NEW YORK - Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. has plans for Big Brown beyond the Belmont Stakes, even though there is speculation the unbeaten colt will be retired following his attempt to become the first Triple Crown champion in 30 years.
"No one told me that," Dutrow said when Big Brown first arrived at Belmont Park earlier in the week, adding a few days later, "our plan is the Belmont, Travers and Breeders' Cup."
Dutrow has been consistent in his comments since Big Brown won the Preakness Stakes last Saturday. After the race, Big Brown's majority owners IEAH Stables sold breeding rights to Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky for reportedly more than $50 million.
Before Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby, IEAH co-president Michael Iavarone said the horse would not run next year.
That prompted talk that the Belmont in just more than 2 weeks would likely be Big Brown's final race, win or lose.
While IEAH has yet to confirm Big Brown's post-Belmont plans, Dutrow clearly wants to keep the colt in training. First, for the Travers on Aug. 23 at Saratoga, and then a grand farewell in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita. *