Sunday, August 03, 2008

Big Brown Makes Good on Big Return

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner is back!

He struggled early and then just when it looked like he was going to come up short Big Brown made a big push for the finish line to win the Haskell Invitational on Sunday at Monmouth Park in New Jersey with a winning time of 1:48 1/5. Coal Play was second with Cool Coal Man coming in third.

Over 44,000 were on hand to watch the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner redeem himself after finishing in last place back in June at the Belmont Stakes.

What's next for Big Brown? The Breeders' Cup?

Get all your horse racing odds and Breeders' Cup bets here.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Post Positions Drawn for Haskell Invitational

Big Brown hopes to win from lucky post position 4 with Kent Desormeaux as his jockey.

The complete field for sunday's Haskell Invitational (with post positions, jockeys and odds included) looks like this: Magical Forest, Post 1, Jorge Chavez, 10-1; Robert LaPenta's Cool Coal Man, Post 2, Eddie Castro, 4-1; Zayat Stable's Alaazo, Post 3, Jose Lezcano, 30-1; Big Brown; Alien Farm's Nistle's Crunch, Post 5, Elvis Trujillo; Robert LaPenta's Coal Play, Post 6, Joe Bravo, 8-1, and Dogwood Stable's Atoned, Post 7, Edgar Prado, 6-1.

Big Brown's trainer Rick Dutrow isn't guaranteeing a win by his horse, but he likes the way the colt looks.

"He looks amazing," Dutrow said. "He's shiny, he's happy. He looks as good as he always has."

Owner Michael Iavarone went so far as to say that Big Brown has never looked better.

"We're eagerly anticipating this race," Iavarone said. "If it's possible, he's training better than he did before he won the Kentucky Derby."

Based on his last win at Monmouth on June 14th (the Spend a Buck Stakes), Cool Coal Man is the second choice to win the Haskell Invitational at 4-1.

Bet on Big Brown to win the Haskell Invitational and get all your Breeders' Cup odds, too!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Horse Racing Industry Under Fire

When Eight Belles suffered a fatal injury at the 2008 Kentucky Derby, everyone gasped in horror. When Big Brown blew away the field at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, only to finish in dead last at the Belmont Stakes (and effectively killing all hopes of ever seeing another Triple Crown winner anytime soon), horse racing fans everywhere went numb in disbelief.

What was happening to our beloved horses? Where did we go wrong?

Those questions and more will be answered soon when US Congress begins its hearings on the ethics of horse racing.

"When you talk about the Kentucky Derby, Belmont, Preakness, the whole country focuses on those, they attract stars from Hollywood, and it's all pretty romantic and wonderful," says US Rep. Ed Whitfield (R) of Kentucky, who holds hearings Thursday. "But in everyday racing, there are horses going down, and then the horses unable to fulfill their promise going to slaughter. The greed has trumped the concern for the horse, it's trumped the safety of the jockeys, and it's trumped the integrity of the sport."

It will be interesting to see what Congress will learn and take action on as a result of these hearings. Considering the horse racing industry brings in a whopping $40 billion annually, doing away with the sport entirely is an unlikely option.

Read more on "Horse Racing Under New Congressional Scrutiny" here.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Belmont Post Positions Drawn: Big Brown is No. 1

More horses have won the Belmont Stakes from the No. 1 post position than any other position at Belmont Park. Let's hope Big Brown makes good on that stat come Saturday.

On Wednesday morning at Belmont Park, the post positions for the highly anticipated Belmont Stakes were drawn, and the good news from Big Brown's stable is that the favorite to win drew the No. 1 post position. Since 1905, there have been more wins from the No. 1 position (23) than any other position.

Here is the complete field for the 2008 Belmont Stakes, including post position, horse's name, and odds to win:

1. Big Brown 2/5 odds
2. Guadalcanal 50/1 odds
3. Macho Again 20/1 odds
4. Denis of Cork 12/1 odds
5. Casino Drive 7/2 odds
6. Da'Tara 30/1 odds
7. Tale of Ekati 20/1 odds
8. Anak Nakal 30/1 odds
9. Ready's Echo 30/1 odds
10. Icabad Crane 20/1 odds

Get your Belmont Stakes odds at the Bodog Racebook and bet on Big Brown to become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Big Brown Still the Best

Even with a cracked hoof, Big Brown is still the best horse entered into this weekend's Belmont Stakes. At least, that's what trainer Rick Dutrow is saying.

"There's not any issues with our horse," Dutrow said. "He's right on target. He's by far the best horse in the race."

After undergoing a minor procedure to repair his front left hoof, Big Brown was back on track and ran five furlongs in under a minute.

"He jumped over a big hurdle today," Dutrow said.

Hoof specialist Ian McKinlay will be called back on Friday to make one last repair job to Big Brown's foot, a patch job that will mean a good cleaning and new sutures, along with an acrylic adhesive that will leave the hoof better than new.

"The adhesive that we'll rebuild that wall with is stronger than the hoof itself," McKinlay said.

That being said, the proof will be in the pudding when Big Brown makes his way to the gates at Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon. With the Triple Crown on the line, all eyes will be on the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner to run the race of his life.

Bet on the Belmont Stakes and bet on Big Brown to take the Triple Crown!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Big Brown Healing, Competition Stiffens

With less than two weeks to recover from his recent hoof injury, Big Brown now faces stiff competition in Denis of Cork (pictured) and Casino Drive.

It only took about 10 minutes for hoof specialist Ian McKinlay to repair Big Brown's quarter crack and by all accounts the procedure was a big success.

"A lot of heat had come out from Sunday, which was an excellent sign," McKinlay said. "Probably today he'll be in much better shape. The crack is actually very simple, other than the magnitude of the race. I've done this procedure on horses that have won on the same day.

Big Brown will have his hoof looked at again on Wednesday by McKinlay, who will first clean out the area and replace the stitching. The crack will then be covered by an adhesive and reinforced with a fiberglass patch.

"By today we'll know right where we are," he said. "If the foot cools right out, we'll be extremely close to putting him back together."

Let's hope Big Brown makes a speedy recovery so that he can get in one good breeze before the June 7th Belmont Stakes. Casino Drive has already proven to know his way around Belmont Park; and earlier today Denis of Cork turned in an impressive breeze in preparation for his Belmont Stakes run.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Big Brown Racing to Help New York Family

In an announcement made Friday, the owners of Big Brown have pledged a portion of the thoroughbred's winnings at the Belmont Stakes will go towards helping the family of a policeman who was seriously injured.

Nassau County Police officer Kenneth Baribault was seriously injured in an accident on the Long Island Expressway on May 18th.

"Upon learning of the events of the past week, we the family of Big Brown were deeply saddened, and our prayers obviously go out to the family of the Baribaults," said Big Brown co-owner Michael Iavarone.

"At times like this, it is imperative a community comes together," Iavarone said. "Amongst all the joy and happiness, there is a family in grief -- a family whose officer spends his life taking care of our security. It's imperative that people like us who are in the position we're in now stand up and make something good happen."

Big Brown's jockey, Kent Desmoreaux, will also be getting into the spirit of things by wearing a Nassau County Police department patch on his uniform. (Read the rest of the story on

The Belmont Stakes run June 7th at Belmont Park in New York. Winning the first place prize should help to give Big Brown additional motivation as he races towards history in his chase for the Triple Crown.

Bet on Big Brown to win the Belmont Stakes!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Big Brown Set to Win the Triple Crown

Following a huge win at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, Big Brown now has his sights set on the Belmont Stakes and a place in the history books as the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years. Can he do it? If you caught today's Preakness Stakes then you have to believe he's got a darn good shot at it. Big Brown made winning the Preakness look so easy.

"He just set sail," winning jockey Kent Desmoreaux said, "He just kept kicking his legs up and went riding for the wire. There was not a grain of sand in face."

Demoreaux said all he had to do was push the button and just like that Big Brown opened it up and took the race from Macho Again, who placed second, and Icabad Crane, who took third.

When asked if Desmoreaux was nervous going into today's race, here's what he had to say: "I was nervous as nuts!"

The Belmont Stakes is only three weeks away but trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. says his horse will get one breeze and he'll be fresh for the third jewel of the Triple Crown.

Belmont Stakes
Date: Saturday June 7th, 2008
Location: Belmont Park, Elmont, NY
Post Time: 6:25 PM (EST)
TV Network: ABC 5 PM (EST)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

2008 Preakness Stakes Odds

Big Brown is the odds on favorite to win the Preakness

Almost as fun as watching the Preakness Stakes is betting on the Preakness Stakes. With all eyes on the Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown to take the second jewel of the Triple Crown, you may want to intensify the action by getting on a couple of fun Preakness Stakes proposition wagers (or prop bets). Here are a few to consider:

- Will all the NBC announcers pick Big Brown to win the Preakness Stakes?
- Where will Big Brown be at the quarter pole of the Preakness Stakes?
- How many lengths will the winner of the Preakness Stakes win by?
- Will the 133rd Preakness Stakes attendance be higher then the record 2007 crowd of 121,263?

Post positions will be drawn on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the ESPN Zone in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. The 2008 Preakness Stakes will be televised by NBC live from the Pimlico Race Course. Post time is 6:15 p.m.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Can Derby Winning Jockey Do it Again at Preakness?

In 1998 Kent Desmoreaux rode Real Quiet to victory in the Kentucky Derby and then at the Preakness Stakes. Now in 2008, 10 years later, and he'll be trying to do it again riding Big Brown at the upcoming 2008 Preakness Stakes.

Scheduled to take place at the historic Pimlico Race Course (that's where Sea Biscuit raced War Admiral to victory) on May 17th, the Preakness Stakes won't feature a field of horses nearly as large as the field at the Kentucky Derby but it will be competitive. Where the Derby featured 20 horses, the Preakness will only feature 14. And aside from Big Brown, the only other horse to do both races this year will be Recapturetheglory, who came in fifth place at the Kentucky Derby.

Desmoreaux, however, will be riding the favorite at the Preakness. Big Brown's big show at the Kentucky Derby has made him the one to watch at the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, and Big Brown's trainer Rick Dutrow says he's good and ready.

"Everything's good here," Dutrow said. "He will go to Belmont after the Preakness. I'll let him hang out at (Bobby) Frankel's barn instead of Aqueduct. I think he should be training at Belmont. Pat Reynolds had him there (last year) and said he really liked the track there."

That being said, now would be a great time to think about betting on the Preakness.