Equidaily Racing Journal

2008 Triple Crown Archive


The links listed below make up the full archive of headlines that have been listed here on equidaily.com pertaining to the 2008 Kentucky Derby/Preakness/Belmont

Please understand that as time goes on some links might become inactive. We have no control over that.

They are listed in chronological order by day/date as they appeared in their various publications with the latest being at the top of the list.

>>> Official Kentucky Derby website
>>> Official Preakness website
>>> Official Belmont Stakes website

Triple Crown history:
Near-misses... Winners of 2-legs

Derby Trail map 1990-2007


Friday 6/13:

>>> Powell: A dozen factors "culminated in an undefeated horse being ignominiously eased to a trot with a quarter-mile to run."
>>> Finley: "The Kent bashers have lost their minds, and they should be institutionalized."
>>> Daley: Is there anyone left in America who hasn't criticized Kent Desormeaux's ride?
>>> Jock-blame: Often the typical reaction when a big fave goes down to defeat... Donna Brothers, "I always say that if you win, the horse gets 90 percent of the credit and the jockey gets 10 percent. If you lose, you can just flip those numbers."
Wilson: "Big Brown just wasn't good enough..."
>>> AUDIO: Venerable racing personality John Nerud commenting on Big Brown's defeat -- from 'At the Races' with Steve Byk earlier this week [interview approx halfway through Hour 1]... "This horse was very rank and that's because he hadn't been doing anything... He was very fresh. To run the Belmont you should have long gallops... so he can get the mile and a half."
>>> Plonk: Post-Belmont thoughts
>>> Transcript: Bloodhorse online post-Belmont chat with Steve Haskin

Starter/Detention barn meltdown mentioned as Brown-dud factors:

>>> Kent Desormeaux says starter on track rattled Big Brown... Starter, "I really don't want to talk about this."

Also mentioned in Dick Powell's Friday column and Steve Haskin's online chat:

Powell: Possible factor in the defeat was "the swerve to the outside that might have been caused by the starter standing six feet inside the rail on the track."
Haskin, "I saw a photo taken from the gate out, and he sure looked distracting to me."
>>> VIDEO: Starter

Powell: "What I couldn't get out of my mind was that a few years ago, Hall of Fame trainer D Wayne Lukas sat at the National Museum of Racing and said that half of the two-year-olds that he led over at Saratoga had no shot at winning since they melted down in the detention barn. Now, the [ESPN Belmont Stakes day] viewers were able to see what he was talking about first hand."
Haskin, "He got too wound up and it continued all the way to race day in the holding barn and on the track."
>>> VIDEO: Detention barn

Thursday 6/12:

>>> Today's funny: Big Brown's meltdown explained!
>>> Stewards, Desormeaux pow-wow on Wednesday... Stew, "He acted in the best interest of the horse."
>>> And Desormeaux also pow-wow'd with Dutrow, "We had a good conversation. We're back on the same page."
>>> Iavarone: "I don't understand why Kent took him up... I think a lot of people thought the worst, and they didn't need to."
>>> Haskin's Belmont Wrap: Why down on Brown?
>>> Triple Crown fizzle won't necessarily affect Brown's stud value
>>> Moss: It looks to me that after being yanked around by Kent Desormeaux in the early stages of the Belmont, Big Brown simply decided to say, "The hell with it."
>>> Scully: Dutrow's no team player. It's one thing to be a cocky winner and a gracious loser -- one can respect that

Wednesday 6/11:

>>> Big Brown's defeat: Gary Stevens on the contact with Anak Nakal, "It could have knocked the wind out of him."... And Steve Cauthen, "If that's what stopped him, he's a big (wimp)."
>>> Among trainers, Big Brown's jockey gets blame
>>> More and more people are agreeing that it was the ride
>>> Dutrow, Desormeaux pow-wow slated
VIDEO: Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo: Big Brown -- "This horse was awful!"
>>> NY Times:
Iavarone, "As far as I am concerned, there will be no changes [of jockey]."
Dutrow, "If it were up to me, I would seriously consider it. But Kent was never my pick to begin with. That was Mike Iavarone's move. My pick was always Edgar Prado. Edgar's my man."
Plus, Dutrow says the colt will get another dose of Winstrol on Sunday

>>> Anachronism? A dying sport?... Belmont Stakes result gets front page treatment from Hawaii to Maine, Texas to Wisconsin -- including major newspapers such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle
>>> Beyer: "There is probably not a simple explanation for Big Brown's loss, but part of it surely involves the hoof injury and the way Dutrow trained his colt..."
>>> Trainer Billy Turner critical of Desormeaux's ride, and Big Brown's pre-Belmont training regimen
>>> Liebman: "Only the return of 'Sidewalks [of New York]' can end the curse surrounding the Triple Crown."

Tuesday 6/10:

>>> Continued observation of Big Brown yields no physical problems
>>> Haskin's Belmont recap: "The Belmont Stakes once again had rudely shut the door on immortality."
>>> Christine: Zito's Belmont win "reminded me of [DW] Lukas' modus operandi: Keep throwing horses at the opposition until one of them sticks."
>>> Q&A with Kent Desormeaux: "I was hoping for a nice, clean, pure break and I didn't get that."
>>> LA Times: Upsets happen... There doesn't have to be a dark reason for Big Brown's failure
>>> Former vet: Lack of steroids did not appear to be the reason Big Brown tanked the Belmont
>>> Big Brown arrives at AQU
>>> Layden: Some of the questions, and some possible answers...
>>> Matthews: Finger-pointing at Desormeaux, "This was all Dutrow's way of saying, 'Don't blame the trainer.'"
>>> Jerardi: Why Big Brown came up so small

>>> VIDEO: Blogger records staggeringly long bathroom lines at Belmont on Saturday in face of water snafu
>>> Meanwhile, this blogger found water situation disappointing, but overall NYRA staff was "helpful, polite, and cool-headed."

>>> Hunnell/Ohio: My beef is with Rick Dutrow Jr, the big-mouthed trainer of Big Brown...
>>> Forde: How now does it feel to be the freshly humbled fool of thoroughbred racing?
>>> Bozich: "A bad ride couldn't beat your horse, Babe. At least that's what you told us all week. It was over. Done deal."
>>> Clay: What does the boastful Rick Dutrow have to say now?

>>> Hmmm: Big Brown deal -- $50mil... or $5mil?!? Moran writes: "A knowledgeable source in Lexington claims that Three Chimneys Farm, where Big Brown will stand at stud, purchased a 10 percent interest for $5 million, which may have technically established his total worth at $50 million but like all things IEAH, is not what it seems."
>>> Belmont TV ratings take significant jump... tops this year's Derby and Preakness
>>> List: Belmont Stakes draws more weekend TV viewers than NBA, NASCAR, or tennis
>>> UK: Three million watch Epsom Derby on TV... BBC rep, "We are very pleased."
>>> It's the 'Traveling Wilburys' of racehorse syndicates!... Lukas, Baffert, Zito team up to help manage a venture capital fund that plans to raise $75 million to buy racehorses
>>> DRF: Dutrow questions Desormeaux's ride, "I just feel like something's not right. I know it's not the combination that our stable has with the horse, me, [exercise rider] Michelle [Nevin], the groom. I know he went into this race unbelievable, so the rest Kent's got to answer."
>>> Gary Stevens blames Desormeaux for Belmont flop, "It's the first time I have wanted to have had my boots on since I retired."
>>> Owner Iavarone thinks it was the track -- might opt to head to Jersey for the Haskell, "I know we'd get favorable conditions on a track that is more to our liking."
>>> Layden: Recent history suggests that Big Brown will disappear as swiftly as he emerged... given the outcome of the Belmont, future racing would seem problematic and financially pointless
>>> Celizic: Horse racing once was a major sport, but now it's like gymnastics or table tennis or figure skating...
>>> The money-side of a missed Triple Crown: Companies that were lined up to license the 'Big Brown' name/image
>>> UPS gets marketing boost from Big Brown deal
>>> Crist: Step One -- Remove tin-foil hat...

Monday 6/9:

>>> Canadian comment: Maybe Big Brown's Triple Crown wasn't such a disaster after all... Maybe those who run the sport will finally stop running it into the ground
>>> Veitch comment: Medication, breeding and early retirement... "If this sport/industry takes a serious reformist look at these issues, it has a good future."
>>> Bortstein: Racing moves merrily on despite Big Brown's loss. In fact, racing might even be stronger as a result
>>> Veitch comment: Leave the Triple Crown series alone... "Racing leaders have to demand a bigger emphasis on stamina breeding and racing, as opposed to cheapening the accomplishments of past champions."
>>> NY Times: Before the race, Zito declined to say if his two horses in the Belmont would be on steroids. On Sunday, he also declined to say if his horses had received steroids
>>> Big Brown still set for Travers, "Unless something shows up, we're going to maintain his regular training schedule."
>>> Belmont water outage not a factor on track surface according to track super, "I called [racing secretary] PJ Campo and said, 'Get the water on and get it on now.' I said, 'If we have a choice -- dirty toilets or a fast track -- we'll take the fast track. We were ready to go over to the county to fill up [the trucks] at a fire plug, but we never had to do it."
>>> Fountaine: Big Brown spooked out of the gate?
>>> Kerrison: Desormeaux taking heat for Belmont ride
>>> Newsday: Desormeaux did horse racing a big favor
>>> Triple what?... Sportswriter describes mostly indifference to Belmont telecast in Ohio soccer stadium pressbox
>>> Massachusetts sportswriter on Triple Crown bid and flop: "Didn't care before, won't pretend to care now."
>>> From the "It's the same all over" Dept: Debate begins on whether English Derby winner will race as a 4YO
>>> Photo: Owner Iavarone hugs Big Brown after defeat
>>> Iavarone explains photo: "I love this horse... And I wanted him to know he can run dead last and he can run first and we would still love him. I just wanted him to know."
>>> Ontario comment: Dutrow "earned the Triple Crown for boorishness, boneheadedness and bombasticity."
>>> After stunning Belmont loss, no one's happy in Big Brown barn
>>> Ziegel: Plenty of blame to spread around in Big Brown's Belmont flop

Sunday 6/8:

>>> Belmont Stakes results: 38-1 Da'Tara upsets G1 $1mil race [video replay link included]
>>> Chart/payoffs
>>> 2008 Belmont Stakes Day attendance/handle numbers
>>> Iavarone on Sunday: "The track might have been too deep for him."
>>> Zito graphic: Big race victories

>>> NTRA prez: "The legacy of Big Brown will be a consensus in this sport that it's time to end the use of steroids, to ban its use in horse racing for good."
>>> Hawaii comment on ABC-TV coverage: "Can we at least see the horse that won get some attention? I feel like Da' Tara was robbed of his 15 minutes of fame because there was so much focus on Big Brown."
>>> ...NY Times' TV Sports columnist agrees: "Shaquille O'Neal got more face time than Big Brown's rivals."
>>> Jenkins: "It was no great tragedy that Big Brown's owner and trainer were disappointed in their quest... the people attached to the horse were irretrievably crummy."
>>> Seattle Slew owner, "When you start comparing [Big Brown] to Seattle Slew, that's like comparing a cherry to a watermelon."
>>> Belmont Stakes Day comment: "The day had just the right touch of theater of the bizarre and cross-cultural appeal to get non-horse people talking about horse racing."
>>> Matthews: The defeat of Big Brown reminds us of what drew us to the racetrack in the first place: the uncertainty and the seemingly limitless possibilities
>>> 'Jockey' Shaquille O'Neal on-track at Belmont on Saturday
>>> Former vet explains horse and hot weather
>>> And more from the frustratingly ignorant coverage of racing by 'mainstream' sports writers during the Triple Crown: "Maybe we'll learn that Big Brown, who raced in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (but not at Belmont Park) on a drug that kept his lungs from bleeding, couldn't breathe without it." [Note to writer: Big Brown ran on Lasix in the Belmont]
>>> Casino Drive possible for BC Classic
>>> Girls vs boys debate?... Filly takes G1 Queensland Derby [2400m/approx 1.5mi] in Australia on Saturday -- and, oh yeah, she won the Oaks seven days before!
>>> Desormeaux numb after defeat: "A little lost. Just feeling no emotion whatsoever. Blank."
>>> Desormeaux: "Any time I get beat by less than a length, I think there's absolutely something I could have done different, and that one (Real Quiet) just ate me up. This will never eat me up. I'll be quite proud knowing... I thought in this horse's best interest (to pull him up)."
>>> Desormeaux: "Life throws curves. Some of us hit it, and some of us will sulk around. We've continued to hit the curveball."
>>> NY Daily News' live blog from Belmont Stakes Day: 3:43 p.m.: We approached Dutrow before the race in his box near the finish line. "Would you please let me hang out by myself? Please?" he snapped. No problem, Rick. Geez
>>> Ziegel: Post-race, "now that we needed an explanation, something, the trainer who didn't duck a question in the weeks preceding the race had nothing to offer."
>>> Gleason: Now instead of answers, Dutrow had something else. He had his comeuppance
>>> Philly Inquirer: The loquacious Dutrow should feel about three inches tall today
>>> Wash Times: "Hey, UPS, what did Big Brown do for you yesterday?"
>>> Dwyre: One minute, racing had a star. The next, somewhere in the final turn of the $1-million Belmont Stakes, it had Roberto Duran... "No mas."
>>> Brunker: On the third floor of the grandstand, fans appeared disoriented, as if they had just awoken from a deep sleep. Some had tears in their eyes
>>> Desormeaux, "I was talking in the jockey room and I can't fathom what kind of freaks those 11 Triple Crown winners were."
>>> Dutrow stung by Big Brown's Belmont defeat, "So far I can't see a problem."
>>> Three Chimneys prez, "He's a great horse. It just wasn't his day today."
>>> Boling: It might take more study before deciding Big Brown lost because he got off the juice
>>> Evangeline Downs jock, "I thought that first turn messed him up, when they checked him like that."

Belmont Stakes photo galleries:
>>> NY Times
>>> Seattle Times
>>> USA Today
>>> NY Daily News/1
>>> NY Daily News/2

Other venues... Fans -- and reporters -- turn out across the country to take in the Triple Crown bid:
>>> Churchill Downs: Several U of Louisville students had bet $1 superfectas and had bet Big Brown to finish first and put every other horse in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th spots. The tickets cost $336 each
>>> Fans flock to Keeneland to see history, leave disappointed
>>> Golden Gate: "You just heard the whole place go, 'Ehhhh,' just a collective sigh."
>>> Pimlico: "Everyone's here to see a Triple Crown."
>>> NoCal simulcast facility: "We expected it would be a big crowd because Big Brown won the first two races."
>>> Calder: "Of course, you are disappointed to see [Big Brown] lose, but what can you do?"
>>> Estimated 2000 attend simulcast at Gulfstream
>>> Turf Paradise: "I'm disappointed Big Brown didn't win."
>>> Remington Park: 9YO fan disappointed, "I love animals, and Big Brown is so cool."
>>> Florida dog track: 3300 attend, "I'm a little disappointed. But now, I think, we'll get to see him race again"
>>> Extra bus needed to take upstate NY'ers to Belmont

Saturday 6/7:

>>> NY Post's 'Bettor's Guide' with comments and all pertinent stats for all entrants

>>> Odds: Belmont Stakes after Fri's wagering close... And Brooklyn/Belmont double will-pays


>>> Merrow/equidaily.com: Tale of Ekati, Denis of Cork, Big Brown, Ready's Echo, Anak Nakal
>>> Brunker/MSNBC.com: I see Big Brown leading Casino Drive by two lengths, with Denis of Cork and Tale of Ekati fighting it out for third
>>> Telias/Sporting News: Casino Drive, Denis of Cork, Ready's Echo, Big Brown
>>> Cronley/ESPN.com: 1. Big Brown, 2. Tale of Ekati, 3. Casino Drive, 4. Icabad Crane
>>> Kling/Troy Record [NY]: 1) Big Brown, 2) Casino Drive, 3) Denis of Cork, 4) Icabad Crane
>>> Brownell/Post-Star [NY]: First: Big Brown, Second: Casino Drive, Third: Denis of Cork, Fourth: Ready's Echo
>>> O'Donnell/Chicago Sun-Times: Tale of Ekati, Big Brown, Anak Nakal, Denis of Cork
>>> Raimonto/Staten Island Advance: Big Brown, Casino Drive, Tale of Ekati, Guadalcanal
>>> Kaplan/Sun Herald [Miss]: My Belmont bet: exactas with Big Brown on top of Casino Drive and Denis Of Cork
>>> O'Halloran/Wash Times: 1. Big Brown, 2. Denis of Cork, 3. Macho Again
>>> NY Post: Staff selections
>>> Star-Ledger [NJ]: Staff selections
>>> Tilton/News Herald [Ohio]: WIN - Big Brown, PLACE - Denis of Cork, SHOW - Icabad Crane
>>> Crist/DRF: A six-horse $1 triple box using Macho Again, Denis of Cork, Tale of Ekati, Anak Nakal, Ready's Echo and Icabad Crane
>>> Donnelly/Philly Inquirer: Big Brown, Casino Drive, Tale of Ekati, Macho Again, Denis of Cork
>>> Pricci/Horseraceinsider.com: Most Probable Winner: Big Brown, Most Likely Upsetter: Casino Drive, Best Projected Money Finisher: Denis Of Cork, Best Value Play: Tale Of Ekati
>>> Eng/Las Vegas Review-Journal: The way I'll bet the Belmont will be to key Big Brown to win and Casino Drive for second, with Macho Again, Denis of Cork and Tale of Ekati for third and fourth in a superfecta. I'll also...
>>> Byk/Sirius satellite radio: Most Likely: #1 Big Brown 2-5, Best Value: #4 Denis of Cork 12-1, Next Best: #7 Tale of Ekati 20-1, Exotics Add: #10 Icabad Crane 20-1
>>> Powell/BRIS: My betting strategy will be Ready's Echo to win and place and...
>>> Rippey/Star-Ledger: Big Brown, Denis of Cork, Macho Again, Casino Drive
>>> USA Today: List of top picks of various writers from around the country [list at bottom of article]
>>> Nuzzo/My Airy News: WIN: Big Brown; PLACE: Denis of Cork; SHOW: Tale of Ekati or Macho Again
>>> Agriss/Sports Network: Big Brown, Icabad Crane, Macho Again

Saturday news:

>>> Beyer: Big Brown "is so superior in this field that he is unlikely to be beaten."
>>> Foot work on Friday for both Big Brown and Casino Drive
>>> Seattle Slew owners rooting against Big Brown, "I'll be cheering Casino Drive, the great grandson of Slew. Blood is thicker than glory."
>>> Casino Drive has bruised hoof, but is still on track for Belmont
>>> Photo: Media throng watching Big Brown gets hosed down on Friday
>>> Photo: Big Brown on-track Fri morning
>>> Crawford: Humans fade, horses endure in racing lore
>>> NY Post's daily Dutrow diary: "It's like Frankel told me yesterday morning, this horse is blessed. Someone is looking over him, and I really believe that."
>>> Dutrow/Friday: "Anybody that's going to try to beat him, they're going to have to run the race of their life, or something you've never seen out of them before."
>>> Brown's exercise rider, "He's already, like, a step away from talking. His facial expressions are so clear, you know exactly what he wants."
>>> Retired Catholic priest heading to Belmont to root for namesake: Denis of Cork... "Can you imagine the Sunday sermon if he wins?"
>>> Big Brown's trainer confident, but his words shouldn't be seen as trash talk
>>> AUDIO: NPR's 'Morning Edition' talks with Bloodhorse's Steve Haskin about weekend's Triple Crown try
>>> Plonk's latest 'Countdown to the Crown' notes
>>> ESPN's Randy Moss: "Whether it's the pessimist in me or the cynic, if Big Brown wins the Triple Crown, I'd be surprised if he ever runs again."
>>> West: A Big Brown victory could be the best thing to happen to racing in many years... in its embarrassment, horse racing will move to ban anabolic steroids
>>> Bossert: "Just remember one thing: If Big Brown wins the Belmont, he deserves everyone's adulation."
>>> Fornatale: "I'd rather see Big Brown lose."
>>> AUDIO: NPR's 'All Things Considered' looks at current state of breeding side of the industry in light of Eight Belles fatality
>>> Interesting: Seattle columnist looks back at the times of last Triple Crown winner... "June 10: A crowd of 16,891 piles into Longacres racetrack on Boeing Day to watch Little Joker hold off Crafty Native in the feature race. Patrons can't watch and wager on the Belmont -- simulcasting wasn't introduced until 1981."
>>> ebay'ers capitalizing on Triple Crown bid
>>> Triple Crown TV coverage: ABC vs NBC... Tale of the tape
>>> Hooters jock-pants ad gets nixed
>>> Triple Crown glow: Line waiting at door of CT OTB to bet Belmont Stakes
>>> ...And Pennsylvania wagering sites bracing for a big Saturday
>>> Smaller venues hope Triple Crown provides a boost... Arapahoe Park VP, "Maybe it will increase our attendance and people will give us another try."
>>> Super-fan: Husband sending wife and son ahead to vacation destination while he attends Belmont Stakes alone... Wife, "I knew when I married him that this was something he was passionate about."

Friday 6/6:

>>> Casino Drive could miss Belmont with hind leg issue
>>> Suffolk Downs offers conditional purse boost to $5 mil if both Big Brown and Curlin show up for Sept 20 Mass Cap
>>> New York Curlin/Brown match-up? NYRA prez, " If we get through [the Belmont], we'd like to approach both connections to create an event around the Jockey Club Gold Cup."
>>> Cot Campbell: "I love the horse Big Brown. But I do not love the package that Big Brown comes in, nor the blueprint for his future."
>>> USA Today: The breeding debate -- Born to run, or sell?
>>> Izenberg: "The breeding industry, without which there could be no racing, is, ironically, its own worst enemy."
>>> What?!? Horse races on a horse racing telecast? Absurd!!!... ESPN, ABC might opt to ignore both G2 Stephens and G1 Manhattan on Belmont undercard despite seven hours of live coverage
>>> Balt Sun: Good competition would benefit Big Brown's legacy
>>> Beyer ranks the eleven TC winners
>>> Seeds of Big Brown's greatness planted in Ocala... Learned the basics at Eddie Woods Stables
>>> Ross: In 1978, Alydar was my banana. And me, I was his monkey
>>> AUDIO/slideshow: Tom Durkin talks about calling Triple Crown races and potential of a sweep-call
>>> Philly Inquirer: "The question about [Dutrow] isn't whether he is a kind of scoundrel, but what kind of scoundrel is he? And how much has he reformed?"
>>> ABC News: Despite losing sight, Desormeaux's son cheers on Big Brown
>>> Big Brown set for five-star life once racing career ends

Thursday 6/5:

>>> Clay: Will ABC be ready? Belmont telecast needs to improve over last two years
>>> Big merchandising: "I want every kid in America to be able to walk into a Wal-Mart and buy a Big Brown shirt or a Big Brown Beanie Babie."
>>> Hooters hops onboard Big Brown... Logo will adorn jock's pants
>>> Beyer: "If Big Brown sweeps the Triple Crown... the only admirable figure in the Belmont winner's circle will be Big Brown."
>>> Comment: Is Dutrow good for horse racing? Purists will say no. They're wrong
>>> Author claims she's "in a better position than most to recognize a sport that's hanging on by its fingernails."
>>> Vecsey: Triple Crown drought? "It took the Boston Red Sox 86 years to win another championship. What's 30 years among friends?"
>>> Sports destinations: Belmont -- Track seeks broader appeal
>>> VIDEO: Billy Cyrstal makes a surprise appearance on Tuesday's 'Late Night with David Letterman' accompanied by... Big Brown?!?
>>> Thornton: 2-5 fave in Belmont -- "But Big Brown's odds of outrunning his trainer's reputation as a reckless, win-at-all-costs rule breaker are far longer than that."
>>> NY Times: No steroids for Brown since April
>>> Connecticut comment: "We question everything now. Well, there's no need to question Big Brown. He's juiced."
>>> Wash Post: Belmont is 2nd chance for Denis of Cork
>>> NY Post's daily Dutrow diary/Thurs: "You've got to deal with the monitoring barn here, where the horses have to stay all day before the race. It's absolutely a non-issue for our horse, but I can guarantee you, there's going to be some horse in the Belmont that isn't going to like what's happening in there."
>>> Maiden Guadalcanal looks for first win in Belmont Stakes
>>> White: Ten questions regarding this Saturday’s Belmont Stakes...

Wednesday 6/4:

2008 Belmont post positions and morning line odds
Post.. Horse... Jockey... ML
1. Big Brown K. Desormeaux 2-5
2. Guadalcanal J. Castellano 50-1
3. Macho Again G. Gomez 20-1
4. Denis of Cork R. Albarado 12-1
5. Casino Drive E. Prado 7-2
Post.. Horse... Jockey... ML
6. Da' Tara A. Garcia 30-1
7. Tale of Ekati E. Coa 20-1
8. Anak Nakal J. Leparoux 30-1
9. Ready's Echo J. Velazquez 30-1
10. Icabad Crane J. Rose 20-1

>>> Big Brown camp open to meeting Curlin outside of BC Classic, "If Curlin wanted to run, we would entertain that idea."
>>> Asmussen, "If both horses run up to their standards, why would we wait (until the Breeders' Cup)?"
>>> Paulick: The sport needs its best 3-year-olds to race against older horses in the fall
>>> Summer plans: Dutrow to avoid Saratoga with Big Brown prior to Travers, "I'll take him to Aqueduct and train him for the Travers... Saratoga is kind of scary for me."
>>> McGrath: Oh, for those days when the Triple Crown season wasn't seen as the end of a champion's career, or even the beginning of the end
>>> Check it out! See the Derby future ticket of one lucky bettor who cashed for $60K on Big Brown!
>>> Oregon columnist wrings hands: "Root for Big Brown? Sure. I'll root for him to survive."
>>> From the archives: Red Smith's pre-Belmont column from 1978
>>> Vet: "If a third of NFL linemen were geldings, they might have a different attitude about anabolic steroids than they do today."
>>> Dutrow unfazed by inside post position draw
>>> Crist/list: Belmont Stakes post time odds last three TC near-misses
>>> NY Times: Prado gets to play the spoiler once again... Still disappointed to have missed Big Brown mount this year, "The owner gave me the call and everything was all set. Something happened. The owner went to dinner with Desormeaux. He gave him the mount."
>>> Desormeuax not the guy for morning works however... Dutrow, "I let him breeze the horse once or twice, but I'd never let him do it again... The horse was getting out in the middle of the track. It looked terrible."
>>> Jerardi: Could Big Brown be targeted by the competition?
>>> Forde: Ganging up on favorite isn't unimaginable at Belmont
>>> NY Post's daily Dutrow diary/Wed: "I think it's a good thing Big Brown bounced a bit in the Preakness..."
>>> Wesch give first-hand account of on-track experience during recent TC near-misses at Belmont
>>> Triple Crown jockeys recall near-misses
>>> USA Today: Closer look at the Big Brown team
>>> Macho Again's owner not ready to concede Triple Crown
>>> Triple Crown pressure?... Desormeaux, "Pressure is riding in a match race at Acadiana Downs where the bet's $10,000 and each guy's got $5,000 in one pocket and a pistol in the other."
>>> Dutrow tired of hoof questions
>>> Politi: You also want somebody to tie a feedbag around Dutrow's face so he'll actually stop talking
>>> Cote: Connections, lack of rivalry taint potential Crown
>>> Telias: Whoa! "Let's let them run around Belmont's 1 1/2-mile oval before we anoint Big Brown as the next great thoroughbred."
>>> No steroids for Big Brown before Belmont

Tuesday 6/3:

>>> NY Times: James Tagliaferri -- the money man behind IEAH... "We exploded when Jim gave us the money to grow."
>>> Eight Belles to be buried at Ky Derby Museum
>>> History: Citation dominated in different era of horse racing
>>> NY times editorial frowns on steroids in racing
>>> From the archives: Red Smith's Mar '78 column profiling Alydar
>>> Dwyre: Still, nothing like Affirmed-Alydar's Triple Crown duel
>>> Desormeaux to address UPS drivers before they hit the streets on Wed
>>> By the numbers: Big Brown's breeders depends on math, "Big Brown is the definition of applied statistics."
>>> Doh! Big Brown's sire is retired... It's kind of like hitting the lottery and discovering you lost the ticket
>>> Big Brown worked 5F on Tues
>>> NYRA pegs Belmont Stakes field at nine
>>> Belmont Stakes field might be larger than any Triple Crown champion has had to overcome
>>> Len Friedman of the Ragozin Sheets, "I'd say [Big Brown]'s about 50-50 to win, which means he'll be one of the big underlays of all time."
>>> Steve Crist: "I have seen so many horses in this spot who have failed to go on and do it, I couldn't back [Big Brown] at a short price."
>>> Ross: Dutrow's brashness? "Some call it arrogance. I call it confidence."
>>> NY Post's daily Dutrow diary/Tues: "He's showing us in his morning gallops he's ready to do something. It's time."
>>> Better Than Honour -- Among broodmares, she's the mother of them all
>>> Fans like Big Brown -- not so sure about the connections... Dutrow, "Why people do not like me is not important to me. I got enough people that like me out there, too, you know."
>>> Christine looks back at connections of recent TC near-misses... "Too bad none of [Pegram's or Lewis'] horses made it in the Belmont. Both of them would have worn the Triple Crown nobly."
>>> TC winner would take Baffert off of reporters seasonal speed-dail, "If Big Brown wins, now during this time of year they won't be calling me anymore."
>>> Plonk: There's simply no feel-good story for me surrounding Big Brown, just manufactured manure from the publicity machine
>>> Zito sees similarities between Anak Nakal, Birdstone

Monday 6/2:

>>> Bossert: Where's the buzz?!? "To infuse interest in the sport, more has to be done."
>>> West: Horse racing needs to restore credibility
>>> Prof of Economics at Clemson [and self-confessed racing fan] says, "Somehow, horse racing has failed to hitch a ride on the nation's gambling wave, one of the dominant economic trends of the last 30 years... But the biggest problem facing the sport is its backward economics..."
>>> Denver Post: Whether or not you like horse racing, anybody with an appreciation of the history of sports will tune in to the Belmont
>>> Balt Sun: Smarty Jones' Belmont defeat sticks with trainer, "I still do replay it [the Belmont] in my mind, especially this time of year."
>>> Stud career: Big Brown will make a lifestyle adjustment at Three Chimneys Farm after his racing is done

>>> Desormeaux throws out first pitch at Shea
>>> Photo: Desormeaux on the mound at Shea on Sunday night

>>> From the archives: Red Smith's 1977 Belmont Stakes recap
>>> From the archives: Russ Harris' 1978 Belmont recap
>>> History: Secretariat is still the standard

>>> Iavarone: Hub-bub surrounding Big Brown includes request for horse to visit Disney World, talk of a NYC ticker tape parade, as well as movie offers
>>> Photo: Big Brown on track Monday morning
>>> Photo: Big Brown talking to his neigh-bors?
>>> Photo: Close-up look at repaired hoof
>>> Big Brown doesn't need hoof patch until race-day
>>> Finley: Casino Drive -- no drugs?!? "That's downright Un-American."
>>> Thoro-graph's Jerry Brown, "Why would you take 1-5 on something that hasn't happened the last 10 times it could have?"
>>> Ten experts respond: Will Big Brown do it?
>>> Slow works leave Casino Drive's connections unconcerned, "We are very happy with the way Casino Drive is coming along and how he is stretching out."
>>> Velazquez on Ready's Echo, off Anak Nakal
>>> Tomcito, Spark Candle out
>>> NY Post's daily Dutrow diary: "He's not going into the Belmont with an injured hoof. He doesn't even know anything is wrong."
>>> Kerrison: "Ricky, babe, take a deep breath. Herewith a cautionary tale..."
>>> Ford comment: "If [Big Brown] wins the Belmont, becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner, he'll probably be packed in foam peanuts and shipped to Kentucky immediately."
>>> Wash Post: 'You've got to be lucky'... Even the best horses sometimes fail to seize the Triple Crown
>>> Denis of Cork breezes at Churchill on Monday, "Just something nice to stretch his legs."
>>> On schedule with Casino Drive
>>> Big Brown's hoof specialist to attach acrylic-fiberglass patch Friday
>>> Hoof specialist upset that uninformed feel Big Brown shouldn't run: "I understand people's concerns, but in 30 years of dealing with cracks, this crack isn't very special. The horse is very special, but not the crack."
>>> Macho Again's trainer, "We'll all know after about 6:30 Saturday who wants to do what."
>>> Dutrow tells of asking for change in maintenance of Belmont surface, "I don't know how to [change surfaces], but I do know when tracks are a little too hard."
>>> Tagg pleased with Tale of Ekati's final drill

Sunday 6/1:

>>> Scottish take on Big Brown's TC bid: As soon as he's past the winning post, Hollywood will be mobilised for sure
>>> NY Post Q&A with Rick Dutrow: Q: If you win the Triple Crown, which actor plays you in the movie? A: I would want someone like Tom Cruise because he'll draw a lot of people to the movie.
>>> Making a Triple Crown winner: Scribe polls the experts to define 'eight key categories that separate a TC champ from the rest'
>>> Woodbine CEO knocks steroid use -- and the win by a Dutrow horse in 2005 Queen's Plate, "It was offensive. My reaction was: 'You come up here and use our most important race for a betting coup?' It was outrageous."
>>> Another Triple Crown feather for bayou 'bush tracks': After Borel and Albarado last year, Desourmeaux yet another that traces his riding roots to cajun country
>>> Pomp of TC races draws different attention to the game: Cultural anthropologist, "The people you see at the big Triple Crown races are kids, families, drunk college students. It's the place to be."
>>> Triple Crown win to provide racing boost? "When a colt has a chance at the Triple Crown, there's a positive vibe around the racetrack."
>>> Yeesh -- random happy talk from an Ohio sports scribe: "Here's Big Brown -- cracked hoof and all -- speeding around the last turn, the coveted Triple Crown in his sights. Will he do it, or will he be carted off the track in a meat wagon?"
>>> Profile: Trainer Larry Jones... Conditioner/wife team at the top of their game with a full barn, "I've turned down people I thought I'd never turn down, with horses coming out of champion mares."
>>> Desormeaux happy to have another TC chance, "What I always dream of is being able to put closure to Real Quiet."
>>> Owner Pegram remembers Real Quiet's TC near-miss, "That would have been a life-changing experience for [Desormeaux]. Me? It didn't matter so much. I still had my hamburgers and my beer, so I was happy."
>>> Bloodhorse Belmont notes -- June 1
>>> Balt Sun: Crown without luster?... Some say weak competition would dull Big Brown's feat
>>> Handleman: "I cannot bring myself to root for Big Brown to win the Triple Crown."
>>> Daley: A closer look at recent Triple Crown near-misses
>>> Bozich: Denis of Cork upset would be big
>>> Florida scribe: I never rooted for McGwire or Sosa. I am not sure I want to root for Big Brown, either
>>> NY Daily News: Sketchy past catches up with Big Brown owner, Michael Iavarone
>>> Kansas newspaper: If you like to witness sports history, you pull for Big Brown. So why, Rick Dutrow, do you have to make this so hard?
>>> Biggest Big Brown obstacle: Belmont... "It's a 1 1/2-mile race with plenty of time to make mistakes."
>>> Casino Drive hopes to keep mom's Belmont win streak going... Broodmare might have 3rd consecutive Belmont winner

Saturday 5/31:

>>> Big Brown gets sutures switched
>>> Cronley: Ahead of this TC bid -- cut the negativity and "Let's all get together and enjoy a sports moment."
>>> Audio/slideshow: NY Daily News visits Belmont Park
>>> Wow! Business journal article claims 150K expected to attend Belmont Stakes!
>>> Transcript: NTRA's 'Road to the Triple Crown' teleconference... Dutrow [Big Brown], McKinlay [hoof guy], Tada [Casino Drive], Carroll [Denis of Cork]
>>> West: Curlin-Big Brown -- what are the chances?
>>> DRF: Big Brown's list of foes keeps growing
>>> All major account-wagering platforms will be able to offer betting on the Belmont
>>> Pricci: "Dutrow is not expressing any opinions that differ from what you could hear any trainer standing at the rail over their early morning coffees. Only most wouldn’t say on for the record."
>>> Wesch 'interviews' Big Brown, "You know what they call the person who finishes last in a medical school class? Doctor. You know what they'll call me if I win the Belmont? Triple Crown champion. Deal with it."
>>> Audio/slideshow: Dutrow talks about Big Brown
>>> Nahill: "I can't say I'll be heartbroken if [Big Brown] doesn't do it. It's awfully tough to root for those connections."
>>> Calling Merriam -- and/or Webster... You folks might want to feature this article as a new definition for 'hyperbole'!... Scribe decides upcoming Triple Crown bid is almost literally a 'do-or-die' event

Friday 5/30:

>>> DRF: IEAH investors support Iavarone
>>> Paulick: The trend of Japanese horses winning major international races is similar to what has happened in Major League Baseball
>>> Triple Crown attraction: Alabama newspaper editor, "Horse racing is a sport I rarely ever pay much attention to during the year... This year, however, Big Brown has given me pretty much all the reason I could think of to watch the sport."
>>> Eng suggests NY match-up for Big Brown and Curlin, "if it's the best way to get Big Brown and Curlin to meet, so be it."
>>> Moran: Affirmed-Alydar rivalry marked the end of an epoch
>>> Bloomberg.com comment: It is a failure of racing's regulators that Iavarone could so quickly accumulate investor capital (some $40 million) and become an industry power
>>> Dutrow frowns on possibility of opposition ganging up on Big Brown... Also critical of Smarty Jones' connections Triple Crown bid
>>> Ready's Echo to start in Belmont
>>> Dutrow: "I'm right back to talking big at the Belmont because I feel we have the best horse."
>>> Wash Post profiles Japanese owner of Casino Drive... Speaking of the Peter Pan victory, "I do believe that Casino Drive was at his worst when he ran in that race."
>>> Tom Durkin preps - again - to call Triple Crown bid
>>> AP: Grueling Belmont tends to foil Triple Crown bids
>>> NY Sun: Are we primed for another disappointment? Or is this going to be the one?

Thursday 5/29:

>>> Bloomberg.com offers unflattering profile of IEAH prnicipal Michael Iavarone
>>> ...And Newsday adds to the Iavarone scrutiny
>>> ...And the NY Times... Iavarone, "I don't know how the mistakes I made 15 years ago are relevant now."
>>> Clay to Dutrow: Point to remember -- The more humble our sports figures, the better we like them
>>> Connections of Affirmed and Alydar lament current stars rush to the breeding shed, "They're doing a disservice to the sport."
>>> Scully: I find it difficult to believe that Big Brown will ever race again after the Belmont, and that's a real shame
>>> Ky Horse Racing Authority investigating Derby asst starter/Pyro situation
>>> Wall Street Journal: Racehorse insurance is scrutinized... Prominent agent says any policy written without considering a horse's pedigree is incomplete
>>> Behind the scenes: Belmont gate crew keeps horses in line, "You really have to take on the role of the leader of the herd."
>>> Prado [Casino Drive] on role as potential spoiler, "We know the sport needs a hero and the sport wants to see a Triple Crown but I have a job, too."
>>> Anak Nakal: Triple Crown spoiler?

Wednesday 5/28:

>>> NY Times: Profile of hoof specialist Ian McKinlay... "Every horse is different, and when they're pushing for a big race, you have to have your head in the game. You know you can't make a mistake."
>>> Plonk: Big Brown by the numbers... History and Big Brown
>>> Prado named on Casino Drive, "I am looking forward to the race and the challenge."
>>> No Secretariat-like stretch run in store for Big Brown's Belmont: "There's no reason to put on a show. Big Brown is a fragile horse. He's already had major issues with his feet, and we're dealing with another one now."
>>> Casino Drive and Big Brown on track Wed morning
>>> Clockers deem Casino Drive's time too slow to classify as a 'work'
>>> Quarter-crack repair success story... Trainer Shug McGaughey, "Ian patched one for us on Saturday, and he was training on Sunday. I remember we had Personal Flag, and he had one and he was patched on a Tuesday and he won the (1987) Queen's County Handicap on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. It happens quite a bit."
>>> Closer look at the probable field

Tuesday 5/27:

>>> Big Brown jogs... Dutrow says hoof crack just a footnote
>>> List: Five races that provide cautionary tales for a Belmont Stakes 'sure-thing'
>>> Tagg not pleased with Ekati workout, "It's no wonder I'm always in a bad mood."
>>> Denis of Cork works at CD on Monday
>>> Casino Drive 50-50 for Wed breeze

Equidaily takes exception:

Canadian columnist: "Why should we care if the greatest horse since Secretariat gets a monthly dose of Winstrol... Embarrassing and potentially dangerous to the horse, yes, but not technically illegal... Dutrow's reputation doesn't make the doping of Big Brown any more palatable."

The Canadian writer is expressing an opinion similar to that shared in print by others over the past couple of weeks. But shouldn't wordsmiths take more care? While the debate over steroids seems fair -- labeling the use of them as 'doping' and 'technically' legal is intellectually dishonest. First, there's no technicality about the legality -- in many jurisdictions they're legal! It's that simple. And, as such -- according to Merriam-Webster -- the use of steroids can therefore not be considered doping.

Why is this important? Hey, love Rick Dutrow or hate him, agree or disagree with the use of steroids, currently steroid use is legal, so tossing around terms like 'doping' only muddies the waters for the uninitiated. Heck, the title of the Canadian article is 'Cheating era bears down on Belmont'. It simply paints an unfair picture of the racing industry.
Merriam-Webster definition of doping

Monday 5/26:

>>> UH-OH... Big Brown has hoof injury, still expected to race
>>> VIDEO: Dutrow talks to the press on Sunday morning
>>> Foot specialist working on Big Brown, "We'll put a set of wires in and stitch him up."
>>> Graphic: Remedies for the quarter crack -- photos of 'wired' hoof
>>> Downey: The truth is that not all Triple Crown winners were great, and several of them didn't face tough competition

Excerpts from a phone-in interview with trainer Rick Dutrow [Big Brown] on Saturday morning's Down the Stretch program hosted by Mark Cusano and Mike Veitch on Capital OTB-TV

Has he talked to Prado about the Preakness?
Dutrow: "He felt that he made that move trying to give his horse a better chance of winning the race by trying to keep Big Brown down on the inside with that other speed horse in front of him... But to everybody else in the racing game, knowing how Edgar likes to just sit and sit and sit, it was very uncharacteristic from Edgar... I don't know why Kent had [Big Brown] down there to begin with. I mean, he broke good and Kent took a pretty strong hold of the horse going by the stands the first time. Kent might have been able to have him in a better spot. But you know what -- our horse learned something from it. Hopefully Edgar did too. And it just worked out great for us. We had much the best horse."

Will that Preakness ride affect his relationship with Prado?
Dutrow: "Oh, I love Edgar. He's out there race-riding, and he's trying to win. And I've never seen Edgar do anything wrong on the track or off the track. A couple people called me, my clients and even the clients he rode for that day, and I told them all, I said, Edgar has done so many good things, not only for us but for the racing game, I'm going to give him this one... It will have no bearing in any kind of way on the relationship me and Edgar have."

Will the participation bonus for Triple Crown winners attract Big Brown to the Haskell?
Dutrow: "We never got into this game for money. Certainly me. I never have treated this game to where, 'Hey man, I can make a lot of money.' That was never my thought. And the Haskell does not fit into our program with Big Brown... We just are interested in the Travers and the Breeders' Cup Classic."

Will a synthetic track at Santa Anita affect the decision to go to the BC Classic?
Dutrow: "We're not gonna duck the Breeders' Cup Classic because it's a synthetic track... I'd much rather it's a dirt -- a good safe dirt track, out there. They would have us and Curlin for sure... I'd still like to race against Curlin. But it's gotta be on our terms. And our terms right now -- he's gonna have to meet us in the Breeders' Cup Classic."

Cusano: "How do you think Big Brown as a 3YO stacks up against the 4YO Curlin?"
Dutrow: "Well, I've seen Curlin get beat by a filly -- so that is not impressive to me. I can't imagine there's a filly breathing air that could beat Big Brown."

>>> Meanwhile: Steve Asmussen, "I don't want to hear a lot of worthless opinions about it. The proof is on the racetrack. I just want to beat him."

Sunday 5/25:

>>> UH-OH... Big Brown has hoof injury, still expected to race... Triple Crown contender has missed two days of training, worrying trainer
>>> Finley: "I won't bestow greatness on Big Brown until he runs fast. How can you?"
>>> Gomez to ride Macho Again in Belmont
>>> NY Daily News: Rick Dutrow overcame obstacles on way to success
>>> Irish newspaper takes note of Triple Crown bid: It's a race well worth keeping an eye out for."
>>> Wall: If Big Brown wins Triple Crown, "the achievement will stand so far out there on its own that 10 or 20 years from now, no one will care or even remember if Big Brown beat horses or goats."
>>> Today's funny: Nike signs Big Brown to $90 million horseshoe contract
>>> Yeesh -- a 'sports editor' from Indiana in a 'random thoughts' column: "I don't know a ton about horse racing, but is it fair to even count Big Brown's Preakness win? There wasn't a single horse in that field that competed in the Kentucky Derby. He was basically running about glue."

Saturday 5/24:

>>> Exercise rider Michelle Nevin a key member of the Big Brown team, "He's a good boy, very relaxed, very affectionate. A little kid could ride him."
>>> Funny Cide trainer looks to spoil Big Brown's Triple try
>>> Philly sports columnist: Big Brown not everyone's favorite
>>> Owners of Big Brown will donate part of Belmont earnings to help establish a college fund for the son of a NY policeman injured in the line of duty
>>> Plonk's 'Countdown to the Crown' notes

Friday 5/23:

>>> Big Brown hits Belmont track for a gallop on Thurs, "He went well."
>>> Casino Drive's trainer calm in the face of American trash-talking... "What is this - trash, trash ... trash what?... It sounds like he [Dutrow] likes talk, so let him talk. It's OK. We will see the result."
>>> Billy Turner, trainer of Seattle Slew, on Triple Crown hopes of Big Brown, "It's time. It really is."
>>> Kling: A case can be made Big Brown will be at least as worthy as Sir Barton and Gallant Fox if he wins the Belmont decisively
>>> Denis of Cork, Macho Again doing well at Churchill
>>> Wilson: "A Breeders' Cup Classic matching unbeaten Big Brown against Curlin could be the biggest event this sport has seen in decades, arguably ever."
>>> Powell: "Big Brown is what he is -- the best 3YO this year. How he compares to last year's stellar crop is irrelevant," and, HBO's horse-slaughter expose "was ambush TV at its worst."
>>> West: Only two Triple Crown winners have defeated more starters, or horses, in the three races of the series than Big Brown already has beaten in the first two legs of it
>>> Wolski: Yes, Big Brown is a nice horse -- but a great one? Do not even go there
>>> Philly sports writer lists "things I don't understand in sports"... Of horse-racing, "The sport's sole purpose appears to be identifying talented horses who can win enough big races so they can be sold for tens of millions in order to produce more horses whose careers will be ended prematurely by greed and shortsightedness."
>>> TIME magazine profiles Big Brown: "The oddball cast of humans supporting Big Brown makes the horse's rise more Guys and Dolls than Kentucky blue blood."
>>> Funny: Of all the imaginary racehorse interviews equidaily.com has read, this one ranks at the top... When reached for comment, Big Brown said "Hay oats barn bite kick run run run. Trainer sugarcube carrot do you have a carrot kick run run bite whinny run oats run oats bath oats."
>>> Comment: Triple Crown as savior?... "Is this really what the sport needs? The brightest star to come along in thirty years and in one split second ..poof... he's gone?"
>>> Crist: Defining greatness? -- "A combination of fragility and a rush to cash in at the breeding shed has made many of the best horses of recent years one-season wonders. If the trend continues, perhaps the definition of greatness will change, too."
>>> Desormeaux credits move east for chance at Triple Crown... "If I don't come to New York, I don't find Big Brown."

Thursday 5/22:

>>> Crist/List: Beyer Speed Figures for all the Triple Crown races since 1992
>>> White: Big Brown has an excellent chance of becoming America’s 12th Triple Crown winner
>>> Ziegel: Trainer Rick Dutrow knows this is Big Brown's time
>>> Dutrow confidence, "I'll be in the winner's circle when they get to the quarter pole."
>>> Oklahoma loves the Triple Crown!... Remington has record crowds for Derby and Preakness, "We are preparing for a tremendous Belmont day."
>>> Behind the scenes: How are those great racing photos captured?... Explanation of remote camera pics
>>> GAME ON! Dutrow upset with Prado's Preakness ride, "It looked like he was just trying to keep our horse in the box... He had to go way out of his way to do it. So we're not real happy about that, either." Prado fires back, "I got paid to win the race, not to pay favors."
>>> GAME ON! [Part 2]... Dutrow on Big Brown going to BC Classic, "We'll show up for the last one if our horse is good and he's ready... It would be good for racing, and it would be good for us. It wouldn't be so good for Curlin."

>>> Brennan: Big Brown and steroids... Don Catlin, who created the Olympic testing lab at UCLA, "It is embarrassing to have a lead horse be on steroids."
>>> NY vet: "If [steroids are] not overused, I think there is value. From my perspective, I wouldn't say it's race-enhancing. It's more for the stress of the race and to induce appetite."
>>> AUDIO: Vet Dr Steve Allday on Tuesday's 'At the Races with Steve Byk': "I was the one that advised [Dutrow] to put his horses on anabolic steroids. Winstrol, in particular. Once a month. And the reason why, basically, your competition is doing it, number one. So therefore you are at a disadvantage if you didn't do it. Number two, it is not illegal -- It's basically good to keep the horses in the tub, to keep their weight up and it does give you a decided advantage if you're going to go ahead and race hard and get a lot more starts out of them." ...However, "It's gotta go. There's no other professional sport that allows it. It's time has come and gone." [Allday interview is halfway into Hour 2]

Wednesday 5/21:

>>> Excuses for Cal-based Preakness trio
>>> Tale of Ekati in spoiler role
>>> No rider named yet for Casino Drive
>>> Big Brown ran down in Preakness... "He burned a little bit (behind). It's not an issue. He will be fine."
>>> Preakness runner-up Macho Again set for Belmont
>>> West: Legitimate questions will remain about Big Brown even after June 7
>>> McNulty: This isn't the second coming of Secretariat. Not even close
>>> Plonk: Second-hand man -- Of Dutrow's nine Grade 1 winners, an astounding eight of them began their careers with other trainers
>>> Alabama newspaper editor scoffs at PETA and declares, "The hype surrounding the Triple Crown has begun and has definitely won a new fan."

Tuesday 5/20:

>>> Small white the x-factor for Big Brown?... Some think unusual marking sets Derby-Preakness winner apart, "You believe that the spot was placed there by the hand of God."
>>> Balt Sun: Preakness attendance, betting hit five-year lows, but industry experts aren't worried yet
>>> Davidowitz gives detailed suggestions for lowering catastrophic breakdowns and reducing racing's inter-related drug problems
>>> Wall: Horse racing is all about doing big deals... It's nobody's fault, really. But it's killing the sport
>>> NY Post's TV sports columnist: "An ESPN pre-Preakness feature, Saturday, on Big Brown trainer Rick Dutrow concluded that he's 'a character.' Given his personal and professional track record for misdeeds, a more candid assessment might have concluded that he's a creep... If there was late money (or none) being wagered in the Preakness, NBC wasn't going to tell us. In the 10 minutes before the race, not once did NBC post the odds. Absurd."
>>> Zast gives mostly kudos to NBC/ESPN Preakness coverage
>>> LA Times: Big Brown/Triple Crown no 'savior' of horse-racing
>>> DRF: Triple Crown bid fuels media frenzy... "Any time you get CNN coming out three weeks before the race it really feels like it's a big deal."
>>> Crist/List: The 31 horses who have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness are 11-for-29 in the Belmont Stakes [with two abstentions]
>>> Haskin's Preakness recap: Bye, bye, babe
>>> American front pages from Sunday seem to belie the notion put forth by some over the last two weeks that horse-racing is an anachronism... Check the montage

>>> Things that make you say, "Hmmm..." -- Not to be lost in the hub-bub of the Triple Crown, this gem from the Baltimore Sun last week:
Dutrow was asked why he uses [Winstrol].
"You'd have to ask the vet what the purpose of that is," he said. "I don't know what it does. I just like using it."
You like using it, but you don't know what it does? Why would you like using it if you don't know what it does? You must see something?
"No," he said. "I don't."
Do you see something from not using it?
"No," he said.

>>> Chances of Big Brown racing after the Belmont?... "Very good," claims owner
>>> Bozich: "Everybody is always in a rush to crown a Triple Crown winner before all the horses arrive in New York."
>>> Big Brown's arrival at Belmont met with much fanfare
>>> VIDEO: Baltimore CBS affiliate covers Big Brown's departure for NY... Also, interview with Dutrow
>>> Seattle Slew had doubters, too
>>> Dutrow, "He has become so much better than any of them. And he has trained and raced in cool weather, so he is still a pretty fresh horse."
>>> King: Presuming he wins, Big Brown's undistinguished rivals will make it difficult to assign him a proper place on the list of all-time greats


>>> Official Preakness website
>>> Preakness weather forecast
>>> List: Triple Crown winners... and near-misses [2 legs]

>>> NY Post's 'Bettors' Guide to the Preakness'... Records, silks, notes on field, and staff selections

Free PPs:
>>> DRF: Preakness [pdf]
>>> DRF: Preakness w/Moss pace figs [pdf]
>>> Free PPs [pdf]

>>> Balt Sun scribe blogs live from Pimlico on Saturday
>>> Early odds: Preakness [and double with Special] odds at close of Fri's wagering


>>> Baltimore Sun's Preakness coverage
>>> Post-race quotes from rivals and press conference transcript with Big Brown's connections
>>> VIDEO REPLAY: Preakness
>>> Preakness chart

Monday 5/19:

>>> American front pages from Sunday seem to belie the notion put forth by some over the last two weeks that horse-racing is an anachronism... Check the montage
>>> NY Daily News: Big Brown's got Triple Crown sweep in the bag, say jockey & race experts
>>> Rees: Big Brown to wear Belmont bull's-eye
>>> Big Brown/Casino Drive exacta -- cold or boxed?... Dutrow, "It's cold babe."
>>> Yes, he's a freak, but freaky stuff can happen, "David would have never slayed Goliath if he had put his slingshot away."
>>> Big Brown set to stay in Frankel's Belmont barn... Dutrow, "I want Bobby to meet the horse... I see those two getting along good."
>>> Dwyre: Foregone conclusion that Big Brown will win the June 7 Belmont
>>> Wash Times: Triple Crown -- Why he can... Why he can't
>>> Dutrow on Casino Drive, "I hope he gets sick or something like that. I don't want to run against anything that can run. It's not going to help us win."
>>> Preakness jocks paid tribute to Eight Belles
>>> NYRA ready for Triple Crown crowd
>>> Dutrow on Big Brown, "If he wins this next race, he's going to be up there with every great horse that's ever run."
>>> Crawford: Big Brown is not in legends' class just yet
>>> Three Chimneys owner, "[The current owners] have total control of [Big Brown's] racing career. When they deliver him to Three Chimneys, we'll start to manage him."
>>> Flashback/Dec 2006: Todd Pletcher, "It'd be great to see a Triple Crown winner, but he wouldn't run after unless he were a gelding. That's just the way it is."
>>> Balt Sun: Triple Crown as savior?... "We'll never know how much an actual winner will elevate the sport beyond all its issues, until it actually happens."
>>> Newsday: Dutrow is the wisecracking face of horse racing right now, a leering but genuinely funny rogue
>>> Ross: Big Brown had the good fortune to be born in what is considered a lackluster foal crop. Then again, the same thing was said about Seattle Slew
>>> West: NBC's panel discussion, and some thoughts about violence

Sunday 5/18:

>>> Beyer: In his five-race career, Big Brown still has not beaten a horse of real quality, nor has he been fast enough to prove he is a horse for the ages
>>> Is the Fat Lady warming up?... After easy Derby and Preakness wins, many conceding Triple Crown to Big Brown
>>> Robby Albarado, "Frankly, there were at least four 3-year-olds last year who were as good as Big Brown if not better."
>>> West: Kent Desormeaux might have won the Triple Crown in an unlikely place, the final sixteenth of a mile at Pimlico
>>> Maese: Hardly a doubt -- Might as well give crown to 'Brown'
>>> Schmuck: This time, racing could have savior it so badly needs
>>> Habib: The best part? A safe trip for all
>>> Wash Post: One Preakness patron after another said that the issue of horse safety and the specter of death were not in their thoughts on Saturday
>>> Courier-Journal: System needed to track data on breakdowns at tracks
>>> Balt Sun media columnist checks NBC's Preakness coverage: Finds Desormeaux a treat, noting that when he retires, "one of the networks would do well to put him behind a microphone."
>>> NY Times TV Sports columnist gives NBC's coverage a thumbs-up: "Big Brown made NBC's job easy."
>>> Up next -- Sir Bud Lite? Prancing Kleenex? Eat at Denny's?... UPS has marketing opporutnity fall into lap, "When we found out the horse was actually named after UPS, we got together and decided to jump on it, realizing the great marketing opportunity. We were very opportunistic."
>>> Psychic who claimed winning trifecta at Derby goes bust with Preakness 'visions'
>>> LA Times: Preakness jockeys' advertising patches benefit charities

>>> Baffert on Big Brown, "This is the best horse I've seen since I've been in the business."
>>> Kerrison: What a performance! What a memory! What a horse!
>>> Brunker: Belmont will be 'Godzilla' vs. 'The Monster'
>>> Dutrow's NY Post Preakness diary: The day after, "All the Japanese people coming here for the race thought Godzilla was dead. They're going to find out he's not dead. He's Big Brown."
>>> 'Avis finish' in Preakness OK by West Point, "It's huge. It really helps promote our premise, which is that you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to get into this business."
>>> Crawford: Big Brown win "was a welcome sight for a sport that has seemed turned on its ear since the Eight Belles tragedy."
>>> Desormeaux gears down approaching the wire, "I hope I helped make Mr. Dutrow's job a little easier over the next three weeks."
>>> Forde: It will be tears or cheers at Belmont, in the race that will either stamp Big Brown a superhorse or make him the latest heartbreak kid
>>> AP: Big Brown wins Preakness... Poised for Triple Crown
>>> Hartford Courant: Just the thrill ride horse racing needed
>>> USA Today/List: Five best who didn't win the Preakness
>>> USA Today/List: Winningest jockeys all time at the Preakness
>>> Pimlico neighborhood capitalizes on Preakness crowds... Offer up parking and food
>>> Raucous Preakness infield
>>> Preakness infield crazies: Internet technology allows all to see annual wackiness
>>> NY Times Rhoden has found his 'spotlight' subject: Post-Preakness column -- "The industry will celebrate Big Brown, but it should never be allowed to forget Eight Belles."
>>> Balt Sun estimes perhaps 30 PETA protesters outside Pimlico
>>> Blogger circles track -- no PETA protesters seen

Photo galleries:
>>> Baltimore Sun/Preakness
>>> Balt Sun/Preakness fans

2007 Preakness post positions and morning line odds
Post.. Horse... Jockey... ML
1 Macho Again Leparoux 20-1
2 Tres Borrachos Baze 30-1
3 Icabad Crane Rose 30-1
4 Yankee Bravo Solis 15-1
5 Behindatthebar Flores 10-1
6 Racecar Rhapsody Albarado 30-1
7 Big Brown Desormeaux 1-2
Post.. Horse... Jockey... ML
8 Kentucky Bear Theriot 15-1
9 Stevil Velazquez 30-1
10 Riley Tucker Prado 30-1
11 Giant Moon Dominguez 30-1
12 Gayego Smith 8-1
13 Hey Byrn Lopez 20-1

>>> Merrow/equidaily.com: Big Brown, Gayego, Racecar Rhapsody, Yankee Bravo
>>> Durbin/Balt Sun: Trifecta wheel Big Brown with Gayego, Yankee Bravo, Hey Byrn, Giant Moon. Superfecta same wheel
>>> Kling/Troy-Record: 1) Big Brown, 2) Giant Moon, 3) Macho Again, 4) Gayego, 5) Icabad Crane
>>> Brownell/Post-Star: Beyond Big Brown, proving best of the rest could be Macho Again...
>>> Byk/Sirius radio: Big Brown, Kentucky Bear, Stevil, Giant Moon
>>> Dougherty/Seattle Times: Icabad Crane, Kentucky Bear, Big Brown, Giant Moon
>>> Gray/Boston Herald: Big Brown, Yankee Bravo, Gayego, Hey Byrn
>>> Harris/NY Daily News: Big Brown, Hey Byrn, Kentucky Bear, Icabad Crane
>>> Telias/Sporting News:Kentucky Bear, Big Brown, Behindatthebar
>>> Daley/Lowell Sun: Focus on the trifecta and superfecta in the Preakness, using Big Brown in the win position, with Tres Borrachos, Behindatthebar, and Kentucky Bear in each of the other slots
>>> Pricci/MSNBC.com: Most Probable Winner: Big Brown; Best Longshot: Giant Moon; Most Likely Money Finisher: Yankee Bravo
>>> Fort Worth Star-Telegram staff
>>> O'Donnell/Chicago Sun-Times: Gayego, Big Brown, Behindatthebar, Giant Moon
>>> Haskin's Preakness analysis
>>> Powell/BRIS: "Here's my betting strategy: Icabad Crane across the board; straight exactas with..."
>>> Eng/Las Vegas Review-Journal: Horizontal (pick 3, pick 4, pick 6) and vertical (exacta, trifecta, superfecta) bets are the way to go keying on Big Brown
>>> USA Today/List: Top picks from various racing writers
>>> S Finley/USA Today: "Key Big Brown on top in exactas over Icabad Crane and Kentucky Bear. Extend the exotic wagers even further by..."
>>> Brunker/MSNBC.com: "My $1 trifecta tickets will look like this..."

Saturday 5/17:

>>> Big Brown carrying a big burden... It is clear horse racing needs a hero, a standard bearer
>>> Big Brown hits the track for a quick tuneup on Saturday morning... Dutrow, "I saw exactly what I saw and it was beautiful."
>>> Dutrow lacking confidence shown pre-Derby, "I just can't feel as confident as I did with the Derby."
>>> West: There's a very good reason to suspect Big Brown can lose: It's a horse race.
>>> Big Brown: He's an egghead... "He's got the brain."
>>> Rival trainers up against trying for the upset but, "Man, it's the Preakness. It ain't Big Brown's race."
>>> Wash Post: Big Brown could be undone by 'bounce'
>>> USA Today: Five reasons Big Brown won't win the Preakness
>>> McPeek, "It won't surprise me a bit if Big Brown gets beat. This is a funny game."
>>> Desormeaux remembers Real Quiet Triple Crown disappointment
>>> Dutrow's NY Post Preakness diary/Sat: "I haven't talked strategy to Kent in any sort of way. He knows how to ride the horse. What do I want to get involved with that for?"
>>> Ziegel: Big Brown's jockey Kent Desormeaux's ride into history is lucky tale
>>> Racecar Rhapsody could zoom past field
>>> Larry Jones cherishes Eight Belles Derby finish-line photo
>>> Nack points accusing finger at breeding side of the game: "And herein, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, lies the rub. The thoroughbred breed is now so suffused with the precocious blood of Native Dancer... that today it threatens the viability of the entire breed."
>>> DRF: For breeders, market dictates method... "I have known individuals who have come in and haven't agreed with the modern-day breeding practices. They've bred for stamina and distance, and in the end it's hard for them to market their horses."
>>> Profile: Big Brown's original, and still part-, owner Paul Pompa Jr, "I hope to be thought of as different, yeah."
>>> NBC producer on Preakness coverage, "Even if a horse slows and just trots home, we’re going to find out what’s wrong with that horse. In a normal scenario, that would be a nonstory."
>>> Scientific American: Will a trifecta of synthetic racetracks, genetic sleuthing and blood tests help stave off thoroughbred breakdowns?
>>> Ho-hum -- now virtually everything goes under the microscope... Forde declares that if Big Brown loses, the Triple Crown schedule will be to blame and, "then thoroughbred racing will have one more reason to ponder the star-sapping enterprise it's become."
>>> Habib: The Triple Crown -- "For today's horses, is it too tough?"

Duelling polls:
>>> Rasmussen: Just 10% of American adults believe horse racing should be banned
>>> Gallup: 38% support banning animal racing

Friday 5/16:

>>> West: Is Big Brown a great horse? We may never know, and the Preakness won't provide an answer
>>> Balt Sun: Crown worthy?... Dutrow has jewel of horse, but a rap sheet, too
>>> Crawford: Big Brown won't race past this season... "There are millions of reasons this makes sense for Big Brown's owners, but there are a couple of big reasons it is bad for horse racing..."
>>> Eight Belle's necropsy released... "The pathologist did not see anything that was pre-existing..."
>>> Balt Sun: Drug debate raging in sport that lacks uniform testing policy
>>> Davidowitz: Racing reforms to consider...
>>> LA Times: Horse racing needs an authority figure
>>> LA Times: Dirt vs synthetic... The debate rages
>>> Big green from Big Brown: Company that measures the value of sports sponsorships estimates the 56 seconds in which TV viewers were able to see the UPS's logo on Desormeaux's pants, was worth $1.4 million
>>> Safety panel to serve as 'bully pulpit' to bring about change
>>> Behindatthebar won't be behind the gate at the Preakness... Bruised foot will prevent start
>>> Dutrow's daily NY Post Preakness dairy: "We're hoping he doesn't have to get on his belly for this race so we have something left for the Belmont."
>>> Big Brown to keep front bandages... "It's not a big deal."
>>> Haskin Preakness Report: Brown's in town
>>> Plonk's 'Countdown to the Crown' notes
>>> Ziegel: I'm done handicapping. My pick, once again, is Big Brown
>>> Big Brown tested Pimlico strip on Thurs
>>> AP: Big Brown's big problem? His front feet
>>> Comment: This sport, which is currently sporting a large black eye, could use a big dose of Big Brown to pull it out of its doldrums
>>> Steve Cauthen, "It's time for a Triple Crown winner. Everyone's been aching for it, and it would be great to see this horse be the poster child."
>>> Paulick: Big Brown and Triple Crown -- without the rivalries that have brought out the best in the sport

Thursday 5/15:

>>> Finley: Big Brown will win the Preakness, not the Belmont
>>> Full field steps up, "I think it's good for [Big Brown] to be tested again." [article includes chart showing Preakness results for other undefeated Derby winners]
>>> Pimlico, Preakness share rich, colorful history
>>> Boston Globe: Desormeaux is riding high... After years of ups and downs, jockey is sitting pretty atop Derby champ
>>> Kerrison: Preakness is "a bettor's nightmare with a couple of solid favorites and a gate load of underachievers at boxcar prices."
>>> AP: Preakness always unpredictable
>>> Toast to a 'beer-money horse'... Tres Borrachos goes for Preakness glory
>>> Big Brown stud deal falls through, "Legal issues and time constraints proved too much to overcome, and we will revisit all options following the Preakness."
>>> Beyer: A closer look at IEAH... "The most intriguing question of all... is whether it can possibly make a profit."
>>> Comment: Safer tracks? They're already here -- "Why don't we add this natural turf option to our arsenal in the fight to increase the safety of our racehorses?"
>>> Trainer Nick Zito points to resurfaced Oaklawn as a safer dirt track
>>> White: Lower the weight scale for Triple Crown races
>>> Deford: More and more, sport --especially in the United States -- is reduced to speed and power
>>> It's different over there: French racing values stamina over speed
>>> Jerardi: When the sport changed from a racing game to a buying and selling game controlled by operations that breed to sell, it changed for the worst
>>> Gallup poll: 38% support banning animal racing
>>> RMTC strives for uniform drug testing
>>> Vet Larry Bramlage interview: "What we're seeing is a less durable athlete with potentially more ability and a lesser degree of soundness."
>>> Sports Illustrated/Layden: "It's deeply important that the sport put itself back on the public stage again, and quickly."
>>> New Thoroughbred Safety Committee sets schedule... Plans recommendations by August
>>> Forde: "In recent years, fillies who have tried the Triple Crown -- or the spring prep races leading up to it -- have tended to pay a heavy price."
Native Dancer to blame?:
>>> Wall Street Journal: Most racehorses today descend from a stallion named Native Dancer. Has the sport become too reliant on one set of genes?
>>> Balt Sun: "There's just no reason to think the flaws go back to Native Dancer."
>>> VIDEO: Nick Zito addresses media regarding track surfaces [look for 'Zito on dirt vs artificial tracks' link on video menu]

Wed 5/14:

>>> Gayego steps up
>>> Kerrison: Fig-maker warns that Big Brown set to regress
>>> Haskin's Preakness Report: Target Brown
>>> Davidowitz: The level and the depth of competition however is not Big Brown's biggest obstacle. The number one concern is his history of hoof problems
>>> Zito on Stevil: "I think my horse will put in a great performance."
>>> Preakness infield: "It's like Mardi Gras without the floats."
>>> Jeremy Rose looking forward to Preakness shot on Ichabad Crane
>>> Dutrow's NY Post Preakness Diary/Wed: "We might use different tactics than we did in the Derby."
>>> Preakness notes from Tuesday
>>> Cutting-edge care, team commitment helps Big Brown overcome quarter cracks
>>> Look back: Owner of Gate Dancer recalls '84 Preakness, "He was just the bad kid on the block."
>>> NBC's Preakness coverage to include panel discussion putting sport under the microscope
>>> Japanese Triple Crown competitors: This moment has been in the making for quite some time
>>> AP: Durability vs. speed in horse racing industry
>>> Paulick: Big Brown vs Big Red? Don't make me laugh
>>> USA Today: The five best Preakness Stakes I've attended...
>>> Light-hearted: Derby vs Preakness... Which has the better song, better celebs attending, etc?...
>>> DRF: 20YO jock Gabriel Saez -- Shaken, young star retains his focus
>>> Jockey Edgar Prado on Eight Belles' and racing: "I would love to see it devise a single set of rules, in effect nationwide, governing the use of medication and overall treatment and care of horses."

Tuesday 5/13:

>>> Harlem Rocker out... Gayego possible
>>> Chart: Chalky faves only 6-14 in Preakness over past 50 years
>>> Profile: IEAH's Michael Iavarone [Big Brown]: Left behind a shot at the big leagues and wound up winning the Derby
>>> Bozich: Welcome to Rick Dutrow's increasingly hectic world...
>>> Kentucky Bear receives star treatment at Pimlico
>>> Ad Age: Crisis-management PR firm's VP says racing needs to beat PETA to the punch by launching an ad campaign "demonstrating the care and loving way" these horses are treated featuring lawmakers, regulators and high-profile people with an affinity for the sport
>>> Beyer: "Until the industry faces the medication issue seriously, all of its efforts to address equine safety will be misguided."
>>> NY Times: Big Brown is perfect. His trainer, Rick Dutrow, admittedly is not... "I'm no role model."
>>> VIDEO: Larry Jones and Rick Porter on Fox's 'Your World with Neil Cavuto'... Proceeded by Cavuto talking with PETA rep: Cavuto, "You value the horse more than the jockey?"... PETA: "I don't care about the future of that jockey, no."
>>> Aussie newspaper: Eight Belles causing self-examination Down Under as well... Oz breeder, "Maybe there should be an international forum to address this before we find ourselves in an irreversible situation. Maybe we've created a recipe for disaster."
>>> Zast: Ying and yang for horse-racing over next two weeks -- "Big Brown conquered his competition with amazing alacrity in the one race that everyone watches," and "...there are two more nationally-televised events that pose the direst of possibilities."
>>> Big Brown eschewed 'blanket of roses' after the Derby

>>> History: Blogger recommends 1972 Sports Illustrated article on Bee Bee Bee's Preakness upset
>>> Oy!... This is what we're up against... Mississippi sports editor [Arnold] concludes that, "Eight Belles was a filly racing against colts, on a track that is different from many other tracks because it uses real dirt. That is simply too many intangibles for a horse." [Uh, article includes email address if anyone wants to let the writer know that all of Eight Belles' previous start had been on "real dirt"]

Monday 5/12:

>>> Pletcher on Harlem Rocker: "His work [Sunday] morning was very, very good. I'm going to recommend to the Stronachs that he runs."
>>> Frankel on Big Brown: "It's good to be in the position of having a really good horse that isn't facing top-class opposition."
>>> Eisenberg: Monday before Preakness -- typically not much to see
>>> BRIS: Preakness news
>>> AP: Big Brown beatable?
>>> Indiana comment: "PETA is looking to point the blame at someone with no real merit behind it, and that's unfair to... the entire sport of horse racing."
>>> Philly Inquirer: With added focus on fragility, horses head for Pimlico

Weekend brings yet more reaction to Eight Belles' fatality:

>>> Courier-Journal: "Ever seen an entire sport hold its breath? That's what you can expect from horse racing this week."
>>> Drape: Breeding for speed, ignoring durability
>>> Philly Inquirer: Breeding thoroughbreds -- Is durability possible?
>>> Exec dir of the Illinois-based Hooved Animal Humane Society, "Our organization isn't for banning racing; we're not that radical. I don't see anything wrong with the racing industry, per se."
>>> Maese: Triple Crown schedule -- add a week of intrigue and push back the second and third legs
>>> Hong Kong's Nader: The perception problem facing racing is real
>>> San Antonio Express-News: Why does it mean so much?... Death of a horse tugs at our humanity
>>> Chicago Trib: A look at the big picture puts the horse-racing casualties in perspective
>>> Pennsylvania editorial: The sport needs some deep inward reflection, and perhaps central oversight -- both for its own future, and for these majestic animals
>>> Balt Sun: Horse racing on the fast track to a 'crisis'?... Some say breeding horses for speed leads to injuries

Massachusetts newspaper:
>>> Point: Horse racing needs fixing, not banning
>>> Counterpoint: End the mistreatment of race horses

>>> Powell: "I was on the phone during the [Derby] day's races with some friends in the industry and we all agreed that this was a dangerous racetrack... If we are going to have dirt tracks, we have to stop sealing them to the point of being dangerous."
>>> Pricci: "American racing must take stock of the way it conducts itself and do something before government, responding to public outcry, has a notion it can do it better."
>>> ...And more from Pricci: "If the racing industry is about more than lip service, if it truly cares about the animal and not the money, it needs to start all over again."
>>> Wow... San Diego Union-Trib's racing columnist Hank Wesch: Just a guy... "A guy who is totally in favor of putting horse racing on society's hit list of multibillion-dollar enterprises that need elimination."
>>> Lex Herald-Leader: What's wrong with race horses?... As durability decreases, no clear cause emerges
>>> Jones: Racehorses "do, quite frankly, what they were put on this earth to do and many live the life of luxury for doing so."
>>> Gender gap?... Scientific look at boy vs girl on the racetrack
>>> Catastrophic injuries: What do we know?
>>> Aspen Times: "In life, some of us have an infallible gyroscope that attempts to desecrate everything of beauty and danger by calling for prohibitions against this and that."
>>> Comment: "Political extremists won't be placated by any reform short of the sport's abolition, but they become irrelevant if good-faith attempts to protect horses turn the emotionally suggestible into the emotionally cloyed."
>>> Comment: "You can't have a Secretariat without an Eight Belles or a Barbaro. You can't keep the beauty and eliminate the risk."
>>> Daley: Let's not rush to judgment, focusing instead on the larger issues rather than isolated instances
>>> Ky comment: PETA and the rise of stupidity

AND -- tension at the water-cooler?:

Duelling columnists: Wednesday column in 'Evening News and Tribune' [Indiana] critical of horse-racing triggers heated response on Saturday:
>>> Cress: "The mainstream pays attention for six weeks a year, and then it goes back to the 'enthusiasts,' otherwise known as degenerate gamblers."
>>> Huffman-Branham: "Matthew Cress has now joined a growing list of people -- phoney know-nothings -- who watch a handful of horse races every year (at best) and honestly could not care less about 'fixing' the horse racing industry."

Sunday 5/11:
>>> Courier-Journal samples industry insiders' reactions to Eight Belles' fatality... Changing surfaces, breeding practices, drug use among things on the table
>>> Sports TV columnist critical of Costas' handling of Eight Belles fatality
>>> Psychic claims to have 'foreseen' Ky Derby trifecta -- sees Big Brown running second in the Preakness
>>> Owners excited about new Detroit-area racetrack: "This will be one of the super tracks in the country."
>>> Curlin, Big Brown 1-2 on latest "World's Leading Horses" list
>>> Sat preview: 3YOs try to emerge from 'second-string' in G3 $400K Lone Star Derby
>>> What is the future of Pimlico if slots come to Maryland?... What will happen If slots don't come to Maryland?

>>> Profiling Kent Desormeaux: Importance of family and drive to win the Crown, "I can't wait to get out there and try. This is the pinnacle. This is why we ride."
>>> Big Brown's 'da man'!... When he sees the exercise rider enter with the saddle in her hands, ''He just kind of blows up. He goes from a size 30 waist to a size 40 waist because he knows it's time to go."
>>> Preakness notes: Sunday

Saturday 5/10:
>>> Recapturetheglory out of Preakness
>>> Icabad Crane heading to the Preakness
>>> Gauntlet thrown down: Trainer of Kentucky Bear, "[Big Brown] beat those horses, but it certainly doesn't make him better than anybody else."

Friday 5/9:
>>> Dutrow on Preakness: "Most likely, as long as nothing bad happens, we are going to get this one."
>>> Kentucky Bear gets a feel for the Pimlico strip
>>> Balt Sun: Economic fallout at the Preakness... Sponsors cutting back; impact expected to be small

Thursday 5/8:
>>> Recapturetheglory and Racecar Rhapsody are in
>>> Colonel John to return to California

Wed 5/7 news:

>>> Seven confirmed for Preakness
>>> Derby win by Big Brown bittersweet for horse's first trainer, "I could've used the exposure this horse would have given me"
>>> Plonk: The convicted drug offenders have now swept racing's Holy Grail... The inmates officially are running the asylum
>>> Ky Derby draws its 2nd-largest TV audience in 17 years
>>> Ky Derby TV ratings 1975-2008
>>> Former trainer [now synthetic surface salesman] Michael Dickinson has called for Churchill Downs to switch to a synthetic surface

WEDNESDAY/More Eight Belles reaction:

The outcry -- reasoned, and not-so-much -- continues:

>>> Trainer Larry Jones orders autopsy to test for steroids... "I guarantee you no steroids were used on this horse."
>>> McNamara: "When there's a big-race catastrophe, a few columnists get on their high horse. These self-appointed moral compasses rarely are seen at a track."
>>> Modesti: "Here's what I'll confess to: When I think of racetrack tragedies, I think of jockeys first and horses next."
>>> Layden: Sorting out the key issues from the tragedy
>>> Moran: Let's take a deep breath here and put the tragedy thing in perspective
>>> NY Times' Rhoden weighs in again: "If ever a sport needed a commissioner or a chief executive, it is horse racing."
>>> Wash Times: PETA prez once said: "Humans have grown like a cancer. We're the biggest blight on the face of the earth." [page 2 of article]
>>> Vet Bramlage: Critics' "facts are wrong. It's been scientifically looked at that horses that train as two year olds race more times more successfully, earn more money and make more starts than horses that don't train until they're 3."
>>> Scripps News: Horse racing needs fixing, not banning
>>> Churchill prez issues statement on the loss of Eight Belles
>>> Canada editorial: "Thoroughbreds are bred to race -- and, compared to most horses, are treated very well."
>>> Jenkins: "Individual fault-finding doesn't address the larger question of just what kind of 'sport' horse racing is or intends to be going forward."
>>> Jensen: Horse racing at a sadly familiar juncture
>>> St Pete Times: "Although cruelty is not the intent of horse racing, that does not excuse the sport from its negligence or culpability in the deaths of too many animals."

Tues 5/6 news:

>>> Preakness update: Big Brown doing well... Stevil preps
>>> DRF: El Gato Malo to Lone Star Derby
>>> Crist charts Beyers figs for top three Derby finishers 2000-2008... "Those who like to see speed figures adjusted for ground loss will further upgrade Big Brown's performance since he was wide on both turns."
>>> Haskin's Derby Recap: Highs and lows
>>> Preakness: Small field likely to challenge Big Brown
>>> Eight Belles' owner would like to see a racing commissioner: "Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying the accident could have been avoided if we had a commissioner," but having an authority figure could "get everybody on the same page."
>>> NTRA prez asks fans to respond: "I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on what you believe racing should do in the wake of Eight Belles' death."
>>> Wall Street Journal: Good idea slow to progress... Database that would allow breeders "to help identify which bloodlines are inclined to produce horses that are durable" still not complete 19 months after initiation, "I will admit to some disappointment that we haven't been able to produce it quicker."
>>> Sulky side is safer: "Harness horses don't have the same bone structure as thoroughbreds."
>>> Eight Belles' jock issues statement: "I remain heartbroken..."
>>> Lexington newspaper editor reacts to reader response to Eight Belles photos: "A picture is worth a thousand words, and images can move people more readily than words alone."
>>> Wall: Debate on track surface revived
>>> Synthetic tracks safer, but have their drawbacks
>>> Q&A: UC Davis equine specialists debate thoroughbreds' safety: "To people who know horses well, today's race horses also look different. They tend to have heavier muscles behind and lighter bones in their lower leg."
>>> UC Davis works to end fatal horse injuries... Lab has fifteen scientists hoping to prevent deaths
>>> Racing deaths have industry looking for some answers... Horse durability, track surfaces are studied; no quick fix likely
>>> PETA protest in Ky on Tuesday countered by equal number of racing supporters
>>> Canadian scribe sniffs at Derby's winning trainer: "The history [at Woodbine] is the problem even more so than Dutrow's career list of suspensions, which is long and impressive."
Larry Jones addresses the media, 5/6/08
>>> VIDEO: Trainer Larry Jones adddresses the media on Tuesday [sidebar column]

TUESDAY/More Eight Belles reaction:

Three days later reaction is becoming [mostly] more tempered, as level-headed "fix it" replaces knee-jerk "ban it":

>>> The industry does respond... When breakdowns took an upturn at Emerald Downs, they responded to a study and added "an inch of sand to the track prior to the 2008 season to dilute the clay content and soften the surface."
>>> Euro trainer offers perspective: "In the interest of clarity, I’d like to point out a few facts about racing across the pond..."
>>> Scott: "What is needed now is a serious effort to breed sounder racehorses."
>>> Arthur Hancock III: "Breed unsound horses and you get unsound horses."
>>> Crawford: "It's time to stop looking down at the dirt and to start looking in at the blood."
>>> Finley: Five steps racing must take...
>>> Forde: Among the items that should be up for serious discussion...
>>> Pa newspaper: "Calls to ban the sport are nonsensical."
>>> Sun-Sentinel: "The knee-jerk reaction is eventually tempered with the knowledge that these horses are born and bred to run."
>>> Daily Gazette [NY]: "I am an animal lover... but I see PETA doing more to hurt the cause than help it."
>>> PETA spokesperson flops in radio interview
>>> Virginia-Pilot: PETA gallops into the fray and gets it wrong - again
>>> West: Moralists' reaction to Eight Belles' death is rush to judgment
>>> Seattle times columnist: "The sport isn't barbaric... That said, this sport is walking dangerously along the line between tradition and stupidity."
>>> Eight Belles' owner, "I support horse racing 1,000 percent."
>>> Palm Beach Post: "Keep racing. Keep competing. That doesn't mean we can't keep trying to make the sport safer."
>>> Louisville Courier-Journal editorial: "Those who love [horse racing] and those who profit must make clear their unqualified commitment to the safety and welfare of the thoroughbred."
>>> Philly Inquirer opinion: "The racing industry needs to look at [the synthetic track] option more seriously."
>>> NY Times editorial: "The first rule of racing must be the welfare of these horses. Nothing else is acceptable."
>>> Minnesota: "Modern breeding practices, fueled by human greed, have created a more fragile thoroughbred."
>>> Arkansas paper: "Just like a death in boxing, what happened Saturday will raise some legitimate questions..."

And some harsher responses still being made -- with some surprisingly from inside the racing game:

>>> NoCal trainer Gilchrist: "There aren't horses out there. They're pawns. Whenever you get corporations involved... it's the bottom line. And greed takes over."
>>> Del Mar prez, "Every year it becomes tougher and tougher to justify what we're seeing out there on these race tracks."
>>> Alabama: "What is clear is that Eight Belles' death is another blow to the sport of horse racing."
>>> T-bred retirement farm owner, "I can't watch [horse races]. They run them to death."
>>> NoCal trainer Art Sherman, "Years ago you didn't have as much racing; now you have it year-round and horses don't get a break."
>>> Tampa: Horse racing isn't dog fighting. The object isn't to kill these great creatures. But what does that matter if they're dying anyway?
>>> CEO of Humane Society: Racing industry, "Deal with your problems, or animal advocacy groups and others not all that interested in horse racing will be forced to weigh in."

CBSSports.com columnist conflicted:
>>> Doesn't like horse-racing: "This is the sport of kings? Not any king I'm willing to serve."
>>> Doesn't like PETA: Where PETA went wrong: It opened its mouth


>>> Free PPs: DRF basic [pdf]
>>> Free PPs: DRF w/Moss pace figs [pdf]

>>> Official Kentucky Derby website
>>> Past Derby charts... Includes video replay when available
>>> Churchill weather forecast
>>> 2008 Derby field silks graphic [pdf]
>>> Quick list of past Ky Derby winners
>>> Fastest winning Derby times
>>> Free PPs: 2007 Derby contenders... From BRIS
>>> Free PPs: Derby contenders... From DRF
>>> Free PPs Derby winners '93 - '05... Plus list of final preps for Ky Derby winners
>>> 2006 PPs [Barbaro]
>>> 2007 PPs [Street Sense]
>>> Video replays: Derby trail preps [click on race name to get to video link for each]
>>> Prep schedule/results
>>> Latest graded earnings
>>> Courier-Journal's DataTrack tool
>>> Final odds: Future Pool 3 [pdf]
>>> Final odds: Future Pool 2 [pdf]
>>> Final odds: Future Pool 1 [pdf]

>>> DRF Derby coverage
>>> Bloodhorse Triple Crown coverage
>>> TTimes Triple Crown coverage
>>> Louisville Courier-Journal Derby coverage

>>> VIDEO: Pre-Derby coverage from WLEX-TV and Bloodhorse
>>> Ky Derby odds at end of Friday's advanced wagering
>>> Oaks/Derby double will pays
>>> Lyrics: My Old Kentucky Home
>>> Sound of the Downs: Louisville band plays 'My Old Kentucky Home'
>>> Graphic: Derby field -- silks, trainers, jocks [pdf]
>>> NY Post's 'Bettor's Guide' with comments and all pertinent stats for all entrants
>>> NY Daily News' Derby Guide with horse-by-horse notes -- plus success of various post positions [pdf]
>>> Courier-Journal's graphic: 'Guide to Churchill Downs' [pdf]
>>> Crist blogs live during Derby Day action

2008 Kentucky Derby post positions and morning line odds [Number in parentheses is post position draw order]
Post... Horse... Jock... Trainer... ML
1 - [18] Cool Coal Man, Julien Leparoux, Nick Zito, 20-1
2 - [17] Tale of Ekati, Eibar Coa, Barclay Tagg, 15-1
3 - [7] Anak Nakal, Raphael Bejarano, Nick Zito, 30-1
4 - [8] Court Vision, Garrett Gomez, Bill Mott, 20-1
5 - [6] Eight Belles (f), Gabriel Saez, Larry Jones, 15-1
6 - [4] Z Fortune, Robby Albarado, Steve Asmussen, 30-1
7 - [2] Big Truck, Javier Catellano, Barclay Tagg, 50-1
8 - [1] Visionaire, Jose Lezcano, Michael Matz, 20-1
9 - [5] Pyro, Shaun Bridgmohan, Steve Asmussen, 6-1
10 - [3] Colonel John, Corey Nakatani, Eoin Harty, 4-1
Post.. Horse... Jock... ML
11 - [9] Z Humor, Rene Douglas, Bill Mott, 30-1
12 - [11] Smooth Air, Manoel Cruz, Bennie Stutts Jr., 20-1
13 - [13] Bob Jack Black, Rich Migliore, James Kasparoff, 20-1
14 - [10] Monba, Ramon Dominguez, Todd Pletcher, 15-1
15 - [12] Adriano, Edgar Prado, Graham Motion, 30-1
16 - [14] Denis of Cork, Calvin Borel, David Carroll, 20-1
17 - [15] Cowboy Cal, John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher, 20-1
18 - [19] Recapturetheglory, E.T. Baird, Louie Roussel, 20-1
19 - [20] Gayego, Mike Smith, Paulo Lobo, 15-1
20 - [16] Big Brown, Kent Desormeaux, Rick Dutrow Jr, 3-1

Mon 5/5:

>>> Big Brown insured for $50 million
>>> Beyer: "The sport is not inhumane. It is not brutal. It is not barbaric," however, "America's breeding industry is producing increasingly fragile thoroughbreds."
>>> Bozich: Eight Belles' death escalates debate on racing's future
>>> Churchill, "We're studying the synthetic surfaces, but we want to see data for four or five years because the technology is evolving all the time."
>>> Larry Jones, "It wasn't the fact she was in with 19 boys and they beat her up and bruised her. She never touched another horse in the race."
>>> Blogger checks newspaper headlines from the 'day after': Finds that, perhaps in contrast to the perception, a majority of newspapers "played down the death of Eight Belles on their front pages, choosing instead to focus on the winner."
>>> Kerrison: "A superstar, a horse for the ages, a Triple Crown immortal - or a one-day Kentucky Derby flash?"
>>> Big Brown "has a chance to put thoroughbred racing back on the map."
>>> Ziegel: Triple Crown? "There was new and ample evidence yesterday that we have the right horse at last."
>>> Big Brown floats above the rest in chart of Beyer figs for derby and preps
>>> Dutrow less confident, "With just two weeks, I don't know. So we're going there (to the Preakness) with expectations, but not like yesterday."
>>> USA Today 'TV Sports' columnist on NBC's Derby coverage: NBC made correct call to not air Eight Belles' agony
>>> NY Times columnist: "I think NBC erred in two areas..."
>>> Virginian-Pilot columnist: "You can credit NBC with being discreet, but it's just as likely that the network's skittish decision was a craven act."
>>> Ky Derby TV ratings 1975-2007
>>> Derby also-rans not interested in rematch with Big Brown, "I don't see anything stopping him."
>>> Balt Sun blog: Preakness chatter will be as much about safety as Big Brown
>>> Palmer: Racing's ritual encompasses both life and death
>>> DRF: Derby betting down 3.2 percent
>>> PETA wants Eight Belles jockey suspended
>>> Trainer defends jockey against PETA's claims

AFTERMATH: Critical [over-wrought?] reaction to breakdown

Reaction - cooler heads?/Monday:

>>> NY Sun editorial: "Horse-racing is a spirit raising gamble for both horses and humans."
>>> NY Sun: "We should continue to ask that breeding be somewhat reformed; perhaps we can return to thoroughbreds bred to run, bred for stamina."
>>> Blogger: "If you are a [racing] devotee, you've signed up for all the good and bad that comes with it... But if the question refers instead to how these fatalities can be made to occur far less frequently, then the answer is that the industry is at least trying to do something."
>>> Matthews: "Fillies don't become racing legends by winning the Kentucky Oaks... It wouldn't be fair to criticize the people who called the shots for Eight Belles."
>>> Blogger: "There's a lot wrong with racing, and it's the responsibility of those of us who love the sport to press those with influence and authority to ask hard questions and demand answers."
>>> Celizic: "The solution isn't to ban a sport that’s been practiced for as long as horses have been domesticated, which goes back thousands of years."
>>> Zast: The Chinese concept of 'Yi Jing' contends that change doesn't come until problems become totally unmanageable, and then it's unavoidable

More critical reaction/Monday:

>>> USA Today: There will be questions with few answers
>>> Wisconsin comment: It may be time for those who run the legendary Churchill Downs to take a look at installing a synthetic track
>>> Lopresti: In public perception, horse racing sometimes finds itself on a thin line between competition and exploitation
>>> Squires [breeder of Monarchos]: "It may take a long time before we learn to raise more durable thoroughbreds, restrain greed or slow down the human rush to self-destruction."
>>> Frantz: Racing "has deteriorated through the centuries into little more than officially sanctioned animal abuse for the entertainment and profit of humans."
>>> Rosenberg: Conflicted... "This is not just about horse racing. It cuts to the heart of our relationship with animals."
>>> Baumbach: "Think this sport would get approved in 2008?"
>>> ABC News: Is horse-racing too dangerous?
>>> Edmonton Journal: "Thoroughbred racing is either the sport of second and third chances for the wayward of the earth or one that unconscionably doles out wrist slaps for serious drug offences."
>>> St Pete Times columnist: "How many more horses have to break down and be euthanized before we abolish all horse racing?"

>>> Wash Post: "Thoroughbred racing is in a moral crisis, and everyone now knows it... Horses are being over-bred and over-raced."
>>> USA Today: Eight Belles' death renews horse racing questions
>>> NY Times: "The sport is at least as inhumane as greyhound racing and only a couple of steps removed from animal fighting."
>>> Slowly, the sad news makes the rounds: Another horse is down, "Excuse me, I'm sorry, I'm crying."
>>> Louisville Courier-Journal: Eight Belles is latest heartbreaker
>>> Author Jane Smiley: "As a longtime very ambivalent fan of horse racing and a lover of thoroughbreds, I can’t help seeing what happened as a kind of paradigm of Thoroughbredness..."
>>> Time magazine: "Horse racing, a struggling sport, can't catch a break. Another debate will rage in Eight Belles' wake. Is horse racing inhumane?"
>>> Forde: "There isn't a huge appetite in this country for sports in which animal death is a routine part of the equation."
>>> Sports editor: "Isn't it time we stop the carnage?"
>>> Utah local TV sports producer blogs: "Let's shut this foolish nonsense down once and for all."
>>> Delaware fans react, "I guess 'disturbed' is the best word for how they felt, especially around here."

>>> VIDEO REPLAY: Ky Derby
>>> Chart: 2008 Ky Derby [pdf]

Sunday 5/4:

>>> In a laugher!... Big Brown validates trainer's confidence with easy Derby victory

>>> Louisville Courier-Journal's complete 'day after' coverage
>>> Lexington Herald-Leader's Derby coverage
>>> Colonel John out of step, doesn't pass muster
>>> NY Times: Graphic -- Ky Derby turn by turn
>>> Dutrow's Derby Diary/Sunday: "I told you Big Brown couldn't lose!... And now I want the Preakness."
>>> Quotes: How the jocks saw the race
>>> Desormeaux savors third Derby victory
>>> Desormeaux becomes 8th jockey to win three Derbys
>>> DRF Derby coverage
>>> Bloodhorse Triple Crown coverage
>>> TTimes Triple Crown coverage

Photo galleries:

>>> Courier-Journal: Derby and weekend photo coverage
>>> NY Daily News
>>> Seattle Times
>>> USA Today
>>> Fashion

Derby Day at other venues:

>>> Cracked Claw: Words of wisdom, "It's always better to bet who you think is going to win."
>>> Indiana OTB: "I won $200, so I'm happy."
>>> Presque Isle Down: It was a mob scene inside
>>> Illinois OTB: "We only come here on Derby days. It's like being a Catholic on Easter and Christmas."
>>> Interestingly mistaken notion by reporter at Florida dog track: But no matter what you bet on or which race you bet in, all the money stays here in Southwest Florida even though the Derby is miles away

Post-race breakdown casts somber tone on Derby aftermath:

>>> Filly Eight Belles breaks down after 2nd-place Derby finish... Jock, "When we passed the wire I stood up. She started galloping funny."
>>> DRF: Jones, "She went out a champion."
>>> Trainer Larry Jones: "This mare was not under any kind of distress at all in the race, it looked to me. As she galloped around the turn, I saw that her ears were up. She was watching Big Brown and following him around."
>>> Trainer Larry Jones: "We've taken criticism. We're going to be criticized and second-guessed."

>>> West: Big Brown "could very well run the table on this pitiful group of 3-year-olds," but, "this Kentucky Derby was, and always will be, difficult to accept."
>>> Clay: Racing needs new star to heal this wound
>>> Brunker: Big Brown "seems likely to be a worthy successor to Affirmed, but there still are pitfalls..."
>>> Dutrow the day after: "Now things start to change... but I still like our chances because I think we have the best horse."
>>> Trainer Rick Dutrow gets life on track

Wisconsin scribes debate:
>>> Point: "The Kentucky Derby remains a premier sporting event."
>>> Counter-Point: "The Kentucky Derby... has become an anachronism."


>>> Merrow [equidaily.com]: Colonel John, Adriano, Monba, Z Fortune, Pyro
>>> Beyer [Wash Post]: 1. Pyro. 2. Z Fortune. 3. Gayego
>>> Eng [Las Vegas Review Journal]: Z Fortune, Pyro, Colonel John
>>> Powell [BRIS]: My betting strategy for Saturday is a large win/place bet on Denis of Cork. Next will be...
>>> O'Donnell [Chicago Sun Times]: Z Fortune, Colonel John, Pyro, Gayego
>>> McCurdy [Mansfield News Journal]: Gayego, Cool Coal Man, Pyro, Tale of Ekati
>>> Kerrison: I'll bet Big Brown, Colonel John and Pyro on top of some longshots like...
>>> S Finley [USA Today]: Bet Colonel John win and place, then key the Colonel in exactas and trifectas with...
>>> Byk [Sirius satellite]: 1. Smooth Air, 2. Denis of Cork, 3. Pyro
>>> Fortus [Times Picayune]: 1. Pyro, 2. Colonel John, 3. Z Fortune, 4. Court Vision
>>> Daley [Lowell Sun]: Big Brown, Colonel John, Court Vision
>>> Dougherty [Seattle Times]: Pyro, Colonel John, Big Brown, Court Vision
>>> Clancy [Hartford Courant]: Denis of Cork, Z Fortune, Big Brown
>>> Layden [Sports Illustrated]: Colonel John, Denis of Cork, Tale of Ekati
>>> Kaplan [Sun Herald]: 1, Pyro... Here's how I'll play the race...
>>> Brunker [MSNBC.com]: I'll put $20 to win on Denis of Cork and box him in $2 exactas with...
>>> Palmer [Seattle P-I]: I got $100 on the nose says Big Brown makes big news on this Derby Day
>>> West [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]: 1. Pyro, 2. Colonel John, 3. Monba
>>> Lousiville Courier-Journal staff [and others]
>>> Finley [ESPN.com]: After Big Brown, the race is a crapshoot, so the sensible thing to do seems to be...
>>> Kling [Troy Record]: 1) Colonel John, 2) Z Fortune, 3) Gayego, 4) Big Brown, 5) Pyro
>>> Cronley [ESPN.com]: Pyro, Tale of Ekati, Monba, Colonel John

Saturday 5/3:

>>> Haskin's Derby analysis: Figuring it out
>>> The pace: Cruise or get caught speeding?
>>> History doesn't favor inexperienced Derby horses
>>> Final prep times often tell who's got best chance
>>> How they did in 1 1/8-mile prep races
>>> Dutrow's Derby Diary/Sat: "I was planning to bet a lot of money on 'Brown,'... But maybe I won't bet at all... There's enough at stake. I don't want any bad karma."
>>> Hype around Big Brown sheds light on horse racing's dark side
>>> Kerrison: Super trainers could deliver with longshots
>>> Eoin Harty credits Sheik Mohammed, "He plucked me from obscurity. If it wasn't for him, I'd still be training for Bob [Baffert]."
>>> For Dutrow: Derby is a potential validation of an unlikely resurgence, in work and in life
>>> Derby runners' names: There's usually something in it, a tribute to someone or some thing
>>> Trainer Dutrow says there's little chance Big Brown will lose Derby
>>> Drape: Derby might have a sprint at start and the finish
>>> Big Truck's owners hoping for big things at Derby
>>> Ziegel: At Derby, even the longshots can dream
>>> Eight Belles out to ring up another ladies' day

Friday 5/2:

>>> Dosage/Dual Qualifiers - 2008 Ky Derby starters
>>> Big Brown to wear front bandages... Trainer, "I don't like doing it because it'll bring up a lot of questions, but it's only because he burned a little bit on his right front heel."
>>> Gary Stevens on post osition #20: "I consulted on that decision, and I think Rick made the right choice."
>>> Migliore on Bob Black Jack: "You can make a case that he looks like a sprinter, but actually on the second dam side there's a great deal of stamina influence."
>>> Smooth Air owners: Derby will be the latest step-dance in a long association with racing
>>> Monmouth clockers offer Derby opinions... "I'm not a handicapper... we bet the watch."
>>> Colonel John's trainer comes from long line of jockeys
>>> McNairs keep high hopes for Cowboy Cal in Derby
>>> Ocala farm owners rooting for Denis of Cork -- foaled on their farm, "We just love that, we love the whole birthing process and taking care of the foals."
>>> Tampa-based owner hoping for success with Adriano, "It would truly be one of the highlights of my life."

Thursday 5/1:

>>> Big Brown works in :35.2 on Thurs
>>> Dutrow's Derby Diary: If Big Brown wins, he should be appreciated as a Derby winner. That's the story, not that I got suspended years ago for a drug test
>>> White: Horse-by-horse analysis of top ten Derby contenders... And final 'Key Derby Factor' strike list qualifiers
>>> Good Derby draw takes heat off Eight Belles owner, "Churchill prez) Steve Sexton told me he wished I wouldn't cross-enter and we knew he wouldn't like it, but I said, 'I've got to do it, Steve.'"
>>> Dutrow on post position #20: "Actually, I'd rather have this post than a lot of other ones."
>>> What should a bettor do with Pyro?... Which do you throw out, the horse or the Blue Grass?
>>> Adriano stays calm... Now he's ready to run
>>> Arkansas sports scribe remembers Derbies past -- as trip to Louisville is cut from budget this year, "The truth is, I was blessed to cover 26 Kentucky Derbies and have more than enough memories to last a lifetime."
>>> Forde: The least predictable sporting event in the world is more unpredictable than ever in 2008
>>> Beyer: The Louie and Ronnie Show is back
>>> Trainer James Kasparoff [Bob Black Jack] living the Ky Derby dream with five-horse stable
>>> Derby entrants must re-learn to run on dirt
>>> Desormeaux has 'come full circle'... Former top jockey riding winners again
>>> Bill Mott seeks first Ky Derby win, "I feel pretty good about both horses."
>>> Arkansas Derby now a major stepping stone on trail to Triple Crown
>>> IEAH has 'Big' dreams
>>> Pletcher ships in as late as possible, "You had to be here [Wednesday]. I would have come Friday or Saturday if they'd let me."
>>> DW Lukas [won Derby with Winning Colors] on chances of Eight Belles, "I think it's a stretch for her in the Derby."
>>> Pyro regaining his old fire
>>> Gayego... From Castro's jails to Ky Derby owners' box
>>> Will #8 be great for Visionaire?
>>> Smooth Air at 100 percent
>>> Derby week quotes
>>> Derby notes - Wed

Wed 4/30

>>> Transcript: DRF Derby chat with Andy Beyer, "I'll throw out Big Brown and Colonel John, dive into the tri and super pools, spread quite a bit and try to come up with a monster payoff."
>>> Foaling dates of Derby contenders
>>> Crist: Here's a little Beyer Speed Figure scorecard for this year's prospective Derby field and last year's edition
>>> Six homebreds vying to extend Derby-winning trend... Homies have won last four Derby's
>>> Dutrow's father is said to have stated of his trainer son, "He'll either wind up in the Hall of Fame or in the state pen doing life. He's going to wind up being a lifer somewhere."
>>> Jockey Q&A: Derby day a physical and mental challenge
>>> Gayego could give Lobo a thrill ride... Small-time trainer from Brazil has his Ky Derby shot
>>> AP: Barclay Tagg having more fun at this Derby
>>> VIDEO: Derby tradition begins at dawn
>>> Tagg hopes Tale of Ekati won't face the slop
>>> Cowboy Cal to run for a good cause
>>> Big Brown gets celebrity treatment
>>> Fortus: Sudden proliferation of synthetic racetracks complicates handicapping dirt races such as the Ky Derby
>>> Rees: Which horses will take to dirt?... Varying surfaces make handicapping Derby harder
>>> Wesch: Can horses raced on Polytrack adapt to Churchill Downs?
>>> Bozich: Racing can't sweep drugs under the rug
>>> OUCH! Virginia columnist declares: "The Kentucky Derby belongs to a growing list of sports relics."
>>> Haskin's Derby Report: Early thoughts
>>> List: Which celebs are attending the Derby this year...
>>> Derby handicapping: Sports scribe says, "I have developed a list of eight questions that should be applied to every Derby entrant..."
>>> Photo gallery: Tues
>>> Pyro cools down, but Derby might be his race
>>> Profile: Robby Albarado races hard and lives large
>>> Drape: Trainer frets in matching his horse with rider
>>> History: Derby almost was losing bet 100 years ago
>>> History: Leisurely train ride home for winning owners after 1936 Derby triumph
>>> Social: Guide to the pre- and post-race party scene

Tuesday 4/29:

>>> Plonk: What we've watched Derby Week (so far)
>>> Christine: Cutting through the chaff, I've broken down the field into four groups...
>>> Dutrow's Derby Diary/Tues: "I can't say I'm looking forward to the media crush that's coming up this week."
>>> Q&A with DRF's Derby clocker Mike Welsch... "A good work is one in which the horse finishes well and gallops out strong without any pressure from his or her rider."
>>> DRF clocker's report - Tues
>>> Blue Grass also-rans have recent history against them
>>> Charting the contender's prep race Beyers
>>> Blogger's system to identify key statistical factors and trends in pointing to Derby contenders vs pretenders
>>> USA Today: For Pletcher, perennial Derby hopes rise again
>>> Todd Pletcher's Derby record
>>> Zito continues going with positive approach, "I'm hoping the form (Anak Nakal) had in the Ky Jockey Club is something he has in the Ky Derby. Cool Coal Man also won on the track."
>>> Team Pyro: A throng instrumental in getting him to this point
>>> NY Times: Filly is ready to take on the colts, but will she?
>>> Drape: Until Big Brown hits the racetrack Tuesday morning, Colonel John wears the title Best in Show
>>> Kerrison: If there is one horse who has everyone confused and frustrated it is Pyro
>>> Tale of Ekati is dream fulfilled for Ky Derby
>>> Big Brown's trainer says he has 'best horse'... UPS-named colt gaining admirers
>>> Eight Belles could be a rare Derby filly... First since 1999
>>> Former jock Kris Prather's backstretch blog: "Pyro has done everything that has been expected of him."
>>> Derby has been thorn for great horses, trainers
>>> Barclay Tagg [Funny Cide] back with two chances, "I like the way they're coming along. If I didn't, I wouldn't be bringing them."
>>> Sprint star Bob Black Jack ready to stretch out
>>> Blogger checks in with "backstretch stories you won't get anywhere else..."
>>> Pre-Derby photo gallery
>>> Photo gallery: Lexington Herald-Leader
>>> Photo gallery: Louisville Courier-Journal

Monday 4/28:

>>> Behindatthebar out... Denis of Cork in
>>> Brunker: This year's Derby "has more questions than a 4-year-old who got into Daddy's No-Doze."
>>> Borel back in Derby on Denis of Cork
>>> NY Post: Dutrow's Derby Diary... "He just must be a really good one. That's what I'm thinking."
>>> Asmussen back -- a year after Curlin -- with two shots in the Derby, "I do realize how hard it is to win."
>>> Colonel John bound by honor... Named for Iraq War veteran, he's a stable favorite
>>> Personalities: Trainer Louie Roussel has returned from a 4-year hiatus to work Recapturetheglory into a Derby contender
>>> Roussel-Lamarque back with the appropraitely named Recapturetheglory... Twenty years ago, racing's odd couple were at Churchill in the company of Risen Star
>>> Diamond prospector's gem will 'run for the roses'... Canadian millionaire's prized 3YO, Tale of Ekati, earns a Derby start
>>> AP: Derby owners a diverse group
>>> Kerrison: With Eight Belles in, "Suddenly, the run for the roses has a whole new look."
>>> Pletcher has two shots to end slide
>>> Little hoopla this year surrounding Pletcher, "Maybe it's better this way."
>>> Rooting interest: Four horses have charity on board
>>> Iowa State lab helps keep the Kentucky Derby horses clean
>>> Daily Derby Notes: Monday
>>> Clocker's report -- Sun... Colonel John passes test


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