03/25/2008 11:00PM

Big hurdle for Big Brown


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The undefeated and untested Big Brown drew the outside post in a field of 12 3-year-olds entered Wednesday for Saturday’s $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. No horse has ever won a race going 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream from post 11 or 12 since the racetrack was reconfigured and lengthened to 1 1/8 miles in 2005.

Despite drawing the outside post, Big Brown was established as the 3-1 morning-line favorite by track linemaker Chuck Streva for the Grade 1 Florida Derby. Kent Desormeaux again has the mount. Elysium Fields, who’ll break from post 8 under Eibar Coa, is 4-1 on the line, followed by Hey Byrn (post 9, Jose Lezcano) at 5-1.

The remainder of the field from the rail out is: Fierce Wind (Cornelio Velasquez), Smooth Air (Manuel Cruz), Da’ Tara (Joe Bravo), Tomcito (Jorge Chavez), Cool Gator (Eddie Castro), Nistle’s Crunch (Julien Leparoux), B B Frank (Javier Castellano), Majestic Warrior (Rene Douglas), and Face the Cat (John Velazquez).