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Aug 15, 2008

Curlin's owner goes after Big Brown



Lexington, KY (Sports Network) - Recent remarks by the trainer of Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown have inspired Jess Jackson, majority owner of Curlin, to seek a confrontation in the upcoming Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. Jackson has offered to donate $50,000 to a charity if the three-year-old accepts the challenge.

"Big Brown's camp recent remarks about Curlin inspired me to offer an incentive to get these two great horses to race at the legendary track at the Spa," said Jackson. "Both horses are eligible for this race and both have plenty of time to prepare for what would be thoroughbred racing at its very best and in the name of a great cause."

Jackson is pledging $50,000 from the Jackson Curlin for Kids Fund to the non- profit Belmont Child Care Association, Anna House if Big Brown runs in the Woodward. Big Brown is owned by IEAH Stables and trained by Rick Dutrow, Jr.

Following Big Brown's win in the Haskell Invitational on August 3, Dutrow stated that his thoroughbred was superior to the 2007 Horse of the Year, mainly based on Curlin finishing third in last year's Run for the Roses.

The $500,000 Woodward will be conducted on Saratoga's main track at 1 1/8 miles. Big Brown would carry 121-pounds and the four-year-old Curlin would carry 126-pounds under the weight-for-age conditions.

"This type of competition between horses is exactly what thoroughbred racing needs, an event that introduces the excitement and competition of racing to a broader audience," Jackson said. "Imagine Horse of the Year Curlin racing against Derby Winner Big Brown, on a legendary track. I would love it, the fans would love it, and the horses would love it."

Curlin's last race was on grass in the Man o'War at Belmont Park when he finished second to Red Rocks. Owned by Jackson's Stonestreet Farms and Midnight Cry Stable, Curlin won the $6 million Dubai World Cup this year along with the Stephen Foster Handicap. He is third on the all-time North American earnings list with $9,496,800. Cigar is first on the list with $9,999,815.

Along with the Kentucky Derby and Haskell victories, Big Brown this year won the Florida Derby and Preakness Stakes. He was eased in the Belmont Stakes by jockey Kent Desormeaux when trying to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. The colt now has a record of six wins in seven career starts for $3,314,500.

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