Big Brown Wins Preakness; Casino Drive Awaits in Belmont

May 19, 2008 05:19 PM
by Denis Cummings
The Kentucky Derby winner cruised to big victory in the Preakness Stakes to remain undefeated in his career. Some have already anointed him as horse racing’s savior, but he’ll have to beat Japanese import Casino Drive to become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years.

30-Second Summary

Two weeks ago, Big Brown easily defeated the Kentucky Derby field, proving himself to be the class of this year’s three-year olds. His win was overshadowed, however, by the death of runner-up Eight Belles.

Horse racing has received a wave of criticism in the two weeks since, and there have been debates on the sport’s rules, breeding practices and treatment of horses. With many casual fans turning away from the sport, horse racing was in need of a star horse to win fans back.

Big Brown may be that star
. Jockey Kent Desormeaux barely had to use his whip as Big Brown easily pulled away from the field down the backstretch for a commanding victory.

“In 27 years of riding,” said retired jockey Gary Stevens, “I’ve never seen a horse accelerate like that.”

Some pundits are already handing Big Brown the Triple Crown, but he may be facing his toughest challenger yet at the Belmont. Casino Drive, half-brother to the last two Belmont Stakes winners—Jazil and Rags to Riches—is a Japanese-owned horse who won his American debut easily last Saturday in the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont.  He had won by a large margin in Japan in February in his only other start.

Desormeaux, who rode him in the Peter Pan, said, “He’s a phenomenal talent, and we’ve got our hands full with this one.”

Headline Link: Two down, one to go

Video: The Preakness Stakes

Background: The Kentucky Derby

Opinion & Analysis: How good is Big Brown?


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