Trainer Tony Dutrow readily admits that The Big Beast isn't easy to handle, which made the colt's victory in the Grade 1, $500,000 Ketel One King's Bishop that much more gratifying.
Dutrow said the colt, who stands at 17-1 hands, is the largest horse he has trained and has a penchant for escaping his handlers.
“Horse racing is a passion for most of us. It's what we do. It's a big part of our lives,” said Dutrow, who trains The Big Beast for Alex and JoAnn Lieblong. “To accomplish winning the King's Bishop, such a prestigious and special race, it's overwhelming. I'm very proud of the people who work with the horse. He's not been an easy horse; he's a rough boy and it's taken a lot of really special horsemanship from people other than myself to bring out the best in him.”
To prevent The Big Beast from getting loose on Saturday, Dutrow had a pony accompany him to the paddock before the race. Following The Big Beast's neck victory over Fast Anna in the seven-furlong King's Bishop, the pony waited for The Big Beast in the winner's circle to lead him back to the barn.
“He gets loose almost every day, so you're trying to find a way to control him as safely as possible,” said Dutrow. “He's done well with the pony. We've spent a lot of time with him in the paddock, and he's done well that way, so we asked for permission to take him to the races that way. And it worked out really, really good. He was really, really good. The last time we ran him [in an allowance on July 26] he got loose in the paddock. [The pony] kept The Beast quiet before and after the race.”
Dutrow said he has not looked beyond the Ketel One King's Bishop for The Big Beast.
“With the 3-year-olds, [running in the King's Bishop off an allowance win is] a pretty big step,” said Dutrow. “I really felt like I was going to see what I saw, but I really felt like I needed the proof for that before I could think about what might be next.”
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