10/13/2008 11:38AM

Brownout Fallout


The career-ending injury sustained by Big Brown at Aqueduct this morning, one day before Breeders' Cup pre-entries were due, raises two immediate questions: Does this make Curlin more or less likely likely to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic? And does it open the door for Colonel John to snatch away the 3-year-old title with a Classic triumph?

They're interesting questions because the first impulsive answers may not be the right ones.

Curlin obviously immediately becomes a heavier favorite with less to beat but...Big Brown's defection may actually give him less reason to run in a race his handlers were already leery about trying. If he'd skipped the race and Big Brown had won it, many would have argued that Big Brown deserved the Horse of the Year title. Now, Curlin could probably make what will probably be his final start somewhere else on dirt rather than synthetic footing-- the Clark or the Japan Cup Dirt are possibilities -- and clinch the title with a victory. On the other hand, his connections may now face tremendous pressure from Cup officials to run in their race to salvage half of its marquee value.

As for Colonel John, Big Brown's defection might at first seem to create an opportunity, but I still can't see him upending Big Brown for 3-year-old honors even if he adds the Classic to his Santa Anita Derby and Travers victories. Big Brown would still have a 4-3 edge in Grade 1 triumphs (Florida Derby, Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Haskell,) a 2-0 edge in Triple Crown races, and a victory in what is now their only head-to-head meeting:

Big Brown retires with seven victories in eight career starts, by a combined 41 lengths, and earnings of $3,614,500:

Download BigBrown.pdf

--Elusive Heat, the 2-year-old ELusive Quality-Xtra Heat filly who made a spectacular debut at Belmont Sunday (see previous post), was awarded a Beyer Speed Figure of 103, the only triple-digit BSF by a 2-year-old filly this year.

Unitas More than 1 year ago
Don Reed, excuse me, I cannot understand what you have posted in reference to Big Brown's retirement. What excuses have been given on behalf of this Horse by his connections? Name one, please. He(BB) danced every dance, and did so brilliantly(sans the Belmont), without an excuse(not that he needed one) by his connections. Dutrow, IEAH, Pompa Jr., et al always did what was best for this animal, and did it very well. Inane distractions? What were they? Because certain fellow trainers and some media scribes may have an issue with the connections, and at times the connections were not shined upon by these individuals, how have they hurt the horse(BB), the fans, or the racing community itself? I think you may have been persuaded by various others to come to this conclusion based on Big Brown and his handlers, and if you look back in retrospect, I think you will find your thoughts on this matter a little skewed at best. Many fans of racing wil finally appreciate this enormously talented thoroughbred at the wrong time - when he is gone and not making our game better. Just my feelings. I continue to look forward to future opinions and insights you have to share with us all here. Good Luck to all in your Breeders Cup wagering endeavors - unfortunatley without the participation of Big Brown
FunnySide More than 1 year ago
Does the possibility of racing Curlin at 5 because of the lawsuit? If he runs at 5 the ARC should be the goal. Nothing left in US to accomplish. After watching this year version there is no doubt Curlin could have hung with the filly. Curlin didn't win his grass race but the way that race transpired I believe he ran his last 3/8 in around 34 & change.
L Keller More than 1 year ago
Casino Drive wins the BC Classic. You heard it here!!
tom mcdonough More than 1 year ago
I have had my suspicions about Iavarone and whether he is a plus for racing, but that was certainly a pretty classy statement that he made following the announcement of the retirement.
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
First, regarding Curlin, a win over artificial surface in the BC Classic would INCREASE his value. Like it or not, artificial surfaces are here to stay and if Breeders and buyers aren't considering artificial surface potential when breeding or buying young horses they soon will be. Like it or not it's a 3 surface sport, and the more different surfaces a horse has run well on, the greater his breeding value/potential. On another note, why do the people who set up the wagering menu for the breeder's cup continue to make decisions which demonstrate they don't have a clue as to what the betting public wants? I was excited about the potential for the pick four on "Ladies Day" (another joke) even though there are 5 Breeder's Cup races, there is no Pick 4 including only BC races? There are enough tough races over the 2 days to try to handicap without handicapping the Paloma, so my interest in Friday's card (other than the HI 5 on the Distaff) has wained considerably. WHAT THE HECK ARE THOSE PEOPLE THINKING?
Stephanie More than 1 year ago
Curlin will not go to stud untill they get the whole situation with the minority owners figured out. Last I knew the court was going to do sealed bid for the minority interest-the kicker is Jackson has first right of refusal- whatever the highest bid is he can refuse to take it(I think thats kinda cool) Anyway stud farms wont touch him with a 10 foot pole until his ownership [situation] is figured out.
Sedonia More than 1 year ago
Samg, Curlin would have to be running backwards with his legs tied together to finish 8th versus the field we anticipate seeing him run against. He'll at least clunk up for second or third and his grinding style suits the pro-ride quite nicely.
Kyle Fritsh More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for information on bars in Saratoga, 518 Fever is a great resource
Brian More than 1 year ago
Has anyone actually looked at Big Brown's female family? I can't believe this has never been discussed in the press but he literally has the worst female family of any good horse I have ever seen. As a stallion, he is odds on to make Skip Away and Spend A Buck look like unmitigated successes.
Brian McLean More than 1 year ago
Could somebody please explain to me why can't there be both???? Other featured wagers this year include: --Ten-cent superfectas will be offered on every race, except the two Super High Five races.