BALTIMORE (AP) — Big Brown might be the best horse this year in a middling field of 3-year-olds. Or the colt could be remembered as one of the greatest of all time.

If he wins the Belmont Stakes in three weeks and claims racing’s first Triple Crown in 30 years, Big Brown must be mentioned with racing royalty such as Secretariat and Affirmed.

At least, that’s what Big Brown’s brash and bold trainer believes.

“Everybody is going to find out where he belongs,” Rick Dutrow Jr. said Sunday. “If he wins this next race, he’s going to be up there with any good horse that has ever run.”

Two down, Big Brown. One more to go.

The path toward the Triple Crown starts Monday morning when the dazzling colt was set to be shipped to New York. Then the real fun — and all the big city pressure — really begins.

“I’m ready for anything,” Dutrow said. “As long as the horse is OK, nothing else matters.”

Big Brown is also ready for anything, winning his five career races by a combined 39 lengths. Kent Desormeaux rode him to a 4 3/4-length win at the Kentucky Derby and a 5 1/4-length victory at the Preakness that positioned Big Brown to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.

Dutrow believes his horse can make history.

“If he comes out of it good and trains good, I’m not going to see a problem,” Dutrow said. “He looks like he’s ready.”

While Secretariat had Sham and Affirmed had Alydar as Triple Crown rivals, Big Brown has yet to find a colt that can challenge him down the stretch.

Dutrow has openly maligned the talent of the rest of the 3-year-old field and no other horse has come close to pushing Big Brown to the limit. That could all change at the Belmont.

Casino Drive waits at the Belmont as the wild card in Big Brown’s ride toward immortality. Japan-based Casino Drive won the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont by 5 3/4 lengths in his second career start with Desormeaux aboard. Casino Drive won his only other race in Japan by 11 1/2 lengths.

Casino Drive is related by blood to the last two Belmont winners, Jazil and Rags to Riches.

“He’s the only one that can even entertain Big Brown’s stride,” said Desormeaux, who will ride Big Brown in the Belmont. “He can run. He’s a nice horse.”

In typical Dutrow bravado, he said he’d love to have Casino Drive — but said the import can’t beat Big Brown.

“What I saw of him, he doesn’t have that quick turn, where he just turns it on,” Dutrow said.

Big Brown might have to turn it on at the demanding 1 1/2-mile Belmont. Smarty Jones (2004), Funny Cide (2003) and War Emblem (2002) are among the more recent horses to win the first two jewels of the Triple Crown series, then fall short at the “Test of Champions.”

“The way he’s been running his last two races, it certainly doesn’t seem like the mile-and-a-half is an obstacle, but you never know,” Dutrow said. “But I’m not afraid of the distance.”

Don’t bet the stable on this, but winning the 12th Triple Crown in history might end Big Brown’s career.

IEAH Stables co-owner Michael Iavarone has said Big Brown won’t race as a 4-year-old, and Saturday’s multimillion dollar deal with Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., for the colt to stand at stud could possibly lead to his retirement after the Belmont.

Dutrow, however, expects Big Brown to race in the Travers Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Dutrow would love a showdown with Curlin, last year’s Preakness winner, at the Breeders’ Cup, which offers hope for fans to enjoy Big Brown for at least a few more months.

Then again, Smarty Jones’ owners wanted their red chestnut colt to keep racing as a 4-year-old until a bruised left front hoof made Pat and Roy Chapman retire him two months after he lost the Belmont.

No sense in jeopardizing the horse’s health — or a big bucks deal — with a horrific misstep.

Big Brown deftly has avoided any rough spots. Desormeaux didn’t even need his whip Saturday and twice sneaked a peek down the stretch to see if anyone was gaining on Big Brown. The victory was nearly as easy as the 4 3/4-length margin two weeks earlier at the Kentucky Derby.

“It almost looked like a replay of the Kentucky Derby,” Desormeaux said.

Dutrow will wait about two weeks before Big Brown gets a light workout again and will stick to the same plan of letting the colt hit the track for a short run through the stretch the morning of the race.

Every move Dutrow made so far has worked to perfection. No reason to change direction now.

“Everybody wants to see something great,” Dutrow said. “Maybe we’re going to see that. It would be a lot of fun.”

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