Big Brown's 5 1/4 length win in The Preakness Stakes, the second in the journey to a potential triple crown, could have been much more than that. Big Brown stormed to the front at the top of the stretch and simply galloped to victory.
His performance in the Kentucky Derby was one of the more impressive performances in recent triple crown history. His effort at Old Hilltop seemed to surpass that.
But as good as it was, it must be noted that for all intents and purposes it was against a AAA-field.
The Derby field generally represents the best 20 three-year olds. At times, there is a horse or two that maybe should be considered among that level that skips the Derby and points to the Preakness or even the Belmont or something later in the summer. I don't think that happened here. And because of Big Brown's dominating performance, and maybe because some of the connections probably thought they were in over their heads in the Derby only one horse who failed to beat Big Brown in the Derby came back in the Preakness.
That was Arkansas Derby winner Gayego. He set the early pace in this one, but wasn't anywhere close at the finish.
The rest of the field were horses that were generally not thought to be as good as the 19 that Big Brown beat in the Derby.
So even though Big Brown's performance was dominating in Baltimore today, it should have been. And as a result, I'm not ready to annoint him with any title yet. We'll get a better idea in the Belmont, when he faces some of the folks he beat in Louisville, only they'll have five weeks freshness to his three. And he'll also face Casino Night, who might be one of those rare horses who was good enough to run in the Derby but didn't.
Let's wait until we see how Big Brown does in Elmont NY and maybe even later this summer before we proclaim him to be anything. For now, let's just enjoy the run he's been on and see where it takes us. It's definitely good for the game.