Sunday, June 8, 2008

Running on Empty? Big Brown Washed Out

Did you see the race? With all the hoopla about Big Brown's Triple Crown prospects, with trainer Rick Dutrow saying those 2 words he would probably like to call back now "foregone conclusion", with media swarming and interviewing everyone including the jockey's wife, I could hardly stand the suspense once the gates clanged open.

What a disappointment; as jockey Kent Desormeaux said, "There was no flat tire; he was just out of gas". Watching big Brown struggle at the back of the pack and come in last was saddening. Was it a case of "no hoof, no horse"? Was it the heat, the length of the race, was it his horoscope? Nobody knows as yet.

But the one idea that makes a depressing kind of sense is this: Dutrow openly admitted that he had Big Brown on a monthly steroid injection for the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, and in the media furor that followed (especially in light of Eight Belles' untimely death) he vowed to take him off the steroids for the Belmont. So we saw a natural organic Big Brown, and we saw him flail away miserably at the back of the field, behind every other horse's beautiful backside.

Why steroids are a legal substance in racing when so many other things are illegal, I do not know. But DaTara, who sailed to victory yesterday much to his own surprise, was almost certainly not steroid-free.

How fast will UPS distance itself from its sponsorship of Big Brown? Do you think there were some anguished phone calls last night?

Well here's one good thing: All the horses survived. They probably all think they won; after all, they went out and did their job, then they got rinsed off and brushed, and got their suppers. Even Big Brown.


halfpassgirl said...

When I saw the jockey pull him up before the race was even over, my heart sank so fast. I was sure he was injured. So it was a happy surprise when the vets found nothing wrong.

Flying Lily said...

I had the same reaction - sick feeling. No injury was really good news. I had told myself: if a horse gets injured in this race, I quit! No more race-watching for me.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

FL-correct me if I am wrong, but I was sure that I read that Eight Belle's tests came back clean. That she wasn't on steroids or other drugs.
I was saddened by Big Brown's lose. No one will ever know if it was in fact due to being taken off the steroids or if he just had a bad day. I was sure ready for a Triple Crown winner.

Flying Lily said...

BrownEyed Cowgirls: You're right; my information was out of date on Eight Belles. I'll go back and correct that one. Her autopsy showed no steroids at time of race.

Jamie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Big Brown may have lost big time but the upside is that all the horses left the track alive. I would hope that UPS wouldn't pull their sponsorship due to one bad race...In my opinion that would just be a really dumb thing to do.