2008 Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown's owner IAEH stable had big plans for Big Brown's life after racing. They and Three Chimneys Farms were all set to have Big Brown stand for huge money as a stallion. Well we all know what happened in New York, Big Brown laid an egg. The result is that Big Brown went from a stallion probably worth $150 to $200,000 a breeding to $50 to 75,000.
While there a no living Triple Crown winners, there are several dual classic winners currently at stud, some with some pretty good produce records (see Real Quiet.) Three Chimneys themselves stands two of them Point Given and Smarty Jones. We have so many dual classic winners, we're shipping some of them out of the country (both War Emblem and Silver Charm were shipped off to Japan). Point here is that Big Brown needs to do something special to add to his resume for breeders. Breeders are willing to pay big bucks, but they are starting to wise up (see 2004 horse of the year Ghostzapper. His stud feed dropped from $200K to $150K in one season).
Thus far, Horse of the Year honors are out, unless of course he beats Curlin. A meeting between the two horses is possible. Rick Dutrow, Big Brown's trainer has taken out the metal glove and slapped Curlin's connections in face in typical Dutrow fashion demanding a challenge. Curlin's connection have named the time and place: The Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. The reply? Big Brown has been entered in a so-so stakes race...a turf stakes race...at Monmouth.
The entry is perplexing. The argument could be made, though it is not being made, that Big Brown needs to learn how to race on a surface other than dirt if he is going to succeed at the Breeder's Cup Classic, which is going to be run this year on Santa Antia's trouble synthetic surface. If that is the case, why didn't Big Brown enter the Pacific Classic or some other race at Del Mar (which also has a synthetic surface).
The problem for Big Brown is not Curlin. This weekend, Colonel John won (albeit barely) the Travers Stakes against a very good field. The Colonel loves synthetic surfaces. The Colonel's dad, Tiz Now, won the Breeder's Cup Classic...twice, so he has the pedigree to go the distance. If Colonel John wins the Breeder's Cup Classic, which he might as Curlin's connections have all but declined the invitation, the Colonel will win three year old of the year hands down.