Big Brown (IEAH)

The breeding rights to Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown are reportedly close to being finalised with one of the world’s major studs leading the bidding. International Equine Acquisitions Holdings (IEAH), which owns Big Brown, says it is “seriously considering” offers for the colt who ran away with America’s greatest race last weekend.

IEAH co-president Michael Iavarone said only that the leading contender in the race to secure the colt is “one of the world’s most recognisable” studs. Suspicions have immediately fallen the way of Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum’s Darley organisation, although the group’s bloodstock advisor John Ferguson wasn’t letting anything out of the bag.

Darley last year spent some US$200 million on stallions, including 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and runner-up Hard Spun. While Ferguson declined to comment on the speculation, he was obviously impressed with Big Brown. “To do that from stall 20 was impressive,” he said. “He is a good horse.”

In an indication of the colt’s potential worth, Michael Iavarone said the owners had insured Big Brown for $50 million. Big Brown is now preparing for the May 17 Preakness Stakes second leg of the Triple Crown, at Pimlico Race Course.