Injured Big Brown Forced Into Early Retirement

By Fred

Even with 4 horseshoes, Big Brown has been a strangely unlucky horse. Less than 2 weeks before he was to meet his match, 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin, in the Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita, Brownie’s out of the running.

Yesterday morning during his workout at Aqueduct in New York, Big Brown kicked himself in a freakish misstep and “not only tore the bulb off his right front hoof, but half the foot was torn off,” according to owner Michael Iavarone.

It sounds devastating, but other news outlets describe it as a 3-inch gouge, and no one even noticed it until trainer Rick Dutrow saw blood. Thankfully, it’s not life-threatening as long as it doesn’t get infected, but it will take about 2 months to heal. Since Big Brown is scheduled to begin his $50 million stud gig at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Kentucky, by December 31, there’s no time to enter him in another race. That would be anticlimactic anyway, without Curlin.

No one knew that the last time we saw Big Brown gallop to victory in the Monmouth Stakes on September 13, it really was the last time.

Big Brown (right) had no idea he was feeling the thrill of victory for the last time on September 13 at Monmouth.

Big Brown (right) had no idea he was feeling the thrill of victory for the last time on September 13 at Monmouth.

As the first horse in 79 years to win the Kentucky Derby from post 20, Big Brown ends his fascinating career with 7 wins and only one loss – his baffling melt-down in the Belmont Stakes that robbed him of the Triple Crown.

We at Cats Working wish Brownie a speedy recovery and many happy years surrounded by cute fillies and offspring who will grow up to fulfill Dad’s promise by winning the Triple Crown.

4 Responses to Injured Big Brown Forced Into Early Retirement

  1. Adele says:


    When I told Alice about Big Brown’s career (at least his racing career)-ending injury, she said that no matter how many hissy fits Adele was having about Sarah Palin’s being in your home town, she just knew you’d get to the computer to write about your equine idol. Turns out, she was right, although she pointed out that all of you, at Cats Working, would wish a fellow creature well. Alice has been trying to prevent me from watching Palin too much, because she fears for my blood pressure, so I don’t know if Sarah Baracuda committed any notable gaffes, while she was in Richmond.

  2. catsworking says:

    Adele, I couldn’t believe my eyes this morning when I went to lie down on the sports section for a nap and saw Big Brown’s lamentable story. It was like Barbaro all over again. Except this time I hope it has a happy ending and Brownie becomes the equine Hugh Hefner of Kentucky.

    I am at a loss for an equine idol at the moment (switching allegiance to Curlin at this point feels disloyal to my Brownie), but I’m hooked on horse racing, so I’ll have my eyes peeled for new talent.

    Our Adele was sharpening her claws to rip into Sarah Palin’s visit to Richmond when I jumped on the PC this morning.

    As expected, Palin did commit a gaffe. She drew an almost all-white crowd estimated at 20-25,000 (roughly 3X the population of Wasilla), so some people were quite far away and couldn’t hear her. They started shouting “Louder!” and pointing to the sky as a signal to turn up the volume.

    Palin mistook them for hecklers and made some crack about American soldiers fighting to give them the freedom to shoot their mouths off.

    She also paraded her husband and some Iditarod champion before the NASCAR crowd, which impressed them NOT.

    Earlier in the day she appeared at another big rally on the Eastern Shore with McCain. I hope they both enjoyed personally meeting everyone in Virginia who’s going to vote for them. Apparently they’re unaware of the huge non-white population whose absence speaks volumes about which way Virginia is likely to go.

  3. Adele says:


    I can just picture you in a fedora, going over the racing form — maybe even chomping on a cigar. Alice and I both wish Big Brown a successful and amorous retirement, although Alice can’t quite get her mind around the fact that not all animals, who live with humans, are fixed.

    Not to get Adele more upset, but Palin’s reaction to the Troopergate report is unbelievably irksome. What about abuse of power doesn’t she understand? Maybe she thinks “exonerated” is a synonym for abuse of power. We’re also quite concerned about the continuing violent outbursts at the McPalin rallies. And McCain’s response is to compare John Lewis’s words about stirring up racism to the “kill Obama” and “off with his head” partisans.

  4. catsworking says:

    Adele, I swear you’ve got this place rigged.

    We can’t figure out why everyone at the Republican rallies are so angry. They’ve had their poster boy for Stupid in the White House for the past 8 years. They’ve still got enough reps. in Congress to filibuster the Democrats from doing anything meaningful. Now they’re screaming for change. Change to WHAT? The country’s living with what THEY created.

    Our Adele is composing her Palin post right now. Stay tuned…

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