Big Brown Team Turns Down Curlin Face-off
Its a moment that everyone has been hoping for, to see the 2007 Horse of the Year, Curlin, face-off against the racing power house Big Brown. But unfortunately, it seems that for the time being these two horse racing greats will not be racing against each other any time soon. Both camps have been sending out invitations through the media to run against each other, but neither side seems interested in the events the other is suggesting. This is very disappointing to many racing fans, who feel that it is the only way to determine which horse is better on the day.
Curlin, who is not only the horse of the year but has been ranked as the world’s top horse in the Timeform Global Rankings, has found great success on dirt and turf. He has raked in many Grade 1 horse racing events in his career, including the Dubai World Cup, Jockey Club Gold Cup, the 2007 Preakness Stakes and the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Stakes. Trained by Steve Asmussen and with principal owner Jess Jackson at his side, Curlin has been setting the racing industry on fire.
Suddenly, in May 2008, during the running of the Kentucky Derby, all attention was drawn to the race winner Big Brown as he made history, winning the race with only three previous starts under his belt and winning from post position 20, which was last achieved in 1915. Going on to win the Preakness Stakes a few weeks later, many started to wonder if Big Brown had the same potential as Curlin.
A race featuring both these great horses has been on the minds of everyone in the horse racing industry, and after Rick Dutrow’s comment that Big Brown was by far the better horse, Jess Jackson invited Big Brown to compete against Curlin in either the Grade 1 $500 000 Woodward on the 30th of August or the Jockey Club Gold Cup on the 27th of September. Jackson even threw in an offer of paying $50 000 to charity if Big Brown ran. Michael Iavarone, Big Brown’s co-owner, said that the only race the Big Brown was confirmed to race in was the Breeders’ Cup and a turf race near the end of the month in preparation. Iavarone therefore feels that if Curlin wants to race against Big Brown, he should enter the Breeders’ Cup. Jess Jackson said that due to Curlin winning the event last year, and Santa Anita, host to the Breeders’ Cup, renovating their synthetic surface, he was not prepared to risk Curlin on the new surface.
So for now, at least, it seems that Big Brown and Curlin are on completely different paths. Perhaps in the future, as many are hoping, their paths will cross, and the racing industry will witness one of the biggest showdowns in history.