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Patching up Big Brown's cracked front hoof

ancientgirl
June 2nd, 2008, 03:09 PM
Patching up Big Brown's cracked front hoof



NEW YORK (AP) — Before Big Brown can make a run at winning the Triple Crown, his slightly cracked left front hoof needs some final work.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner is wearing a second set of stainless steel sutures on the inside of his hoof. They've allowed Big Brown to gallop around Belmont Park while giving the hoof healing time.

Hoof specialist Ian McKinlay said Monday he will wait until Friday to attach an acrylic and fiberglass patch to Big Brown's hoof, the final step in the repair process ahead of Saturday's Belmont Stakes.

``This is just a slight, slight crack,'' McKinlay said outside Big Brown's barn. ``We're being extra cautious because he's heading toward the Triple Crown.''

Initially, the plan had called for McKinlay to apply the patch Monday, but he said waiting a couple of extra days would allow for more natural healing to occur.

``As the clock ticks, it's gotten better and better,'' he said.

Big Brown galloped Monday, with trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. and some of the colt's owners looking on.

``He's moving as good as he ever has,'' Dutrow said.

Applying the patch involves McKinlay taking out the sutures, cleaning up the area, redrilling holes and putting a new set of sutures in. If necessary, he will put in a drain that would allow any serum to escape. Then he covers up the whole thing with acrylic adhesive that sets in five minutes.

``The adhesive that we'll rebuild that wall with is stronger than the hoof itself,'' McKinlay said.

Big Brown will go for his last training run Tuesday on the 1 1/2-mile oval, where he will try to become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years.

He missed three days of training last week after the quarter crack was discovered. McKinlay inserted steel sutures to pull the crack together a week ago, which allowed Big Brown to resume training, and then the blacksmith changed them over the weekend.

It's only upon a close look that an observer can spot a white area on Big Brown's left front hoof. The colt's gait has been unaffected, and so has his attitude.

Big Brown lapped up the attention from photographers outside his barn Monday. Walking to a black rubber mat for a bath, he stopped and looked directly at the clicking cameras, both ears pricked. Then he turned his head, as if to show off his best side (his left) like a veteran Hollywood star.

``He knows something is going on because all these people are around him all the time,'' said exercise rider Michelle Nevin, who distracted Big Brown by shaking a leather lead that he nipped at during his bath.

Big Brown has a history of foot problems dating to late last year, when he first arrived in Dutrow's barn at Aqueduct. He was twice sidelined for 45-day stretches because of abscesses in his left and right front feet.

As a result, Big Brown is a lightly raced horse compared to other 3-year-olds. He's 5-0, having mopped up the competition by a combined 39 lengths.

Big Brown's quarter crack problem is fairly common, with some horses plagued by such an injury throughout their racing careers. A quarter crack is a vertical crack in the hoof wall between the toe and heel of the hoof, usually extending into the coronary band, where the hoof meets the skin of the leg.

Healing time can range from a few days to a few months, depending on the severity of the crack. Heaven forbid they should just let the horse heal!

Having McKinlay working on his horse has only increased Dutrow's confidence. The blacksmith, considered one of the best in the business, worked for Dutrow's late father, who trained in Maryland.

``There's no setbacks when you deal with Ian,'' the younger Dutrow said. ``He'll come in. He'll figure it out. He'll give you a timetable. And like nine out of 10 times, it's right on the money.''

Which is where Dutrow expects Big Brown to be Saturday.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I really hope nothing happens to this horse because of that cracked heel. Here's what really bothered me:

``As the clock ticks, it's gotten better and better,'' he said.

Big Brown galloped Monday, with trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. and some of the colt's owners looking on.

``He's moving as good as he ever has,'' Dutrow said.


It's like they want him to be better just so he can race. It makes me wonder if they would put him in even if he wasn't ready.:sad:

Chris21711
June 3rd, 2008, 09:34 AM
I read it in the paper this morning, makes me sick what people will do for money :pray: that he will be OK and not another track tragedy.

ancientgirl
June 3rd, 2008, 09:44 AM
I read it in the paper this morning, makes me sick what people will do for money :pray: that he will be OK and not another track tragedy.

Yeah, I just get the feeling they're more concerned about Brown not making any money for them. I really hope they don't try to push him for the almighty dollar.

Chris21711
June 3rd, 2008, 10:01 AM
Yeah, I just get the feeling they're more concerned about Brown not making any money for them. I really hope they don't try to push him for the almighty dollar.

Unfortunately they probably will :sad:

katherine93
June 3rd, 2008, 12:47 PM
I really really really hope they dont put him in if he isnt ready! :fingerscr thats hes okay!

ancientgirl
June 3rd, 2008, 01:13 PM
Yeah, let's hope it's not a replay of the Kentucky Derby.:sad:

katherine93
June 3rd, 2008, 02:12 PM
what happened at the kentucky durby:eek: ?

ancientgirl
June 3rd, 2008, 02:54 PM
The horse trailing Big Brown, Eight Belle's fell. Her injury was too severe and they had to euthanize her, I believe on the spot.:sad: It's said the jockey was working her too hard and using the whip excessively. Still, she was too young to be in that race.

katherine93
June 4th, 2008, 03:41 PM
AWWW thast so sad:sad: FRiggen idiots man! They care more about money than the poor animal! I can't imagine whipping Scarlett! :eek: Fir starters, id probably get thrown about a mile away!

ancientgirl
June 9th, 2008, 08:26 AM
Big Brown left alone after stunning Belmont loss

By BETH HARRIS, AP Racing Writer Sun Jun 8, 5:24 PM ET

NEW YORK - The morning after the Belmont Stakes, Big Brown stopped to pose for photographers as if he had won the Triple Crown. Everyone except the horse knew otherwise.


Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. was a no-show, leaving questions and few answers about what happened to Big Brown in Saturday's 1 1/2-mile Belmont. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner was eased up by jockey Kent Desormeaux in the stretch, ending up last, beaten by eight other horses.

Dutrow obviously angry he couldn't cash in this time.

The bay colt faced the cameras alone Sunday, except for exercise rider Michelle Nevin — and she wasn't talking.

Outwardly, Big Brown appeared no worse for wear. He got his morning bath outside Barn 2, playfully nipping at a leather lead held by Nevin. Then she led him in circles around the inside of the barn, with Big Brown walking perfectly on his patched left front hoof.

Co-owner Michael Iavarone said Big Brown had a thorough examination after the race and again Sunday morning.

"There's nothing physically that's shown up," he said, speaking by cell phone from his daughter's soccer game on Long Island. "I'm as confused as anybody. The only thing we're resorting to right now is the track might have been too deep for him and he didn't like it out there."

I can't get over the lengths they are going to figure out why he didn't win. Maybe he was TIRED! Maybe his foot hurt for Petes sake!

Iavarone said Big Brown's problem feet, other than a loose left hind shoe, were not an issue.

"We're perplexed," he said. "Nobody can figure this one out.":rolleyes:

Without any obvious answers, it might take blood work and diagnostic testing, including X-rays, to figure out Big Brown's poor performance.

Dutrow was criticized after acknowledging he used an anabolic steroid on Big Brown, then said last week that the horse hadn't had a dose of Winstrol since April. It's known to increase appetite and promote weight gain and healing. The drug is legal in the three states where the Triple Crown races are run.

WTH? Great, so steroids are okay to use on horses in the 3 states the Triple Crown races are coincidentally run. Hmmm

"I doubt if that comes up to be the answer," Larry Bramlage, the on-call veterinarian, said after the race. "It's not that kind of situation where it's going to be a stimulant for him. The anabolic steroids keeps him eating and keeps him happy and keeps him aggressive, all of which he showed all week long."

Horse racing's national regulatory authority has proposed a steroid ban, and so far 10 states have adopted it. It's under consideration in 11 others.

"By this time next year, steroids will be banned from horse racing competition,"GOOD! Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said Sunday. "The Big Brown campaign only underscores the need to act to ensure the safety of the horses and to remove any suspicion concerning steroid involvement with our stars."

Big Brown was running on a quarter crack in his left front hoof that wasn't patched until Friday, but Dutrow insisted all last week that it was a "non-issue."

Nevertheless, it cost the colt three days of training between the Preakness and the Belmont. Big Brown wasn't trained very hard leading up to the longest and toughest of the three classics, either.

Desormeaux said afterward that Big Brown "was in no way, shape or form lame or sore."

On the advice of Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, Dutrow had said he was going to reduce Big Brown's dose of electrolytes, which are salts such as sodium, chloride and potassium that help prevent dehydration. It wasn't clear whether he followed through on that plan before the Belmont.

Dutrow didn't immediately return a phone message left Sunday by The Associated Press.

Big Brown ran on Lasix, a legal anti-bleeding medication that can cause a horse to become dehydrated. Highs were in the 90s and there was oppressive humidity Saturday. Several horses throughout the day were sweating excessively and needed to be cooled off with buckets of water and sprayed with hoses after they ran.So what, it's a little hot and humid. Just water them down and let them run, they'll be okay :rolleyes:

Iavarone said that unless something shows up, Big Brown will maintain his training schedule and be pointed toward the Travers Stakes in August at Saratoga.

"I love this horse," he said. "I've grown tremendously attached to this horse emotionally. I wanted him to know he could run dead last or first and we would still love him." If you love him so much, stop racing him and trying to squeeze every last dollar you can off his back.

Big Brown, of course, is worth millions to Iavarone and his other two owners. They've already locked up an estimated $50 million deal for his breeding rights with Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky.See, they really love him.

Like everyone else, rival trainer Nick Zito could see that Big Brown didn't show up on racing's biggest stage.

"He wasn't making his move," said Zito, who saddled 38-1 long shot Da' Tara to a 5 1/4-length upset. "Especially the way Ricky talks, I knew I was in pretty good shape."

Dutrow had spent the five weeks between the Derby and Belmont bragging about Big Brown's superiority and telling everyone how weak the competition was. He proclaimed that it was "a foregone conclusion" his colt would win the Belmont and become racing's first Triple Crown winner in 30 years.

"I saw why he said that in the Derby and the Preakness," Zito said. "He knew he had something on his hands that was really tremendous."

In a sport built on baloney, no one dished it better than Dutrow. But his bluster came back to bite him.

"If I could give him one thing that he could change, just don't say anything about the horse," Zito said. "Say something about me or somebody else or whatever. But don't say nothing about the other horses, because that will get you in trouble."

Casino Drive, the Japanese horse considered to be Big Brown's main rival, was scratched the morning of the Belmont because of a bruised left hind hoof.

"He looks OK. He's still not 100 percent," said Nobutaka Tada, racing manager for the colt's owner and trainer. "He's being careful when he steps. He's getting well, but we have to be careful."

Tada said undefeated Casino Drive would be put on a 14-hour flight back to Japan on Tuesday, and likely return in the fall to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic in California, where steroids are outlawed.

"I hope many people here remember Casino Drive," Tada said.

Dutrow may be hoping for the same thing about vanquished Big Brown.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Articles like this both anger and amuse me. Who are they fooling? Sorry, when you race horses, you're in it for the money, otherwise, if you loved the horses so much, you'd keep them on your farm, grazing them and maybe now and then riding them.

glitterless
June 11th, 2008, 11:35 PM
The horse trailing Big Brown, Eight Belle's fell. Her injury was too severe and they had to euthanize her, I believe on the spot.:sad: It's said the jockey was working her too hard and using the whip excessively. Still, she was too young to be in that race.

The Kentucky Derby is for 3 year olds. Was she not 3?

In my opinion, thoroughbreds are started and raced too young. Was there anything different about Eight Belles compared to the other horses in the race? I doubt it.

This is news because it was the Kentucky Derby. This happens often in smaller races.

ancientgirl
June 12th, 2008, 07:48 AM
It has been investigated, and there is a comment made in a Sports Illustrated report that the jockey riding Colonel John heard Eight Belles whinnying as they passed during the race.

Eight Belles' trainer, Larry Jones, has admitted to injecting Eight Belles with Phenylbutazone—an anti-inflammatory and painkiller drug 27 hours before the Kentucky Derby.

Why was she injected with that unless she was in some kind of pain and they wanted her to run anyway?