From Triple Crown to no crown: Big Brown’s career finished

Big Brown, the thoroughbred that was one victory away from winning horse racing’s Triple Crown, has a broken foot and will not race at next weekend’s Breeders’ Cup. Or ever for that matter as his racing career is over.

Big BrownIn a cruel twist of fate, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown, whose connections were gung-ho for the Classic challenge, was injured in a workout at the Aqueduct track in New York and has been retired. Hours later at Santa Anita, reigning Horse of the Year Curlin went through an afternoon workout between races that was encouraging to connections that have been notably noncommittal regarding the richest race in North America.

Michael Iavarone, principal owner of Big Brown, and his family watched as the 3-year-old colt went through a workout on turf in company with stablemate and defending Breeders’ Cup Mile champion Kip Deville. Iavarone said, in a national teleconference yesterday, that to him the exercise appeared excellent.

“They looked like two F-16s in formation,” Iavarone said.

But the mood changed instantly when Iavarone went to the stable area to be met by his glum trainer, Rick Dutrow, who said there was a problem with Big Brown.

Sometime during the workout Big Brown had “grabbed a quarter” – meaning he made contact with his right hind hoof to an area in his rear lower right front hoof and leg – and gashed away 3-4 inches of flesh and hoof.

The injury is not considered life threatening, given the prevention of infection, and measures were being taken in that regard. But it will require several weeks to heal.

Well at least this isn’t a life threatening injury to the horse. Because lord knows if these animals suffer an eyelash injury everyone’s like, “Well she had a good run – let’s put her down.”

The Breeders’ Cup just lost its heavyweight fight. People have been waiting to see Big Brown vs. Curlin since the summer.

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