Monday, October 13, 2008

Bye Bye, Big Brown: Champion Colt Retired After Foot Injury During Training in New York

Today was the day he booked his van ride to Kentucky.

Champion three-year-old colt Big Brown limped home from a work at New York's Aqueduct racetrack this morning.

Owning partner Richard Iavarone of IEAH is quoted on "Big Brown has been retired. He not only tore the bulb off his foot, but half the foot was torn off. We did everything we could to get to the Breeders' Cup. It's devastating. And what makes it even worse is that he worked great."

Considering that a great portion of both heels of both the colt's front feet were artificial hoof wall and glue holding on a high-tech gasketized Yasha shoe, this is quite a feat.

Iavarone is quoted on the Daily Racing Form web site as saying that the decision was made after consulting with Aqueduct horseshoer Alex Leaf, who was at the track this morning. Leaf had ben a key player in keeping Dutrow's star Saint Liam sound in spite of hoof crises as he won the 2005 Breeders Cup Classic.

Hoof repair specialist Ian McKinlay, who worked on the horse's well-documented quarter cracks and wall separations and designed the custom-made heel insert shoes, was not at the track.

One of the greatest rivalries in horse racing in many years was developing as Big Brown trained toward the Breeders Cup Classic at Santa Anita in California on October 25, where he would have met champion older horse Curlin and the undefeated Japanese mystery horse, Casino Drive.

Next stop for Big Brown: Three Chimneys Farm outside Lexington, Kentucky, where he can share two-out-of-three's-not-bad stories with another almost-Triple Crown winner, Smarty Jones.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. No use without permission. This post was originally published on October 13, 2008 at

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