Sunday, May 25, 2008 Cracked hoof won't keep Big Brown from Belmont Associated Press
NEW YORK -- 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.
But the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner has missed two days of training at Belmont Park, and will miss at least several more while being treated by hoof specialist Ian McKinlay for a five-eighths of an inch crack on the inside of his left heel.
"We're all concerned because there's a big race coming up," Dutrow said at a Sunday news conference outside his barn. "But Ian has us pretty well relaxed."
The trainer said he was 100 percent confident Big Brown would be in top form when he attempts to become the first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978.
Big Brown rival Casino Drive scratched after workout
Updated: June 7, 2008, 10:32 AM ET
NEW YORK -- Casino Drive will not run in the Belmont Stakes because of an injured hoof, removing one more obstacle between Big Brown and the Triple Crown.
Casino Drive came to Belmont as a challenger to Big Brown's Triple Crown hopes. But a bruised hoof kept him from making it to the starting gate of Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
Casino Drive was the early second choice behind the overwhelming favorite, who is attempting to become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years.
Racing manager Nobutaka Tada for Casino Drive's Japanese connections said the horse was fine during a three-furlong jog early Saturday, but planned to scratch the Peter Pan Stakes winner as a precaution.
Well, it looks like Big Brown will have a much easier time winning the triple crown. Right? Right????
Interesting article in SI this week about Big Brown - mentions how the jockey actually let up at the end of both the Derby and the Preakness - could have won by bigger margins but didn't want to wear the horse out or risk injury in preperation for next race. Casino Drive did seem to be the only serious challenger, but this being a longer race sometimes someone comes outta nowhere to snatch the win - lots of horses have won the first 2 races and look to be shoo-ins for the Triple Crown, only to lose it at Belmont (Big Brown is the 7th horse in the last 12 years to win the first 2 races, but it's been exactly 30 years since someone won the Triple Crown). And it appears this will no doubt be Big Brown's last race as there is already a stud agreement in place worth an estimated $50 million, so they likely wouldn't risk him being injured and having to be euthanized.
Fantasy Football: "Luck is where preparation meets opportunity"
...and Big Bown will be racing on a cracked hoof that has been repaired in preparation for the race:
Posted: Thursday June 5, 2008 9:02PM; Updated: Thursday June 5, 2008 9:02PM Vet: Big Brown injury no concern in Belmont Stakes Story
NEW YORK (AP) -- There is nothing ailing Big Brown that a good pedicure won't fix. Think of that crack in his left front hoof as the equivalent of a hangnail for a human.
"It's a little confusing for people who don't understand it, but it is a very common situation," said Dr. Rick Arthur, a veterinarian and equine medical director to the California Horse Racing Board. "We deal with it on a daily basis."
Several veterinarians said racing in Saturday's grueling 11/2-mile Belmont Stakes -- with the Triple Crown on the line -- shouldn't pose an additional risk to the strapping bay colt.
They characterized the quarter crack as an innocuous injury, and the minor irritation it causes as an occupational hazard of heavy training.
"It's all healed," trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. said Thursday. "We could run him the way he is."
Not exactly. On Friday, hoof specialist Ian McKinlay will apply an acrylic and fiberglass patch to the cracked area. It sets in five minutes and is "stronger than the hoof itself," he said.