Ryan O’Halloran breaks down Big Brown’s chances of winning the Triple Crown:
WHY HE CAN
1. The competition isn’t scary. Big Brown’s wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes have been impressive in part because a rival has yet to come close to matching his ability.
2. He has enough left.The positive of being lightly raced is that Big Brown should be fresh for the Belmont. He has raced only five times, and jockey Kent Desormeaux let up down the lane Saturday.
3. Nothing has fazed him. He has won at four tracks, at five distances and from varying post positions. And he has managed to win those five times by a combined 39 lengths.
WHY HE CAN’T
1. Three races in five weeks. Before the Kentucky Derby, Big Brown had raced only three times in his life. The Belmont marks his third rodeo in 35 days — and the longest of the last three races he has run.
2. Enter Casino Drive. The Japanese-based colt (left) is a half sibling of the last two Belmont winners — Jazil and Rags to Riches. He has won at Belmont (the Peter Pan Stakes on May 21) and has an additional week of rest.
3. Luck will run out. Everything has gone right for Big Brown so far. In 2002, War Emblem stumbled out of the gate and lost. In 1998, Real Quiet lost by a nose.