Sunday, June 15, 2008

Big Brown

Well, it's been just over a week now since Big Brown missed winning the Triple Crown, and everyone who followed (or knew I followed) him asks me the same thing: What happened? Given what I saw, and the subsequent testing and such (he checked out physically healthy), my best guess is: He didn't feel like it. See, that's the problem (and the exciting thing) with horse racing - you're dealing with a living, breathing creature that has a personality, emotions and moods. Because of that, there are no guarantees. You can do everything right, have the right jockey breaking from the right post, and you can still lose. Many of the anti-horse racing groups (*cough*PETA*cough*) say that it's cruel to "force" horses to run. Well, the Belmont was a perfect example of why that is ridiculous. If a horse decides he doesn't want to run, you are not going to make him run. It could have been the heat. There have been rumblings that there was no water in the barn that morning. There are rumors that Rick Dutrow asked advice from Bobby Frankel (another trainer) and was told to withhold electrolytes (WTF??). People who know nothing about horse racing are theorizing that "the fix was in." If you watch the break from the front view, you can see BB was fighting Kent from the beginning. Unfortunately, until we can figure out how to talk to the animals, we'll never know what really happened. Regardless of what happened in the Belmont, we shouldn't forget how easily Big Brown won the Derby and the Preakness. In my book, he's still a champion.


Caleb said...

What are your thoughts about the whole steroids issue? How significant was it that Big Brown's dose was skipped? What do you think about the "New Push" to clean up horse racing? Does it matter? Did it matter?

Michael said...

As a general rule, I think there are far too many medications used in horse racing. As far as the steroids in Big Brown's case, I don't think it is overly significant either way. If he had really wanted to win that race, I don't think there would have been anything any of those horses could have done to stop him. His steroid dosages were legal amounts given once a month, and only skipped for one month, I believe. Rick Dutrow has publicly stated that if steroids are made illegal, he simply won't give them any more, but as long as they're legal, he'll keep giving them.

Personally, I'm happy about the recent push for cleaning up horse racing. In fact, I'm happy for anything that brings more positive attention to the sport!