Saturday, June 07, 2008

Triple Crown

Good luck to Big Brown and Saratoga's own Macho Again in the Belmont Stakes today.


Anonymous said...

1/17 of Macho Again is in Saratoga....the resy of the shares reside elsewhere.

save the victoria pool society said...

Big Brown finishes last in Belmont Stakes.
Big Brown denied Triple Crown; Da' Tara wins Belmont Stakes
Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - For the second time in five years a Nick Zito- trained horse has dashed the hopes of having a Triple Crown champion.

Da' Tara, a 38-1 long shot trained by Zito, went wire-to-wire to win Saturday's 140th Belmont Stakes. Big Brown, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, was eased at the top of the stretch to finish last.

Big Brown was denied becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner and first since Affirmed in 1978. Denis of Cork, who was third in the Kentucky Derby, came in second. Anak Nakal and Ready's Echo finished in a dead heat for third.

"I salute Big Brown," Zito said. "He's still a champion. He just wasn't himself today. We took advantage of it."

Big Brown, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, broke well from the gate from the inside post. Da' Tara and jockey Alan Garcia took the early lead and never gave it up as he covered the 1 1/2 miles in 2:29.65.

Da' Tara won by 4 1/2 lengths. Rounding out the order of finish was Macho Again in fifth, followed by Tale of Ekati, Guadalcanal, Icabad Crane and Big Brown.

Big Brown was running third most of the race behind Da' Tara and Tale of Ekati. The 1-4 favorite was on the outside up the backstretch as Desormeuax made sure his mount could not get into any trouble along the inside.

Big Brown lost contact with the field at the top of stretch, causing Desormeaux to stop riding the colt. The three-year-old jogged the rest of the way to finish last in the nine-horse field.

Of major concern going into the race was the quarter-crack of Big Brown's left front foot. He has been treated by hoof specialist Ian KcKinlay and raced Saturday with an acrylic patch.

"This horse was no way in any shape or form lame," Desormeaux said. "He was probably just tired and I thought in this horse's best interest, let's just get him back to the barn and recharge his batteries."

After the race, Big Brown trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. said he was going to closely examine his horse to determine what went wrong.

"He doesn't seem to be off in any kind of way," Dutrow said. "I don't see a problem and I'm looking for one."

Big Brown, who had been undefeated in five previous career starts, was the first of 19 horses going for a Triple Crown to finish last, and this was in front of a crowd of 94,476, the fourth-largest in Belmont Stakes history.

"Everybody that's with the Big Brown camp I'm sure is very disappointed, just like I am," said Dutrow. "We're going to check him out and see if he's okay. If we feel he's 100 percent as we're getting back into training I'm sure we'll go forward with him; and if not, I'm sure we'll just do the next thing, which would be to retire him."

Missing from the race was Big Brown's chief rival Casino Drive. The 7-2 second choice was scratched Saturday morning because of a stone bruise in his left hind hoof.

"This morning (Saturday), he was feeling well, so we took him to the track for a canter," said Nobutaka Tada, spokesperson for owner Hidetoshi Yamamoto and trainer Kazuo Fujisawa. "He came back well to the stable, but later he started favoring his left-hind again. It's not serious, just a small stone bruise, and he will be fine. But the timing is terrible."

In 2004 Zito's Birdstone defeated Smarty Jones by a length to deny the Pennsylvania-bred the historic Triple Crown sweep.

Da' Tara, owned by Robert LaPenta, notched just his second win in eight lifetime starts. The Belmont Stakes victory was worth $600,000 to increase the colt's bankroll to $664,067. He was the first wire-to-wire winner at the Belmont since Swale in 1984.

The three-year-old was coming off a second-place finish in the Barbaro Stakes at Pimlico on the Preakness Stakes program. He was ninth in the Florida Derby, behind Big Brown and fifth in the Derby Trial.

"He has been getting better," LaPenta said after the race. "Before the race Alan (Garcia) said I'm doing this for War Pass. We are delighted. There are not enough words."

Da' Tara returned $79.00, $28.00 and $14.80. Denis Of Cork paid $5.40 and $4.10. Anak Nakal paid $7.60 and Ready's Echo paid $6.20 to show.

06/07 20:38:15 ET