OCEANPORT, N.J. – Big Brown opened a big lead and then showed courage down the stretch in capturing the $500,000 Monmouth Stakes on Saturday in his final prep race for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.
The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner held off a determined challenged by Proudinsky the entire length of the stretch and won by a neck – the 3-year-old colt's seventh victory in eight starts.
Big Brown covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.20 in returning to the grass for the second time in his career. Unlike the romp in his first grass start, Big Brown was all out to win in his first race against older horses.
Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Big Brown paid $3.20, $2.60 and $2.20 as the 3-5 favorite in the field of nine. Proudinsky paid $3 and $2.40, while Shakis finished third and was worth $2.80 for show.
The Breeders' Cup Classic is Oct. 25 at Santa Anita in California.