Jess Jackson, majority owner of 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin, has invited 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown to join his horse in the Grade I, $500,000 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 30.
Jackson has committed to donate $50,000 from the Jackson Curlin for Kids Fund to the non-profit Belmont Child Care Association, Anna House, if Big Brown's handlers accept the invitation.
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”Big Brown's camp's 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,“ Jackson said in a release. ”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.“
Rick Dutrow, trainer of Big Brown, made dismissive remarks about Curlin after Big Brown's win in the Haskell Invitational saying, in part, ”We're way better than Curlin.“
Curlin continues to train sharply for his next start. On Monday, the chestnut colt was clocked at 1:14.62 for 6 furlongs on the sloppy Oklahoma training track at Saratoga.
”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.“