I just got off the phone with trainer Rick Dutrow. During an excellent workout in company with Kip Deville this morning at Aqueduct, Big Brown managed to tear a chunk out of his right front foot, knocking him out of the Breeders' Cup Classic and ending his career. Dutrow, as you might imagine, was stunned at this development especially as the colt had been working so well for that highly-anticipated matchup against Curlin at Santa Anita. It's not tragic, by any means, but it's very disappointing.
Big Brown was a terrific racehorse, but, always appreciated him as much for his personality as his prowess on the racetrack. I remember watching him get a bath a few days before the Belmont Stakes. He was standing there, calmly, when a plane flew overhead. I had never seen a horse do this before (planes are always flying low over Belmont Park) but Big Brown actually looked up at the sky to see where the noise was coming from. At that moment, I totally fell in love with the horse. His curiosity and intelligence set him apart as much as his ability.
And, in case there were any doubts as to the veracity and severity of the injury, check out Barbara Livingston's photos taken this morning at the Big A on http://www.drf.com/