The Kentucky Derby winner is pretty laid-back, trainer Rick Dutrow says, which shouldn't hurt his Preakness hopes.
BALTIMORE - All is right in Big Brown's world.
The Kentucky Derby winner emerged from his new digs at Pimlico on Thursday morning after arriving from Churchill Downs on Wednesday night.
He galloped around the track to test the course and check out his surroundings prior to the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, second leg in the Triple Crown series.
"He was comfortable, cool, relaxed, galloped good, so we're as happy as we can be right now," said Rick Dutrow, Big Brown's trainer.
The buzz at Pimlico was all Big Brown. Cameras followed every move the Derby winner made to the track and back under exercise rider Michelle Nevin. Big Brown appeared unflappable in the face of so much attention.
"Big Brown's laid-back," Dutrow said. "He just does not get excited. That's a good thing because you need that mental thing when you go into your races, especially the big races with the crowds."
Dutrow spoke on a variety of topics Thursday after Big Brown returned from his gallop.
He told how much winning the Preakness would mean to him ("To have the Derby winner and such a big favorite for the Preakness, I don't know if I'll ever be standing here again") and how he hopes racing will see a Triple Crown winner in Big Brown.
He said he was not surprised that 12 others entered the Preakness, in spite of Big Brown's dominant performance.
"If we had a horse we thought had a shot in this race other than Big Brown, we'd take a shot because other than Big Brown it looks like it's a very competitive race if you throw Big Brown out," Dutrow said. "I'm sure there are a lot of people who would think they had a good chance of winning, and finishing second or third in the Preakness is not a bad move."
He also voiced concern about running Big Brown two weeks after the Derby in a race that is only sixteenth of a mile shorter than the Derby's 1¼ miles.
"I don't like two weeks. I like running them back in three, four, five days or 30 to 40 days. But that's just me," Dutrow said. "It doesn't mean that Big Brown won't like it. He seems like he's on his game enough ... he's a lightly raced horse, he's only got four starts. He's pretty well fresh, so this might work to his advantage."
See handicapper Kevin Gorg's Preakness picks at startribune.com/sports
|Minnesota||1||Top 8th Inning|
|Cincinnati||2||Bottom 5th Inning|
|Los Angeles||7||Bottom 4th Inning|
|Oakland||0||Bottom 3rd Inning|
|Arizona - T. Cahill||2:10 PM|
|Colorado - J. De La Rosa|
|Washington - G. Gonzalez||2:45 PM|
|San Francisco - M. Bumgarner|
|Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson||3:37 PM|
|Toronto - M. Buehrle|
|Chicago Cubs - J. Samardzija||6:05 PM|
|Pittsburgh - F. Liriano|
|Detroit - J. Verlander||6:05 PM|
|Cleveland - U. Jimenez|
|NY Yankees - H. Kuroda||6:05 PM|
|Baltimore - J. Hammel|
|Seattle - B. Maurer||6:05 PM|
|LA Angels - C. Wilson|
|Philadelphia - C. Lee||6:10 PM|
|Miami - K. Slowey|
|Boston - C. Buchholz||7:10 PM|
|Chicago WSox - H. Santiago|
|Kansas City - J. Shields||7:10 PM|
|Houston - J. Lyles|
|St. Louis - T. Lyons||9:10 PM|
|San Diego - B. Smith|