So the heavy favorite finished last? Hmmmm. Millions bet on him, and he finishes out of the money? The only time in six starts? Hmmmmm.
Sure, it was 86 degrees out, with about equal humidity. Maybe he just didn't feel like running. As usual, the press coverage just concentrated on the Big Brown story, and totally cheapened and ignored the wire to wire performance of winner Da'Tara. Nick Zito has a reputation as a spoiler, and I think he should enjoy it. He deserves his own Triple Crown, and perhaps some day he will achieve it.
Big Brown's trainer says he feels 'like a loser'
Desormeaux said Monday that his plan was go to the lead, but that Big Brown slipped coming out of the gate and that he was pinched back a length. He said that he pulled Big Brown up because he wasn't going to finish anywhere but last.
This seemed to be a move calculated to getting him to the $50 million dollar payoff at stud, but I was shocked to see it, as there was so much money bet on the horse. Not whipping him, I could see. Pulling up seemed to indicate an injury, and I was initially concerned he was hurt. All involved quickly professed he was not hurt at all, just 'not running'.
Now there's talk of entering him in more races; August's Travers Stakes and October's Breeder's Cup. I think this is total nonsense. They have no plans to do that - too risky for the share holders who want to see him stand at stud. Just smoke and mirrors to get us Conspiracy types off their back. I would be very shocked to see him start again. If nothing else, another finish out of the money would lessen his record and reflect poorly on his legacy. Retire now, there's five wins and one loss.
Isn't anyone questioning Dutrow's old debts coming home to roost? Needing to throw a race to keep the Mob happy or something? Calling for an investigation?
And this from Stet Sports Blog:
Why would Big Brown's loudmouth trainer boast all week long about BB's victory being a "foregone conclusion," only to opt out of juicing him up with 'roids? And why would the news about a cracked hoof become so prevalent in the weeks before the biggest race of the year? Seems like the camp would've been better suited keeping it behind closed doors.
This seems like a case Scooby and the Gang could solve lickety-split. There's more money in breeding an almost-Triple Crown-winner than in a maxed out, cracked-hoofed has-been. Running the life out of that poor animal might have resulted in horse racing glory, but if euthanization was a sure thing after the race, well, that's just not good fiscal management.
Great observations. Never saw Secretariat doing steroids, now did you? Read his further steroid comments here.
Even Bob Baffert (see also: Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey Jr. and other sexy successful guys you really should stay away from) defended team Brown and said it was simply the nature of sport.
Bill Ordine writes: This time, there's a convenient fall guy, the mouthy trainer, Rick Dutrow Jr., who no one cared for anyway. It's not in our nature to blame the animal.
How true, Bill. And that's the way it should be.