Drape: Big Brown carries the burden of his owners
Can the press associated with a horse’s human connections ultimately make a difference in his salability as a stallion? The New York Times’ Joe Drape believes so, and proposes that Big Brown may indeed be overlooked as a stallion through no fault of his own, based on the stories that swirled around the colt during his Triple Crown campaign.
Amid Big Brown’s Triple Crown campaign, his majority owner, International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, said it was raising $100 million for a hedge fund to buy, sell and breed horses, collecting management and performance fees. And his trainer, Rick Dutrow, admitted that Big Brown had been on a steroid regimen before running in the Derby. In the following years, the fortunes of his human connections continued to wane.
At the recent Keeneland September sale, bloodstock agent Bob Feld spent $310,000 on a Big Brown colt, but acknowledged that a bias may exist against Big Brown in the world of commercial breeding.
“If the horse was owned by Ted Bassett,” said Feld, referring to the former president and chairman of Keeneland, “there may be a warmer or fuzzier feeling about all this stuff.”