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Big Brown Out of the Breeders' Cup; Retired

From the Breeders' Cup homepage: Big Brown Retired.

There are two ways to look at this news:

From the Breeders' Cup and a horse racing perspective, this is sad news as it eliminates the Curlin-Big Brown match-up that most wanted to see in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

From a personal perspective (and this is nothing against the horse, who I think is a fantastic physical specimen), I'm not going to cry any tears for Dick Dutrow and Michael Iavarone.

Additional commentary: Big Brown's retirement is due to a foot injury he suffered during a morning workout. It's not a major injury, in that it's not lifethreatening, but given Big Brown's history of foot problems, it was enough to end his career.

I'm going to go into more detail on this in a later post, but I really think there is a question about this horse's legacy and historical importance. Many have called him a Superhorse. Others, including myself, think he's a very good horse running in a year with a very poor crop of three year-olds. And although Dutrow and Iavarone will tell you different, Big Brown really can't hold a candle to Curlin. And it's not just that Curlin has won more races, but it's that Curlin has run against the best that he could time-after-time. While Big Brown was running in a boarderline Grade 3 turf event at Monmouth, Curlin was running in the Man o'War and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. In my opinion there is little to dispute: Curlin is a great horse, while Big Brown was the standout three year-old colt in a year with very few good three year-olds.