Big Brown colts Reaching Out and Darwin both scored impressive first-up victories over 1200 metres on a prestigious Group 1 programme at Belmont Park.

Reaching Out (2c Big Brown – Touch Too Much by Holy Bull) began awkwardly but was soon stalking front-runner Burning Flame in Race 1.  He angled into the clear and won running away by over a length.

Richard Dutrow trains him for owner-breeder Paul Pompa.

Pompa was a member of the partnership that raced Big Brown to classic victories in the 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.  Reaching Out’s dam Touch Too Much retired a maiden but she is a half-sister to Pimlico G3 winner Comedero (Posse).

All eyes focused on Big Brown colt Darwin in Race 3. Coolmore bought him for $1.3 million at the Fasig-Tipton Florida 2YO Sale in March and he lived right up to expectations on debut.

Starting an odds-on favourite, he was pressured in front by Transparent (Bernardini) and Retreive (Put It Back) but still had enough class to win by more than two lengths. And he clocked 69.54s for 1200m which was an age faster than Reaching Out (72.26s).

Darwin (2c Big Brown – Cool Ghoul by Silver Ghost) is bred to be precocious being a half-brother to juvenile stakes performers Dagnabit (Freud) and Bad Boy Rising (Freud). Their dam Cool Ghoul is a half-sister to G2 Remsen Stakes winner Comeonmom (Jolie’s Halo).

Darwin is trained by Todd Pletcher and he also prepared G1 winners Shanghai Bobby (Champagne Stakes) and Dreaming of Julia (Frizette Stakes) on Saturday’s Belmont card.

Big Brown (pictured) has now sired 9 winners in his first crop bred and his colt Brown Almighty can keep the strike-rate on a upward spiral in the G3 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland on Sunday. The winner gains an automatic entry into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita on November 3.

Big Brown shuttled to Vinery in 2010 and 2011 but was given a year off after lacerating a hind leg in July which prevented him from shuttling.