Big Brown Victorious at Haskell Invitational
On Sunday, 3 August 2008, more than forty thousand fans made their way to Monmouth Park Racecourse to watch the 41st running of the $1 million Haskell Invitational. The air was filled with anticipation and excitement, as Big Brown was to make his first appearance since the Belmont Stakes, and everyone was anxious to see him perform. It was a Grade 1 horse racing event to remember, providing spectators with thrills, excitement and elation as Big Brown dug deep to win the Haskell Invitational.
Seven magnificent horses stepped into the starting gates at Monmouth Park Racecourse, and were lined up in post position as follows: Magical Forest (Jockey: Jorge Chavez), Cool Coal Man (Jockey: Eddie Castro), Alaazo (Jockey: Jose Lezcano), Big Brown (Jockey: Kent Desormeaux), Nistle’s Crunch (Jockey: Elvis Tujillo), Coal Play (Jockey: Joe Bravo) and Atoned (Jockey: Edgar Prado). With such a competitive field, everyone knew that the 2008 Haskell Invitational would become a battle of wills.
As the gates swung open, Joe Bravo quickly steered Coal Play, the 20-1 long shot of the race, into the leading position. He managed to maintain his position, while many thought that Big Brown was too tired to chase down the leader. As the field turned into the final stretch, Coal Play had a two length lead over the other contenders and it was at this time that Big Brown gathered up all his courage and last energy to start catching Coal Play. Fans screamed and the tension in Monmouth Park Racecourse began to build as Big Brown started gaining ground and slipped past Coal Play within the last fifty yards to win the Haskell Invitational with a close shave. It was evident that Big Brown was taking immense strain to the end of the race, and that he was not quite back to his old self. Instead of annihilating the field as he is known to do, Big Brown had to fight and claw his way to the wire. None-the-less, he won a horse racing event that will long be remembered. He was followed home by Coal Play, Cool Coal Man, Alaazo, Nistle’s Crunch, Atoned and Magical Forest.
Exactly where Big Brown will start next is still undetermined, but they will definitely be attending the Breeders’ Cup Classic on 25 October 2008 at the Santa Anita Racecourse, in the hope of facing-off against the Horse of the Year, Curlin.