Big Brown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the delivery company nicknamed "Big Brown", see United Parcel Service.
Big Brown
Big Brown.jpg
Big Brown and Kent Desormeaux head into the gate for the 2008 Belmont Stakes.
Sire Boundary
Grandsire Danzig
Dam Mien
Damsire Nureyev
Sex Stallion
Foaled 2005
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder Monticule Farms
Owner IEAH Stables & Michael Iavarone
Trainer Patrick Reynolds
Richard E. Dutrow, Jr. (since fall 2007)
Record 8: 7-0-0
Earnings $3,614,500
Major wins

Florida Derby (2008)
Haskell Invitational Handicap (2008)
Monmouth Stakes (2008)

Triple Crown race wins:
Kentucky Derby (2008)
Preakness Stakes (2008)
American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse (2008)

Big Brown (foaled April 10, 2005 in Kentucky) is a retired champion American Thoroughbred racehorse and winner of the 2008 Kentucky Derby and 2008 Preakness Stakes. Bred by Dr. Gary B. Knapp's[1] Monticule Farms in Lexington, Kentucky,[2] he won his first five races. He was sired by Grade III winner Boundary, a son of North American Champion sire Danzig, a son of Northern Dancer. Big Brown's dam was Mien, also a granddaughter of Northern Dancer through her sire, Nureyev.[3]

Two-year-old campaign[edit]

Big Brown, named by his owner in honor of UPS,[4] was purchased by Brooklyn, New York, trucking company owner Paul Pompa, Jr. for $190,000 at the Keeneland Sales 2007 April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale.[5] Pompa turned him over to trainer Patrick Reynolds for race conditioning.[6] Ridden by Jeremy Rose, the colt made his two-year-old racing debut on September 3, 2007, at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, winning by 11 14 lengths.[7] Pompa then sold an interest in Big Brown to IEAH Stables,[8] a subsidiary of International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, Inc., whose stated purpose is to create and manage an Equity Horse Fund, which will operate as a hedge fund.[9] The new partnership sent the horse to the Palm Meadows Thoroughbred Training Center in South Florida under the care of new trainer Rick Dutrow.

Three-year-old campaign[edit]

2008 allowance[edit]

Unraced for more than six months, Big Brown debuted as a three-year-old on March 5, 2008 with a 12-length win in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park. He was ridden by Kent Desormeaux.

2008 Florida Derby[edit]

Entered in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, Big Brown drew the outside starting gate, 12. Despite his barrier draw, under jockey Kent Desormeaux Big Brown won by five lengths.[10]

134th Kentucky Derby[edit]

On May 3, 2008, in his fourth race, the 2008 Kentucky Derby, Big Brown was the 2–1 favorite. He became the first horse since Regret in 1915 to win the race with three or fewer starts,[11] winning by 4 34 lengths over filly Eight Belles, who was euthanised after breaking both front fetlocks during the post-race cool-down.[12] He started from the far outside post position 20, but neither that, nor his lack of experience seemed to be a problem. The last horse to win the Kentucky Derby from that post position was Clyde Van Dusen in 1929. Big Brown became the seventh horse to win the Kentucky Derby undefeated. The time for the 1¼ mile race was 2:01.92.[13] The official Beyer Speed Figure for the race was 109.

Rick Dutrow admitted that he administers stanozolol, an anabolic steroid, to his horses, including Big Brown, on the 15th of every month. However, Dutrow stated to ESPN that Big Brown did not take the May 15 shot for the Belmont Stakes.[14] Stanozolol is banned in 10 states but not in any of the states where the Triple Crown races are held.[14]

133rd Preakness Stakes[edit]

On May 17, 2008, in his fifth race, the 2008 Preakness Stakes, Big Brown came from the seven post and won the second leg of the Triple Crown by 5 14 lengths over Macho Again,[15] becoming the fourth horse to win both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness while remaining undefeated.[16] Big Brown was the 1–5 favorite. The final time of the 1 316 mile race was 1:54.80.[15]

140th Belmont Stakes[edit]

Big Brown heads toward the starting gate at Belmont Park.

On the Friday following the Preakness, a three-inch quarter crack was discovered on the horse's left front hoof, the same injury that he experienced in both of his front hooves the previous fall. [17] With Dutrow referring to the injury as "just a little hiccup"[18] and with the crack stitched together with steel wire, Big Brown resumed jogging at Belmont the following Tuesday.[19]

For the Belmont Stakes, Big Brown wore a second set of stainless steel sutures on the inside of his hoof. Hoof specialist Ian McKinlay changed the sutures a week before the race and attached an acrylic and fiberglass adhesive patch to the hoof. Although Big Brown missed three days of training prior to the race, his gait and attitude seemed unaffected.[20] After the crack was patched, Brown was exercised by rider Michelle Nevin.[21] Ian McKinlay said, prior to the Belmont, that Big Brown "does not need a patch on the quarter crack on his left front hoof until the morning of the Belmont Stakes. So Dutrow will give Big Brown his final hard workout Tuesday to breeze five furlongs without it and gallop him into the race confident the colt's tender hoof is healed."[22]

Big Brown went off as the 3-10 favorite in the Belmont. He was rank in the early stages of the race and nearly ran up on the heels of eventual winner Da' Tara. Then Desormeaux tried to swing Big Brown to the outside during the first turn and bumped into Tale of Ekati. He was urged in mid-stretch but failed to respond, stopping as he came around the final turn. Da' Tara won the race by 5¼ lengths while Big Brown was eased, becoming the first Triple Crown hopeful to fail to finish the Belmont. Kent Desormeaux pulled the horse up in the homestretch, later saying something was amiss and stating immediately after the race, "I had no horse," although no physical abnormality was ever found. Billy Turner, the trainer of Seattle Slew, later stated, "If Desormeaux had pulled up a horse like that in my day, the stewards would have run you out of the state and told you to never come back." Two weeks after the Belmont, a picture revealed a dislodged shoe on Big Brown's right hind leg that could have been the cause of his poor performance. The shoe might have come loose during the race and gotten pushed back in while he was running.

2008 Haskell Invitational Handicap[edit]

Big Brown returned to racing on August 3, 2008, with a win in the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park. He took the lead out of the gate and was passed by Coal Play rounding the final turn. It looked as if Coal Play was going to pull off an upset, but Big Brown passed him in the final strides to win by 1¾ lengths. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 107 for his win.

2008 Monmouth Stakes[edit]

Big Brown won his next start in the Monmouth Stakes on September 13 in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Classic. It was his first start on grass since breaking his maiden in 2007 and his first start against older horses. Breaking quickly from post 4, Big Brown opened a sizable lead down the backstretch. The field began to catch up to him entering the far turn, and as Proudinsky edged up to his neck, Big Brown dug in and held on for a ½ length victory.

Major awards[edit]

He was awarded the Eclipse Award as American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse for 2008.

Race Data[edit]

Finish Race Distance Jockey Time Victory Margin (in lengths) Runner up Track Surface Date
1st Maiden 1 116 mi Jeremy Rose 1:40.33 11 14 Dr. Cal Saratoga Race Course Turf 9/3/07
1st Allowance 1 mi Kent Desormeaux 1:35.66 12 Heaven's Awesome Gulfstream Park Dirt 3/5/08
1st Florida Derby 1 18 mi Kent Desormeaux 1:48.16 5 Smooth Air Gulfstream Park Dirt 3/29/08
1st Kentucky Derby 1 14 mi Kent Desormeaux 2:01.82 4 34 Eight Belles Churchill Downs Dirt 5/3/08
1st Preakness 1 316 mi Kent Desormeaux 1:54.80 5 14 Macho Again Pimlico Race Course Dirt 5/17/08
DNF, eased Belmont Stakes 1 12 mi Kent Desormeaux N/A N/A Da' Tara (1st) Belmont Park Dirt 6/7/08
1st Haskell Invitational 1 18 mi Kent Desormeaux 1:48.31 1 34 Coal Play Monmouth Park Dirt 8/3/08
1st Monmouth Stakes 1 18 mi Kent Desormeaux 1:47.41 12 Proudinsky Monmouth Park Turf 9/13/08

Injury and retirement[edit]

While working out with stablemate Kip Deville on October 13, Big Brown sustained an injury to a hind hoof and was declared out of the Breeders' Cup Classic, and retired.[23]

Stud record[edit]

Beginning in 2009, Big Brown stood at stud at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Kentucky. He was bred to more than 100 mares his first season, including 71 stakes mares or stakes producers. The first reported foal for Big Brown was a filly out of Impressive Attire (by Seeking the Gold) born on January 12, 2010 at Swifty Farms in Seymour, Indiana.[24]

Big Brown shuttles to Australia for the Southern hemisphere breeding season. In Australia he stands at Vinery Stud situated in the Hunter Valley under the care of Peter Orton. Big Brown will be returning for his third season later this year in Australia.

Tabulated pedigree[edit]

Pedigree of Big Brown (USA), bay stallion, 2005

B. 1990


B. 1977

Northern Dancer Nearctic
Pas de Nom Admiral's Voyage

Ch. 1978

Damascus Sword Dancer
Ponte Vecchio Round Table

B. 1999


B. 1977

Northern Dancer Nearctic
Special Forli

B. 1992

Lear Fan Roberto
Syrian Circle Damascus
Friendly Circle

See also[edit]


  1. ^ International Herald Tribune, Big Brown's breeder relies on math, not magic
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^, Filly's Death Casts Shadow Over Big Brown's Derby Victory
  4. ^ Dade, Corey (May 17, 2008). "UPS Extends Its Pact To Sponsor Big Brown". The Wall Street Journal. 
  5. ^ "The Star-Ledger". 
  6. ^ Kilgore, Adam. "Owner Finds Joy in Loyalty". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  7. ^ " > Sports -- With Big Brown, it's brain that reigns". 
  8. ^ "The Star-Ledger". 
  9. ^ Company Profile and Contact Sheet - International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, Inc.
  10. ^ Jason Shandler (29 March 2008). "Big Brown Huge in Florida Derby Rout". 
  11. ^ "Favorite Big Brown dusts field; runner-up Eight Belles euthanized - Horse Racing - ESPN". 2008-05-04. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  12. ^ "Runner-up Eight Belles breaks front ankles, euthanized on track". 
  13. ^ Big Brown Delivers; Filly Breaks Down Blood Horse, updated May 6, 2008, retrieved on June 6, 2008
  14. ^ a b AFP: Big Brown trainer admits giving horse steroids: report
  15. ^ a b "- Thoroughbred Times". 
  16. ^ WPRI 12 - Eyewitness News |Big Brown wins again
  17. ^ Bossert, Jerry (May 25, 2008). "Big Brown's hoof injury crimps Triple Crown plans". Daily News (New York). 
  18. ^ "Big Brown OK after hoof repair - Equestrian, Churchill Downs, Belmont Stakes -". Chicago Tribune. 
  19. ^ "Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Other Sports". [dead link]
  20. ^ "Article no longer available". 
  21. ^, Big Brown's hoof to get a checkup
  22. ^, Big Brown Doesn't Need Patch Until Race
  23. ^ Graves, Will (October 17, 2008). "Big Brown's racing career over after injury -". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  24. ^ "- Thoroughbred Times". 

External links[edit]