A Humbling Game

Big Brown
Big Brown walked across the wire, finishing last, in the Belmont Stakes.
Trainer Rick Dutrow said he was "numb" as he watched his failed Triple Crown runner, Big Brown, stagger across the finish line far behind the rest of the field in the Belmont Stakes. Weren't we all. Ray Paulick

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Moran: New York roar for Triple Crown sweep stays pent up
A star born in Louisville five weeks ago steepened the ascent in Baltimore, then crashed at the door of immortality in New York on Saturday -- and crashed hard.
Cronley: Hard to understand a loser
Here's why figuring winners can be so difficult: After races like the Belmont Stakes, sometimes you can't even understand a loser.
Big Brown-Curlin matchup could be worth $5M
Suffolk Downs is offering a $5 million purse for the Massachusetts Handicap if Big Brown wins the Triple Crown and both he and Curlin go undefeated and start in the race against each other.
Report: Big Brown to run Belmont without steroids
Big Brown, who competed in the first two Triple Crown races after receiving a steroid injection, will attempt to run in the Belmont Stakes without his monthly dose, according to a report in the New York Times.
Moran: Stranger things have happened
Eight others besides Casino Drive will oppose Big Brown in the Belmont, including a maiden named Guadalcanal. Stranger things have happened in The Test of a Champion.
Cronley: Belmont Stakes picks
Saturday's Belmont Stakes will offer about 111,433 people the sporting opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to observe greatness, live.
Big Brown draws rail for Belmont Stakes
Big Brown, seeking to become the 12th winner of the Triple Crown, was assigned post 1 among a field of 10 3-year-olds in the $1 million Belmont Stakes, which will be run Saturday for the 140th time at Belmont Park.
Paulick: Big Brown vs. Greatness
In horse racing and other sports there is a tendency to confuse money with greatness.
Plonk: Big Brown's pursuit a sign of the times
Jeremy Plonk says that a Big Brown victory in the Belmont Stakes won't be Hollywood's typical racetrack movie material.
Big Brown works five furlongs as hoof holds up
Big Brown's cracked left front hoof is improving daily and held up well Tuesday in his final workout before the Belmont Stakes and his bid for the Triple Crown.
Eight Belles will be buried at Churchill Downs
Eight Belles will be interred at the Kentucky Derby Museum and honored by Churchill Downs through charitable contributions and the renaming of a race.
Big Brown's cracked hoof to require final touch-up
Before Big Brown can make a run at winning the Triple Crown, his slightly cracked left front hoof needs some final work.
Denis of Cork breezes at Churchill
Denis of Cork, the likely third choice for the 140th Belmont Stakes, had his final prerace breeze when going a half-mile in 48.60 seconds over a fast track Monday morning at Churchill Downs.
Velazquez on Ready's Echo, off Anak Nakal
Trainer Nick Zito and Kassem Masri, the owner of Anak Nakal, on Monday released jockey John Velazquez from his commitment to ride Anak Nakal in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday so Velazquez could ride Ready's Echo.
Tomcito and Spark Candle out of Belmont Stakes
Longshots Tomcito and Spark Candle were both removed from consideration for next Saturday's Belmont Stakes by their connections on Sunday, leaving a likely group of eight opponents for Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown.
Paulick: Land of rising horses
Casino Drive's victory in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park on May 10 would have been a groundbreaking triumph for Japan's Thoroughbred industry had it occurred 15 years ago.
Moran: Affirmed-Alydar rivalry marked end of an epoch
It may not have been immediately apparent, or apparent at all until a decade, another and yet another passed without the emergence of a Triple Crown winner, but the Affirmed-Alydar rivalry marked the end of an epoch.
Prado to ride Casino Drive in Belmont
Edgar Prado was officially named to ride Casino Drive in the June 7 Belmont Stakes, the colt's connections announced Wednesday afternoon.
Big Brown gallops nine furlongs at Belmont Park
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown galloped 1 1/8 miles around Belmont Park's main track Wednesday morning, his most strenuous exercise since being diagnosed with a quarter crack in his left front foot last Friday.
Big Brown returns to track for 1st time since injury
Big Brown returned to the track on a rainy Tuesday morning, the first time the Triple Crown contender has exercised since sustaining a quarter crack on the inside of his left front foot five days ago.
Specialist: Big Brown responding well to treatment
The trainer calls it a "hiccup" and the owner is sure everything will be fine. So far, there doesn't seem to be a crack in the confidence of camp Big Brown.
Big Brown being treated for left front hoof injury
Triple Crown contender Big Brown has a slight crack to his left front hoof, although trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. expressed confidence Sunday the injury won't keep his colt from running in the Belmont Stakes in less than two weeks.
Finley: Big Brown not great, yet
Even should he win the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown, Big Brown will remain an enigma.
Gomez to ride Macho Again
Macho Again, the runner-up behind Big Brown in the Preakness, will be ridden by Garrett Gomez in the June 7 Belmont Stakes, it was announced Saturday by the colt's owners, the West Point Thoroughbreds syndicate.
Big Brown gets to New York
With cameras from eight television stations and several still photographers chronicling his every step, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, Big Brown, arrived safely at Belmont Park at 2:25 p.m. on Monday.
Triple Crown bid fuels media frenzy
The CNN satellite truck parked alongside the main track Monday morning was the first sign. The hordes of television cameramen and still photographers who showed up here in the afternoon was the second. This Belmont Stakes could get crazy.
Paulick: We've been here before
Trainers D. Wayne Lukas and Bob Baffert talk about their attempts at Triple Crown greatness and what they think Big Brown's chances are.
Moran: Big Brown delivers
Big Brown heads to New York with the racing world on a string.
Perfect ride by a 'Maryland jockey'
It was just like the old days at Old Hilltop. Jockey Kent Desormeaux, aboard a huge favorite, was looking confidently behind him, then kicked away from an overmatched field, before virtually easing his mount to the wire.
Big Brown to stand at Three Chimneys
Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown will head for stud at Three Chimneys after his racing career, which the colt's owner, International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, has said will end with his 3-year-old season.
Beautiful weather, and beer, sweeten Preakness
There are any number of things to do on the infield at Pimlico Race Course in the hours before the Preakness.
Big Brown given race-day blowout
About 13 hours before he was to run in Saturday's $1 million Preakness, Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown blew out a quarter of a mile in 25.80 seconds at Pimlico.
Eight Belles negative for steroids; field clean, too
Test results showed no traces of steroids in the filly Eight Belles, who was euthanized moments after finishing second May 3 in the Kentucky Derby after breaking ankles in both of her front legs.
Autopsy: Eight Belles had no pre-existing injuries
An autopsy reveals that euthanized filly Eight Belles had no pre-existing bone abnormalities that caused her to break down after the Kentucky Derby.
Yankee Bravo aims for Preakness upset
The Paddy Gallagher trained Yankee Bravo will look to play spoiler to Big Brown's Triple Crown aspirations in the May 17 Preakness Stakes.
Eight Belles' trainer: Drug tests will dispel rumors
The trainer of Eight Belles is certain the filly was never on steroids, and has ordered tests to prove it.
Trainer defends jockey's handling of Eight Belles
The trainer of euthanized filly Eight Belles said Monday his jockey handled the horse properly during her second-place finish at the Kentucky Derby.
Paulick: IEAH makes it look easy
The racing stable known as International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, Inc. has come a long way from the Aqueduct inner track of December 2003 to the winner's circle at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May of 2008.
Desormeaux becomes 8th jockey to win 3 Derbys
Kent Desormeaux made an expert ride aboard Big Brown, deftly guiding the big bay colt through the 20-horse field to a 4 3/4 -length victory in the Kentucky Derby that erased any doubts as to whether the Cajun kid still had it.
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Belmont Park,11th Race - June 7, 2008
$1,000,000 Belmont S. (G1)
Pgm Horse Win Place Show
6 Da' Tara 79.00 28.00 14.80
4 Denis of Cork 5.40 4.10
8 DH - Anak Nakal 6.20
9 DH - Ready's Echo   6.20

Finish Time: 2:29.65
Scratched: Casino Drive
Also ran: Macho Again, Tale of Ekati, Guadalcanal, Icabad Crane and Big Brown
Winning Trainer: Zito Nicholas P - Owner: LaPenta Robert V.

$2 Exacta (6-4) Paid $659.00
$2 Trifecta (6-4-8) Paid $3,703.00
$2 Trifecta (6-4-9) Paid $3,954.00
$2 Superfecta (6-4-8-9) Paid $48,637.00
$2 Superfecta (6-4-9-8) Paid $47,309.00
$2 Daily Double (10-6) Paid $1,574.00 Daily Double Pool
$2 Daily Double (BROOKLYN / BELMONT 2-6) Paid $550.00 Daily Double Pool
$2 Pick 3 (5-10-6) 3 Correct Paid $6,475.00 Pick 3 Pool
$2 Pick 4 (1-5-10-6) 4 Correct Paid $34,287.00 Pick 4 Pool
$2 Pick 6 (3/7-4-1-5-10-6) 5 Correct Paid $1,106.00 Pick 6 Pool
$2 Consolation Double (BROOKLYN / BELMONT 2-5) Paid $7.30

© 2008 Equibase Company LLC


Countdown to the Crown

Posted each Friday through the Belmont Stakes, Jeremy Plonk's Countdown to the Crown keeps you apprised of the rising stars in the sophomore class from the maiden ranks to Grade 1 stakes.
June 4, 2009

The Road to the Triple Crown

Belmont Stakes: Summer Bird

Summer Bird, with Kent Desormeaux aboard, rallied past fellow Birdstone progeny Mine That Bird to capture the Belmont Stakes, thwarting jockey Calvin Borel's bid to sweep the Triple Crown. Story

Kentucky Derby: Mine That Bird

Jockey Calvin Borel steered Mine That Bird (50-1) through a narrow opening along the rail to score a monster upset by nearly 7 lengths in the 135th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Story

Preakness: Rachel Alexandra

With jockey Calvin Borel aboard, the favored filly Rachel Alexandra captured the 134th Preakness, holding off Derby winner Mine That Bird, who was charging late. Story

Lexington Stakes: Advice

Advice rallied from last under Garrett Gomez to post a 15-1 upset Saturday in the final prep on the Kentucky Derby trail, the Grade 2 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. Story

Arkansas Derby: Papa Clem

Papa Clem picked up a major prep win of his own on Saturday when he drove past Old Fashioned to win the $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. Story

Blue Grass Stakes: General Quarters

General Quarters held off favorite Hold Me Back by 1 1/2 lengths to win the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes on Saturday at Keeneland. Story

Illinois Derby: Musket Man

Musket Man won for the fifth time in six starts and was thoroughly impressive winning the Illinois Derby by two lengths over Giant Oak. Story

Santa Anita Derby: Pioneerof the Nile

After winning the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, Pioneerof the Nile has emerged as the West Coast's top contender for the May 2 Kentucky Derby. Story

Wood Memorial: I Want Revenge

I Want Revenge overcame his brutal beginning to win the $750,000 Wood Memorial by 1 1/2 lengths over West Side Bernie. Story

Florida Derby: Quality Road

Quality Road established himself a leading Kentucky Derby candidate by turning back the previously undefeated Dunkirk. Story

Lane's End Stakes: Hold Me Back

Hold Me Back ran himself right into Derby contention with a sensational rally to win the 38th running of the Lane's End Stakes. Story

Kentucky Derby Challenge: Mafaaz

Mafaaz assured himself a spot in the Kentucky Derby by outlasting Spring of Fame in a desperate finish to the Kentucky Derby Challenge. He could go first in the Blue Grass Stakes. Story

San Felipe: Pioneerof the Nile

With his mind halfway on the job at hand, Pioneerof the Nile extended his stakes-winning streak to three races in Saturday's $200,000 San Felipe Stakes. Story

Rebel Stakes: Win Willy

Win Willy shook up the road the Kentucky Derby, passing heavily favored Old Fashioned to win the Rebel Stakes in a stunning upset. Story

Tampa Bay Derby: Musket Man

Musket Man, under Daniel Centeno, overtook Join in the Dance in the final length to win the Grade 3, $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby. Story

Louisiana Derby: Friesan Fire

Friesan Fire ran away to a 7 1/4-length victory in the Grade 2, $600,000 Louisiana Derby, giving him a sweep of major stakes races at Fair Grounds for 3-year-olds. Story

Gotham Stakes: I Want Revenge

The connections of I Want Revenge had a strong suspicion their horse would be better on dirt than he had been on the synthetic tracks of Southern California. Story

Fountain of Youth: Quality Road

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens had Quality Road fit and ready to go for the one-mile Fountain of Youth and jockey John Velazquez did the rest, allowing the colt to gain command, increasing his advantage through the final furlong. Story

Southwest Stakes: Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned received the most support among the 23 individual interests in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. He did little to change that opinion after easily winning the $250,000 Southwest Stakes. Story

Risen Star: Friesan Fire

Friesan Fire did it again, running right back to his smart score in the Lecomte Stakes here at Fair Grounds last month with a decisive victory in the Risen Star Stakes. Story

San Rafael: The Pamplemousse

The Pamplemousse got a gift in the $100,000 San Rafael Stakes and was not about to give it back, winning the first two-turn graded stakes of the year for 3-year-olds. Story

Breeders' Cup Juvenile: Midshipman

Favored Midshipman stamped proper credentials for a 2-year-old champion on Saturday at Santa Anita, scoring a 1 1/4-length victory over Square Eddie in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Story