Five Days Before Belmont, Big Brown Gets Fresh Sutures

NEW YORK (AP) - Big Brown has new sutures in his hoof, and trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. says his unbeaten colt "knows it's time to get ready" for a shot at the Triple Crown.

There was concern when Big Brown missed three days of training this week with a slight crack on the inside of the left front hoof. Hoof specialist Ian McKinlay inserted steel sutures Monday to pull the crack together and changed them Saturday .

"The little crack looks like it's in pretty good shape," Dutrow said from Belmont Park. "It's not bugging the horse in any kind of way. Ian is very happy with it. We're right on course, right on target."

Big Brown, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, will try to become the first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978 when he goes in the 1½-mile Belmont Stakes on June 7.

"He's ready to do what we want him to do," Dutrow said. "He's ready to do more right now. We can feel it. He knows it's time to get ready to do something to keep his mind right and his fitness."

Big Brown went for a routine gallop Saturday morning at Belmont and Dutrow was happy with the condition of the track.

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