09/18/2008 11:00PM

Letters to the Editor

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Big Brown suffers in comparison with true greats

I agree with Dick Jerardi's Sept. 19 column, "Big Brown game but a bit too slow," in the aspect that Big Brown may have hit his top already.

I totally disagree, though, with everyone saying that Curlin needs to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic to secure Horse of the Year honors in a race against Big Brown. Curlin has beaten competition all over the world. He ran at Saratoga and will run this week at Belmont. Big Brown could have run against him at either racetrack. Curlin is the defending champ - you want him, go get him. Under no circumstance should Big Brown's connections be allowed to bait those of the best horse in training into doing something they have been saying all along they wouldn't do.

Jerardi wrote how good Big Brown is on both dirt and turf and mentioned Secretariat as a comparison. He failed to mention a horse who was super on both turf and dirt but was cheated from eternal greatness by injury: Barbaro. He was an absolute turf monster and transformed that same turn of foot to the dirt. Even racing authorities the likes of Andrew Beyer were mentioning him in the same breath as the immortal Secretariat. Barbaro actually beat some pretty good horses in 2006 - any of those top contenders (Showing Up and Lawyer Ron, for instance) would have made top 3-year-olds this season.

Big Brown is the Larry Holmes of racing this year. He's good, but exactly just who has he beaten? If Big Brown is even considered for Horse of the Year this year, someone has to explain to me how Barbaro didn't at least win 3-year-old of the year in 2006 after winning a graded stakes on the turf, the Holy Bull, and the Florida Derby, as well as winning the Kentucky Derby by more lengths that anyone in 40 years.

And Barbaro was undefeated, just as Big Brown was after winning the Derby, and the lone losses for both - well, Big Brown had no apparent excuse for his loss, while the reason for Barbaro's took his life.

Michael Cozzi - Tinton Falls, N.J.