Big Brown is taking a somewhat different path to the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Instead of racing on the dirt, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner will make his final prep for the biggest day in thoroughbred racing in the $200,000 Monmouth Stakes on the turf at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., on Saturday.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The value of the race will increase to $500,000 if Big Brown starts. There is a chance of light showers.
Big Brown drew the No. 4 post position on Thursday and will likely be the strong favorite in the 11⁄8-mile race for horses 3 years old and up.
The track did not immediately release a morning line for the 11-horse race.
Big Brown, who will carry 120 pounds including Kent Desormeaux, scored his first career victory on the grass last year, romping to an 11¼-length win at Saratoga. This will be his second try on the turf.
Trainer Rick Dutrow said part of the reason for racing Big Brown on the grass is health related.
"When I put him on the grass, I don't even put bandages on him," Dutrow said. "Plus you know the fact that he's got the tender feet — and we want to keep him on grass as much as possible. It's so much easier to keep him on his natural surface."
Big Brown will face a tough task Saturday in his first race against older horses. The field includes Shakis, Proudinsky and Silver Tree.
Arlington-Washington Futurity draws full field
Capt. Candyman Can is the 5-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Grade III, $200,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill.
The Arlington-Washington Futurity, the meet's main event for 2-year-olds, is run at one mile on Polytrack and drew a full field of 14.
Two locally based runners, My Dominick James and Advice, could provide competition for the projected favorite.