Saturday, May 17, 2008

Anybody But Brown

Eight Belles
February 23, 2005-May 3, 2008

Hate to hailstorm all over the Big Brown cakewalk to the triple crown parade, but I just can't support him. Yes, he's a beautiful, unbeaten equine of note, but the triple crown? Sorry, I don't like his trainer at all, and I guess that's reason I'm not rooting for him. I'm so sick of these 'redemptive' stories. They try so hard to bring out the human drama in sports shows.

Remember Afleet Alex? A true athlete with the desire to win, and a humanatarian bring-your-hanky icon.

However, I am far from convinced Dutrow's problems are behind him. His jockey is known as an arrogant jerk. I realize I shouldn't hold this against the horse, but for once I'd like to see a generally good normal person (i.e. myself ) win something spectacular and not have some sob story to flout in the press.

Secondly, why isn't anyone recognizing that Eight Belles could have beat him, had she been sound. What if she was breaking down DURING the race?* Talk about a traumatic Ruffian flash back!** This valiant filly could have taken the world by storm and really given horse racing the shot in the arm it needed.

Kudos to NBC for trying to address the issue of horse racing dangers and its critics. Her trainer says she was not on painkillers and her steroids test was negative.

I do support racing reforms, but I do not blame her jockey in any way. The PETA crowd is way over the top.

Breeding and the push to race too young are huge factors hurting these animals. I support Gary Steven's call for a national oversight board that does not allow any drugs (painkillers that mask injury) as well. We need to keep this sport alive, but in a manner that supports rather than destroys its star performers.

My picks for the Preakness? I boxed Racecar Rhapsody and Riley Tucker, with Stevil to show. A whopping $6 is riding on this!

*NASCAR analogy #2: Can I help but wonder if some nutcases are in the stands today hoping to see a breakdown?

**Would someone please alert me when the Eight Belles memorial beanie baby goes on sale?

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