Big Brown Has 'Slight' Quarter Crack

Big Brown, who will be seeking the coveted Triple Crown in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), has a "slight" quarter crack on the inside of his left front foot, trainer Rick Dutrow said Sunday, May 25. The colt did not go to the track Saturday or Sunday.

Dutrow said he noticed a small spot on the colt's foot Friday afternoon and notified hoof lameness specialist Ian McKinlay, who treated it with Animalintex (poultice). By mid-day Saturday, it had turned into a slight quarter crack, five-eighths of an inch long. It was when McKinlay applied an iodine and alcohol wash that the crack became visible. McKinlay will "lace it up" on Wednesday and if everything is good, the colt will resume full training on Thursday.

"The horse is in no discomfort, he doesn't even know anything is wrong," Dutrow said. "He is trying to figure out why he is not going to the track, and he has been tough to walk. Missing a few days of training is not going to hurt us at all. If he fixes him up Thursday I can work him Saturday and blow him out on race day. If it takes longer it's no big deal. Tuesday would be perfect, Monday would be great, and I can even live with Wednesday."

"This injury is nothing remotely close to the two foot injuries he had last fall and winter," McKinlay said. "Those were wall separations and were very tender. This is just a straight quarter crack that will pretty much heal by itself. We didn't even trim him; the iodine will seep underneath the wall and start speeding up the healing. On Monday, we'll remove a little bit of the wall. Then we'll put a set of wires in and patch it up. We're dealing with something that's designed to heal itself, so we kind of stay out of its way and let it travel its course a little bit. This is a very minor crack, and as long as you don't get aggressive you won't get in trouble. By Wednesday or Thursday it'll be as if his foot was normal."

"I've known Ian for years; he's like my brother," Dutrow said. "He worked for my father, and (he) gives me lot of confidence. lan doesn't sugarcoat anything, and if he says this is nothing and that he'll be fine in a couple of days, that's good enough for me. If the race were today or yesterday or tomorrow it would not be an issue."

Undefeated Big Brown, who won the Florida Derby (gr. I), took the first two legs of the Triple Crown with impressive victories in the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I).

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Steve Haskin

Steve Haskin is Senior Contributor to The Blood-Horse magazine, sister publication to The Horse.

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