BIG BROWN SAYS HE IS A MEMBER OF THE NATION OF ISLAM, AWAITS NEW NAME FROM THE HONORABLE ELIJAH MUHAMMAD

BELMONT, N.Y. - Less than one week from the running of the Belmont Stakes, celebrated thoroughbred Big Brown announced that he is a member of the Nation of Islam and that he will no longer be known as Big Brown. The announcement ends weeks of speculation about Big Brown’s association with the radical Islamic sect.

Following his victory in the Kentucky Derby, Brown was seen eating in a downtown Louisville diner with Minister Louis Farrakhan. Prior to the running of the Preakness, Brown was spotted entering a Washington, D.C. mosque. The horse made his announcement though a series of foot-stomps, whinnies and neighs interpreted by his trainer, Angelo Dundee. “He don’t want to be called Big Brown no more,” said Dundee. “He says that’s his slave name.” Dundee said he didn’t care what the horse was called. “After this Saturday, everyone’s going to call him champ.”

Nevertheless, many respected members of the horse-racing industry are concerned that Brown’s public conversion may have a negative impact on the sport. “A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of a Muslim triple crown winner,” said one breeder, who wished to remain anonymous. A spokesman for the Nation of Islam said the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was in the process of selecting a new name for the horse formerly known as Big Brown. “It’s either going to be My Friend Flicka X or Mr. Muhammad Ed.” A decision is expected shortly before post-time Saturday.