Big Brown Belmont What Went Wrong?

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Big Brown Belmont What Went Wrong?


Well it will be at least 31 years before we have a Triple Crown Winner or will we ever have one again? Horse Racing needs a Super Star to help the Sport. Many thought Big Brown was it and I have to admit I was one of those who thought he was going to get the job done.

So What Went Wrong?

Well everyone is quick to point out the quarter crack. Based on what I saw in his final workout he showed no signs of a problem with the quarter crack. Big Brown breezed 5 furlongs in 60 seconds, This was a solid workout as 12 seconds per furlong is the measuring stick. More importantly he looked like a million dollars as he was totally sound during that workout. I looked at him very closely in the post parade and he showed absolutely no signs of favoring his foot. So let's rule out the quarter crack as the problem.

Was it the Winstrol?

First let me say if trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. was administering the steroid Winstrol in the fashion that he said the lack of Winstrol in his system would not have made that kind of difference. First let me say that Winstrol is a legal steroid when administered by a track vet in the legal dosage set by the state racing commission. These types of Steroids are more of a supplement that will get a horse to his peak. It will pick a horse up and make him feel good but to think it's a performance enhancing drug it's  not used that way. First your putting a chemical into the horse that the horse already produces in his system. Some horses need a boost to feel their best which will result in the horse racing at his best. These type of steroids are used even more  with geldings who because they are gelded don't produce enough testosterone on their own. Without Winstrol Big Brown might not be up on the bit as much as he was but it would not make him be empty that early in the race.

Desormeaux choked the Race out of Big Brown..

My opinion to what happened is at the start of the race. As the Horses broke from the gate Big Brown had the rail. As horses come out of the gate they all pretty much have the same goal get down to the rail to save ground. Well Desormeaux wanted to get out of the gate and be out of harm's way. Since he didn't want to fire out of the gate for fear Big Brown would end up bolting to the lead and going to fast too early he eased out of the gate but all the outside horses were coming down to the rail and fearing he would get boxed in Desormeaux tried to get Big Brown to the outside and by doing so he got bumped around in tight quarters and almost clipped heels with the horse in front of him which forced Desormeaux to grab a hold of Big Brown hard (the equivalent of slamming the brakes on). Big Brown's head jerked back hard and in my opinion he choked the race out of Big Brown right there. It wasn't done on purpose but what I think happened is when he jerked him hard or had to check him as it's called in the racing industry he cut his air off for a brief instant. When this occurs it stops the inflow of oxygen to the horse's lungs causing him to lose his air as his lungs breath the air out that was there before his air passage was cut off. Running at speeds of 35-40 MPH the horse can't regain his breath fast enough to finish the race strong. This feeling would be much like having someone punch you right below the top of your rib cage and then tell you to try and run. Or have you ever been talking and have your flapper in your throat flip for just a second closing your airway causing you to lose your air. How many times have you said something went down the wrong pipe causing you to choke momentarily. This is the same thing.

This is just my opinion as to what happened based on my 20+ years of racing horses. So don't give up on Big Brown just yet let's just hope they give him another chance and maybe we can all cash another Ticket down the road.

One last comment for Rick Dutrow Jr. if your going to run your mouth the way you did in front of the cameras for 5 weeks then don't hide from them in defeat. The only good thing that came out of not having a Triple Crown Winner was we don't have to have you as the Ambassador of Horse Racing because that thought scared the hell out of me!!

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  • I think Horseknows is on the right track.  

    Also when Kent put the brakes on, IMO BB became confused.

    Did anyone else see what appeared to be a bad lead change at the top of the final turn for home?

  • I meant to say "the TRAINER" is an embarassment!!!

    (typing isn't a strong point, just horses)

  • Big Brown had a Big Breathing problem.  He showed all the signs of having an acute breathing problem. It was likely the sand kicked up by the horse in front right out of the gate.  Probably got straight into his mouth and throat, or nose.  A horse with something in the mouth or throat would pull to the side (which Big Brown did), would put his head up to resist (which Big Brown did), would be nearly unmanageable (which he was), couldn't get his breath to run (which he couldn't) Only by the outstanding horsemanship of Kent Desormeaux did this horse make it at all.  The jockey should be commended!!  The training is a total embarrasment.  I hope the owner appreciates the fine riding done to literally save this horse.

  • "We didn't tell Kent to ease Big Brown," Iavarone told The Times, "but we're glad he did. Kent was worried about the horse, and we're all glad that he brought him home healthy."

    Desormeaux said Monday that his plan was to 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.

    "Given the situation I was in, there's nothing I could have done differently," Desormeaux said Monday on Dan Patrick's radio show. "I would have only hoped to break smarter. If we do it over again 100 more times, he's probably going to leave three in front and all they would have seen was his tail."

    Iavarone told The Times that Big Brown never got a comfortable feel for Belmont's dried-out track. "It was deep and dry, and Big Brown had never been on a track like that."

    Said Desormeaux: "Unfortunately, you know, the race track lost its ability. They lost water for probably two hours. The track that usually a horse can get a hold of had dried out and gotten powdery. So it wasn't normal to say the least."

    The loss was Big Brown's first in six career starts, including dominating performances in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

    Dutrow said that unless Big Brown shows signs of a physical problem, the colt will be pointed to the Travers Stakes on Aug. 23 at Saratoga and then the Breeders' Cup Classic in October.

    "I want to keep going with him," he said. "I want him to run big next time and run big after that, and then it can be over."

    Big Brown will head for stud at Three Chimneys after his racing career. His total value has been pegged at about $50 million.

  • Dutrow said he's been unable to find anything physically wrong with Big Brown. He said the quarter crack on the colt's left front hoof was fine and that he showed no signs of being sore.

    Desormeaux eased up Big Brown with a quarter-mile remaining in the race, won by 38-1 long shot Da' Tara.

    "I don't know why he had to do that," said Dutrow, who questioned Desormeaux's decisions in the race.