Big Brown's Main Rival Scratched

Casino Drive sidelined by injured hoof, will return to Japan
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2008 11:23 AM CDT
Casino Drive will not run in the Belmont Stakes because of an injured hoof.    (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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(Newser) – Big Brown moved one hoof closer to becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years today, after his strongest opponent in the Belmont Stakes dropped out because of an injury. Casino Drive, who developed symptoms yesterday, may have a stone bruise on his hoof and will return to Japan next week, the AP reports.

“It's not serious, it's just a matter of timing,” said Casino Drive’s racing manager, Nobuktaka Tada. “The horse is OK.” Tada said he didn’t want to risk any further injury during the 1½-mile-race, adding that he was unsure if his colt’s absence would improve Big Brown’s chances: “I don't know, (but) I'd like to see him win.”