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This is the first of a series of notes and impressions about the new stallions in Kentucky for 2009.

Big Brown (2005 bay by Boundary out of Mien, by Nureyev)

Stands at Three Chimneys Farm for $65,000 live foal

One quick look at Big Brown shows why the big bay succeeded at 10 furlongs. He has the scope and size of a high-class colt who should prefer a classic distance.

Standing a bit more than 16.1 hands, Big Brown has a big frame with substantial bone but is not gross. He possesses very good balance and sufficient quality, but he has none of the fineness of his broodmare sire Nureyev. Instead, Big Brown has more than a hint of the ruggedness of his second dam’s sire, Lear Fan, as well as some of the balance of sire Boundary.

Big Brown has good length of body and back, stretching out from a deep and well-angled shoulder to impressive hindquarters. He is not muscled like a sprinter but like a high-class distance racer with great propulsion.

He has more of the flat muscle of the stayer than the rounded and very powerful muscle of the sprinter, and that is in keeping with the overall impression of the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

The bay is wide across the loin and has impressive definition in his hamstrings. His hindleg is well-angled and has well-defined tendons.

Overall, he gives much more the impression of an old-style classic horse than of a precocious type who is likely to produce a bunch of heavy-bodied sprinters ready for the juvenile sales. That he was capable of being ready for the 2-year-old sales and went through the ring at the Keeneland April sale for $190,000 is an endorsement of the horse’s toughness, since it doesn’t appear that would be his natural aptitude.

The mental durability that allowed him to be prepared at the 2-year-old sales served him well later as a racer, and his overall physical well-being is impressive. His feet are a well-documented source of trouble for his racing, and as a result, his mates need to be selected for greater soundness in their feet.

All in all, the scope and size of Big Brown indicate that, for the mares who match his special construction and qualities, he should prove a mate of the grand classic type.

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