Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Monmouth Stakes, 9/13/08



It was life and death vs. Proudinsky in the lane, but Big Brown pulled off his first victory against older horses in yesterday's Monmouth Stakes, improving his record to seven wins in eight starts. If you've never heard of the Monmouth Stakes before, it's because this is the first time it was ever run, and quite possibly won't be run again.

Apparently, trainer Rick Dutrow told Big Brown's majority owners, IEAH Stables, that BB's ideal prep race for the Breeder's Cup Classic would be on grass, so as to prepare him for the synthetic surface at Santa Anita (many say that polytrack has a similar response to turf). Dutrow also said that the ideal spacing between the prep race and the BC Classic would be forty days. IEAH responded by buying Big Brown a race.

The Monmouth Stakes was brought to you by Big Brown's owners, and met all the specifications of Dutrow's requests. IEAH put up the $500,000 purse, which was to have been reduced to $200,000, if for some reason Big Brown was unable to race.