Big Brown Continues Triple Crown Quest

Big Brown hit the Belmont Park track early June 5 with a morning jog around the sloppy and sealed main track about 5:45 EDT. With Michelle Nevin aboard, the colt traveled through the paddock, out of the tunnel, and onto the main track.

Nevin said afterward, "He was feeling pretty good, after just walking (June 4). It's a good thing. The fact he had the day off yesterday, it was party time going out there."

Dutrow said in an 11 a.m. news conference outside Barn 2 that he decided to bring Big Brown to the track shortly after the main track opened because "he was just going to jog. I wanted to get a chance to go over to Aqueduct to breeze horses, but that track wasn't any good either, that's why I sent him out early today."

When asked by a reporter if the thought the June 7 Belmont Stakes was "in the bag," the confident as always Dutrow responded, "It sure is."

The temperature is supposed to soar into the 90s Belmont Day, the hottest day of the year so far in the New York metropolitan area. Dutrow didn't believe it would be a factor for Big Brown, although the trainer has frequently noted that he has been pleased the weather had been cool through most of the Triple Crown campaign.

"I can't imagine (the heat) being a factor. (Not) whatsoever--not to our horse. I don't know about the other ones," Dutrow said.

Dutrow said he was unconcerned if Big Brown won the Triple Crown and detractors say he isn't worthy of joining the other 11 Triple Crown winners.

"I can't imagine it is important to compare him to horses that have run years ago," he said. "It might be fun for (the media) to do that. But it just don't make no sense. He is running with the horses he has been running with and that is all that he can be expected to match up against. Hopefully, we get to face Curlin in the Breeders' Cup Classic. That would be exciting. We are looking forward to that."

Dutrow said that Big Brown hasn't received Winstrol, the anabolic steroid that the horse usually gets on a monthly basis, since before the May 3 Kentucky Derby. The use of Winstrol by Dutrow, which is legal in all the three states in which the Triple Crown is run, has become a source of controversy in the media and industry. Winstrol is illegal in human athletes.

Dutrow explained he didn't believe Big Brown needed Winstrol in the aftermath of the Derby.

"It is just too much for the three races (in) the five weeks," Dutrow said. "He is doing absolutely fabulous. I even cut out giving him his vitamin jug. The horse looks like an absolute picture, so I didn't want to mess with anything. (Bobby Frankel) was the one that cut me out of doing the vitamin jug. I can only learn by being around Bobby. "

Big Brown is stabled in Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel's barn.

Big Brown is scheduled to gallop June 6, probably after the break at 8:45 a.m., according to Dutrow. Hoof specialist Ian McKinlay will patch the quarter crack on Big Brown's left front foot the afternoon of June 6. Dutrow said the quarter crack is "dry. We could run him the way he is." The trainer estimated it would take 45 minutes to an hour to place the patch on the foot.

"As long as it looks the way it does now, we are going to patch it," Dutrow said. "We (will do it) when there is no noise around and you guys ain't around. We'll take care of it then."

(Originally published at  

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Karen M. Johnson

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