NEW YORK Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. has plans for Big Brown beyond the Belmont Stakes, even though there is speculation the unbeaten colt will be retired following his attempt to become the first Triple Crown champion in 30 years.
"No one told me that," Dutrow said when Big Brown first arrived at Belmont Park earlier in the week, adding a few days later, "our plan is the Belmont, Travers and Breeders' Cup. We are going to show up if our horse is good and ready."
Dutrow has been consistent in his comments since Big Brown won the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, a day in which majority owners IEAH Stables sold breeding rights to Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky for reportedly more than $50 million.
Before Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby, IEAH co-president Michael Iavarone said Big Brown would not run next year as a 4-year-old.
That prompted talk that the Belmont in just more than two weeks would likely be Big Brown's final race, win or lose. While IEAH has yet to confirm Big Brown's post-Belmont plans, Dutrow clearly wants to keep the colt in training. First, for the Travers on Aug. 23 at Saratoga, and then a grand farewell in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.
The Classic could match Big Brown against 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin, who won the Preakness and Classic last year and the $6 million Dubai World Cup this year.
"We'll show up for the last one if our horse is good and if he's ready," Dutrow said, referring to the Breeders' Cup. "I would like them to run against each other. It would be good for racing, and it would be good for us. It wouldn't be so good for (Curlin)."