Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown runs Saturday in New York in his bid to become horse racing's first so-called Triple Crown winner in 30 years. As VOA's Jim Stevenson reports from Belmont Park, final preparations have been made for the big race.
Unlike his previous two races, Big Brown will begin his historic quest along the inside rail from the number one position. Jockey Kent Desormeaux says he hopes to get a burst of speed early.
"I am going to let him break in and see what everybody else is doing," he said. "And, you know, if I am riding with some peers that want to be aggressive, then we will cross that bridge when we get to it. But, you know quite honestly, the faster we go, then probably best chance they have is being second."
After the Preakness, Big Brown developed a small crack in his front left hoof. Equine specialist Ian McKinlay applied a fiberglass and acrylic patch on Friday and says the hoof looks perfect for the Belmont Stakes.
Trainer Rick Dutrow also says Big Brown is ready.
"I can not imagine anything could be any better with the horse," he said. "I mean, he was awful rough this morning around the barn just walking. I have never seen him like that. So he knows something is coming. He knows it is soon. I just could not be happier with the horse."
Dutrow says he will stay with his undefeated superstar all day before Big Brown attempts to become the 12th Triple Crown winner.