A Big Poo on Big Brown
June 7, 2008 § 2 Comments
A few people in real life have asked me what I think will happen today at the Belmont, whether or not I think Big Brown will be the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
The answer is no; I don’t think he’ll win.
Don’t get me wrong — I would like nothing more than to finally, after two and a half decades of watching horse racing, see a Triple Crown winner. If he does it, I’ll be cheering; if he doesn’t, the glass of bourbon I intend to be drinking before, during and after the race will have no tears in it.
I have a feeling Big Brown is going to get challenged in the stretch by Casino Drive, the Japanese import. He seems to have the same stride,the same burst of speed and the same reserve tank of energy as Brown. And — more important — he doesn’t have a crack in his hoof, and he hasn’t raced in weeks — he’s rested and fresh. Big Brown is tired, and his feet hurt.
I realize I’m probably going to be wrong — all signs, and all experts, including Andrew Beyer, are predicting that he’ll win. And, while he was the favorite at The Race Which Shall Not Be Named and the Preakness, I wasn’t in his camp, and he proved me wrong both times, soundly.
So my track record on Brown: Not so good.
But still, I just can’t get behind him; it’s partially his dickwad of a trainer, Rick Dutrow (who told reporters on Friday that other Belmont jockeys should, “Stay out of his way”), it’s partially the bad taste I have in my mouth still after The Race Which Shall Not Be Named, and most of all, it’s the $50 million in stud that’s waiting for Big Brown at Three Chimneys.
I know there have been rumors of a $5 million Big Brown vs. Curlin match race; but the choice of a shot at $5 million or a guaranteed $50 million is no choice at all. Win or lose today, I doubt we’ll ever see Big Brown on a racetrack again.
So what’s the point of getting attached?
(Addendum: I just popped over to ESPN.com after I finished writing this, and saw that Casino Drive has been scratched, due to a bruise on his left hind hoof. This turns the race from a challenge to, most likely, a cakewalk for Brown.)