Why I don't want Big Brown to win the Triple Crown
For as long as I can remember caring about such things I've wanted to see a Triple Crown winner. So why don't I want Big Brown to win the Belmont tomorrow? I think it's because, for me, the Triple Crown isn't like a landmark to be ticked off a list. The Triple Crown is about greatness. And, right now, Big Brown isn't great. He hasn't run particularly fast and he hasn't beaten much. Now, back in 1977 people were saying the same thing about Seattle Slew. The difference is that Seattle Slew ran the fastest mile ever by a two-year old the year before and that as a four-year old Slew ran one of the greatest races of all time against Exceller and even defeated the mighty Affirmed in the only matchup of Triple Crown winners. Big Brown ran in a maiden race as a two-year old and won't get a chance to run as a four-year old. He probably won't even race again after the Belmont. He'll never get a chance to prove his greatness. It's a loss for the sport and a loss for the horse.
While Big Brown's human connections are kinda scuzzy, the horse himself is quite appealing. I saw a picture of him last week and realized that he had the famed "look of eagles". But, for me at least, that's not enough. I want what's written about in this poem about Man O' War:
The days are long at Belmont.
Speed they never learn.
And it's many a day since Man o' War
Has looped the upper turn.
The guineas stopped their rubbing,
The rider dropped his tack
When the word went round that Man o' War
Was coming on the track.
The crowd was hoarse with cheering
At ancient Pimlico
The day he won the Preakness-
But that was long ago.
The dust is deep at Windsor,
The good old days are gone.
And many a horse is forgotten,
But they still remember one.
For he was a fiery phantom
To that multitudinous throng-
Would you wait for another one like him?
Be patient: years are long.
For here was a horse among horses,
Cast in a Titan's mold,
And the slant October sunlight
Gilded the living gold.
He was marked with the god's own giving
And winged in every part;
The look of eagles was in his eye
And Hastings' wrath in his heart.
Young Equipoise had power
To rouse the crowded stand,
And there was magic in the name
Of Greentree's Twenty Grand.
And Sarazen has sprinted,
And Gallant Fox has stayed,
And Discovery has glittered
In the wake of Cavalcade.
We watch the heroes parading,
We wait, and our eyes are dim,
But we never discover another
A foal is born at midnight
And in the frosty morn
The horseman eyes him fondly
And a secret hope is born.
But breathe it not, nor whisper,
For fear of a neighbor's scorn:
He's a chestnut colt, and he's got a star-
He may be another Man o' War.
Nay, say it aloud--be shameless.
Dream and hope and yearn,
For there's never a man among you
But waits for his return.
Call me selfish or silly, but I want the next Triple Crown winner to be that horse, not just a brilliant flash in the pan.
Posted by at June 6, 2008 09:20 AM
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|# June 8th, 2008 10:20 AM themandownthehall|
|Well, you got your wish! |
|# June 10th, 2008 11:07 AM BVBigBro|
|I see the jerk Dutrow is now pinning it all on Desormeaux. |
|# June 10th, 2008 11:13 AM kris|
|So let's see -
-it was the ride
-the track was too dry
-he slipped coming out of the gate
-he didn't get a steroid shot
-he has a quarter crack
-he didn't have the breeding to go the distance
Excuses. Excuses. BB is a nice horse that simply couldn't win when everything didn't go his way. Lots of horses can't - but the great ones generally can. Take a look at Seattle Slew's Derby win sometime. The horse had everything go against him, and yet still managed to win.
|# June 10th, 2008 11:16 AM BVBigBro|
|I don't think Kent gave him a good ride either, but ultimately he did get the horse clear after a fairly slow early pace and the horse simply didn't fire. |
|# June 10th, 2008 11:19 AM kris|
|I don't think there was anything wrong with the ride. The only thing he could have done with such a rank horse is just gun him to the front after he got him outside, but I don't think he was even capable of making the lead at anything slower than a suicidal pace. |
|# June 10th, 2008 11:24 AM BVBigBro|
|He did run the horse right up the leaders' ass and he also took the horse wide around the turn, which I didn't like. Ultimately, though, the horse got clear and if he had anything at all he should have showed something at that point. |
|# June 10th, 2008 11:27 AM kris|
|I think the horse ran himself up on the leaders' ass because he was so rank. |
|# June 10th, 2008 11:30 AM BVBigBro|
|Maybe that's the effect of all the drugs. |
|# June 10th, 2008 11:31 AM kris|
|I doubt it - rankness is so common. |
|# June 10th, 2008 1:37 PM jagorham|
|If this were a heavyweight boxing match, I'd say the fix was in (undefeated world-beater defeated by the longest of longshots that day).
Don't think that's the case here, but I'm surprised that hasn't popped up somewhere.
I'd wondered before the race if I should run to the OTB and put $2 on every other horse in the race, just in case (especially given that BB had the near-unprecidented odds of 1-4!). If I'd had, I'd have come back about $50 or more ahead.
|# June 10th, 2008 2:03 PM BVBigBro|
|The fix thing has been vaguely alluded to elsewhere, but it would have been in the financial interests of just about everyone to have the horse win. A Triple Crown would have resulted in monster breeding fees, lots of show money if they wanted to race the horse again, more money to the jockey etc...
In order to make a fix worthwhile it would have taken a lot of money.
The odds at the OTB would likely have been different.
|# June 10th, 2008 2:10 PM kris|
|Exactly. What people don't understand is that this isn't that big of a shocker. A horse with almost no experience, no distance breeding and who hasn't run that fast got beat by a horse with a great distance pedigree who got loose on the lead. It's not rocket science. |
|# June 10th, 2008 2:28 PM BVBigBro|
|A Zito horse, as well. |
|# June 25th, 2008 4:08 PM BVBigBro|
|And Dutrow is looking at another suspension. Good. |