big Brown he won by 6 or 7 lengths and looked like he could have run another mile.

 Having watched those two races as well as the Tampa Bay Derby I would have to put my money on Big Brown.

09 Apr 2008 10:13 PM

Re: Easy Goer comment Apr. 3rd

You are definitely right on. There are a few good horses and the luckiest one to get a good trip will win

10 Apr 2008 6:55 PM

Could not agree more with Matthew W.  April 7.  Tiznow beats the Irish Champ Giant's Causeway and KY Derby Winner Fusaichi Pegasus in the Breeder's Cup Classic at 3.  Then he proceeds to clean up in many states at 1 1/4 miles setting a few track records along the way at this distance.  C John's female line looks just as classy.  As we all know most of these Derby Hypes are closing milers...mile sixteenth at best. (Tapit/Essense of Dubai).  I would expect to see Pyro in this years BC Mile on the Turf.  

12 Apr 2008 1:26 AM

Ok... I have seen all the preps and it has done NOTHING to change my mind... Big Brown is simply much better than these other horses.  War Pass will not get the distance... Col John has never run on dirt and barely caught two tiring front runners in the Santa.  Pyro got crushed by average horses and nearly finished last... he is just too slow.  Tale of Ekati barely finished the Wood. So who is left ?  Maybe Smooth Air... well he got crushed by Big Brown already.  Something is going to have to happen to Big Brown in the race to stop this from being an easy jog for him.  What that could be I have no idea.

12 Apr 2008 8:46 PM

Jessica H.  Gayego in the one was watching/waiting for this...seems the horses from the west have all been dismissed.  He caught Bob Black Jack in the San Felipe and just got nailed by the very consistent Georgie Boy in the last few strides.  Any one of these horses has a chance to impact the exotics. I would be fearfull to leave this years Hard Spun out (Bob Black Jack) and I don't see much now to separate Col John from Gayego. Throw out Pyro and War Pass perhaps leave in BB and go deep with anyone who has campained at SA.  

13 Apr 2008 2:58 PM

Bob Black Jack this years Hard Spun ?

The SA Derby was run in splits of 23.3 47.5 and 111.64 Hard Spun ran MUCH faster in the Derby and Big Brown ran a full second and a half faster. And for added measure Big Brown first time on dirt and two turns ran a full second faster than the great Barbaro...

14 Apr 2008 11:38 AM
Leah P.

I Agree Whit draynay Crown Big Brown Now Hes Clearly Done More Then Pyro And Any Anther Race Horse

in Kentucky We Will see What Happen's on The First Saturday in May

24 Apr 2008 1:48 PM

I think big brown is a faker. I think he will go down like Rock Hard Ten and Bandini. I may be wrong but I think the Florida Derby will be the best race he ever runs and Florida is a long way from Louisville. I can't wait to see him quit when he gets a bunch of dirt kicked in his face. I don't mean to talk badly about the horse, I will admit he is talented, but I just don't think he's tough enough. To win the Derby it takes a horse who would rather die than lose, and I have not seen that in this horse. He may be a superstar, but he's still got some proving to do to convince me.

26 Apr 2008 9:09 PM

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