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| | Big Brown Back On Track (literally) for Belmont
Big Brown back on track (literally) for Belmont
Horse Racing Belmont Stakes
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
BIG BROWN BACK ON TRACK (LITERALLY) FOR BELMONT
Recovering from a quartercrack more quickly than anyone expected, Triple Crown contender Big Brown returned to Belmont Park's main track Tuesday morning and jogged a mile and a half under exercise rider Michelle Nevin.
Monday morning, hoof expert Ian McKinlay had repaired the small crack in the colt's left-front hoof wall with a set of steel sutures. By the afternoon, trainer Rick Dutrow said he and McKinlay decided it would be beneficial for the 3-year-old colt, who had not been out of barn 2 at Belmont Park since Friday, to resume training.
“I felt the horse going to the track was not only good for his conditioning but also good for his mind,” said the trainer of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, bidding to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner in the June 7 Belmont Stakes. “He's been kind of aggravated. He doesn't know why he's not going to the track. He just doesn't understand why he's not doing it. We can't explain it to him and we just let him go out there today and take the edge off him. He's getting too rough around the barn.”
Normally playful and curious, Big Brown seemed more aloof in his stall later Tuesday.
Since the quarter crack was officially diagnosed Saturday morning, Big Brown has been walking around the shedrow twice a day with Nevin and was treated with an antiseptic solution of iodine and alcohol. On Monday, McKlinlay, who has been working in his area of expertise for more than 30 years, said that except for a small area in the heel, the foot was cold and that he expected everything to go well.
With a light rain falling at Belmont Tuesday morning, Big Brown went out to the track around 7 a.m. After receiving a bath, he was walked around the shedrow by Nevin several times, pulling her to a stop at the end of the barn to pose for photos until Dutrow shooed the horse away.
“Ian is excited about this,” said the trainer. “He's not going to let anything get away from us. He'll be around.”
Dutrow said the time off would not affect Big Brown's ability to “finish what he started” and that he was looking to breeze the colt early next week.
“I don't know -- it could be Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday depending on the weather,” he said. “If I had everything I would want I would like it Monday.”
Dutrow said he would not have the colt blow out the morning of the Belmont as he did in the Preakness.
“I think he looks better now than he did for the Preakness,” said Dutrow.
QUOTES FROM OWNER MICHAEL IAVARONE, CO-PRESIDENT AND CO-CEO OF IEAH STABLE, ON RETURN OF BIG BROWN TO BELMONT PARK'S MAIN TRACK THIS MORNING (jogged 1 ½ miles with exercise rider Michelle Nevin, just before 7 a.m.):
“I guess we surprised everybody today. I think the decision to go to the track this morning was made late last night. Big Brown was just getting too aggressive in the barn. He needed to go to the track.
“We were concerned on Friday when the quarter crack was first discovered. But (hoof specialist) Ian McKinlay had told us then that this was a straight-forward quarter crack. He has been on top of it ever since.
“Rick (Dutrow, trainer) said he could breeze anytime up to Tuesday. We weren't concerned about the track today, even with the rain last night. The track wasn't that bad, and quite frankly, as aggressive as he's been, it was safer for him to be on the track than in the barn.”
NOTE: Iavarone is scheduled to ring the bell to open the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.
NYRA Press Office
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