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Don't count on Big Brown to win

May 03, 2008|By LARRY YANOS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Will Big Brown rekindle memories of Big Red (Secretariat)?

The 3-year-old colt, trained by Hagerstown native Rick Dutrow, is the center of attention as the 134th Kentucky Derby draws near.

"I've had horses win three in a row, but I've never had a horse win three in a row by 29 lengths," Dutrow said as he praised the talented thoroughbred at his Churchill Downs barn earlier this week.

Despite breaking from the 20th post position in the auxiliary starting gate, Kentucky-bred Big Brown is still the betting favorite to win today's race.

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Late Friday afternoon, he was listed as a 7-2 choice in early wagering. If the bettors know what they are talking about, he would be the first horse to win the Run for the Roses from the 20th post position since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929.

Dutrow's father, Dickie, was a prominent thoroughbred trainer in West Virginia, Maryland and New York. Over the years, the younger Dutrow has had his share of talented thoroughbreds, but he's extremely high on Big Brown.

And why not?

The horse has put up some impressive numbers in just three starts, but can he win again while virtually breaking from the parking lot at Churchill Downs?

I don't think he can reach the winner's circle from the 20 hole. I also didn't think he could win from the 12 hole in the Florida Derby.

I do like the inexperienced horse to finish in the money and would include him in an exacta box with Adriano, Court Vision and Colonel John.

Big Brown already has $624,900 in career earnings and the Florida Derby triumph was his most impressive effort.

Adriano has won the Lane's End Stakes; Colonel John won the Santa Anita Derby and Court Vision finished third in the Wood Memorial.

As always, traffic problems will be a certainty in a 20-horse field. The horse getting a clean trip will likely wind up in the winner's circle.

Is Big Brown the second coming of Big Red? Will Friday's torrential rain affect track conditions? Will a pretender or a contender win the Run for the Roses?

We will find out early this evening.

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