I Wish I Were In Paris

From war to peace and politics to gossip, if we have an opinion on something we'll share it here.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

In The End, Cheaters Don't Win!!

History was made yesterday, but not the kind that everyone was hoping for. Big Brown lost the Belmont, and became the first Triple Crown favorite to come in last in a race.

Da' Tara romps at Belmont; Triple Crown fave Big Brown is dead last

NEW YORK (AP) -- When Big Brown turned for home, something wasn't right.

Jockey Kent Desormeaux knew the big bay colt was finished. Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., who guaranteed racing's first Triple Crown in 30 years, knew it then, too.

Big Brown straggled home last Saturday, losing the Belmont Stakes to 38-1 long shot Da' Tara. Eased up in the homestretch, he was so far behind at the end that his margin of defeat wasn't even charted.

"He was empty. He didn't have anything left," Desormeaux said. "There's no popped tires. He's just out of gas."

Da' Tara went wire-to-wire, with 1-4 favorite Big Brown being eased up before he even finished the 11/2 miles, the longest and toughest of the three classics.

Big Brown arrived at Belmont Park undefeated in five starts, winning all of them by a combined 39 lengths. His path to history seemed even more certain when unbeaten Casino Drive was scratched in the morning because of a bruised left hind hoof.

But he ran third most of the way until Desormeaux asked him for one of his explosive runs on the far turn.

"I had no horse," Desormeaux said, in stark contrast to Dutrow's unabashed pronouncements to the very end that a Triple Crown victory was "a foregone conclusion."

Instead of becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner and first in 30 years, Big Brown was the first horse going for a Triple to finish dead last, stunning 94,476 fans who braved the unseasonable 88-degree heat and oppressive humidity.

"He wasn't himself," winning trainer Nick Zito said. "Things happen for a reason."

Big Brown was running on a quarter crack in his left front hoof that wasn't patched until Friday, but Dutrow insisted even on the way to the starting gate that it was a "non-issue."

Nevertheless, it cost the colt three days of training between the Preakness and the Belmont. Desormeaux said Big Brown "was in no way, shape or form lame or sore. But there's something amiss, probably just tired."

Big Brown's defeat extended the Triple Crown drought that began after Affirmed completed the elusive sweep in 1978.

"I feel for them. It doesn't always go the way you want," Steve Cauthen, who rode Affirmed, said by telephone from his Kentucky home. "I think someday a horse will come along and do it. One day it will happen. I really thought this was the horse."

Clearly, so did Dutrow.

The veteran trainer didn't speak when the race ended, walking quickly through the crowd with his eyes focused straight ahead as he tried to reach the track. Later, as Big Brown was walked around the barn, Dutrow leaned on a wood railing, his head down, his blue dress shirt soaked with sweat, a look of disbelief on his face. Exercise rider Michelle Nevin stood silently next to him.

"Something has to not be right for him to be pulled up in a race, so I have to try to find out what it was," he said. "I'm sure it's not the horse's fault, so there's nothing to be down on him."

Da' Tara and jockey Alan Garcia sprinted to the lead out of the gate. Big Brown, eager in the early going, ran up on Da' Tara's heels heading into the first turn -- the first indication it wasn't going to be his coronation day.

Then Desormeaux tried to swing Big Brown wide to the outside and bumped Tale of Ekati in the turn.

Da' Tara had the lead down the backstretch, with Tale of Ekati in second and Big Brown running third on the outside with a clear path. This was Big Brown's moment, and Desormeaux asked him to go.

"When I got outside going into the first turn, I said, `This is it, the race is over, I got it," Desormeaux said.

Except Big Brown didn't respond.

Da' Tara opened up a clear lead turning for home, while Big Brown angled to the far outside under restraint. Big Brown still wanted to run, but Desormeaux knew it was over and focused on getting the colt home safely.

Big Brown was taken to a detention barn after the race for observation and will undergo various tests.

Dutrow said he didn't see a problem "and I'm looking for one."

"He looked fine," said Dr. Larry Bramlage, the on-call veterinarian. "All I saw was when Desormeaux started to slow him down. The first thing you expected is something is wrong. He was not lame when he stopped here in front of the stands."

Dutrow reflected on the Triple Crown that eluded yet another horse.

"We did really good with him winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness," he said. "This is a very disappointing race. Now, it looks like he's fine. It looks like he'll live a good life even if he never runs again."

Da' Tara, the longest shot on the board, won by 5 1/4 lengths over Denis of Cork and covered the distance in 2:29.65. There was a dead heat for third between Anak Nakal and Ready's Echo. Macho Again was fifth, followed by Tale of Ekati, Guadalcanal, Icabad Crane and Big Brown.

Da' Tara paid $79, $28 and $14.80. Denis of Cork returned $5.80 and $4.10. Anak Nakal paid $7.60 and Ready's Echo returned $6.20.

Zito spoiled a Triple Crown bid four years ago when he saddled Birdstone to an upset of Smarty Jones. He also trained Anak Nakal.

"If Big Brown was himself, he would've been tough to beat," Zito said, "but he wasn't himself. That's why they play the game."

A big lesson was learned yesterday. In the end, cheaters don't win. Doping is cheating regardless of the fact that it's legal in this industry. Doping gives the athlete (in this case a horse) an advantage. The trainer admitted that he had doped Big Brown. That horse was doped in the Derby. He was doped in the Preakness. However, they made the decision not to dope him for the Belmont. They wanted to "prove" that he could win even without the dope. But the exact opposite was proven. This horse couldn't win without the dope. He didn't win without the dope. Had he not been doped in the two previous races, would he have won? Would he have even been close? My answer is HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE because nobody had seen him race without being doped until yesterday, and we all know that result.

I'm ecstatic that this horse lost for one reason. The horse-doping trainer didn't deserve a Triple Crown victory. He deserved to have his hopes built up, and then crash and burn. I realize that doping is apparently legal in the horse racing industry. But, a doper doesn't deserve to be rewarded. A doper doesn't deserve to make history. He got what he deserved. He had an arrogant attitude, and had no doubt that he was going to be the winner. Karma's a bitch!!

I'm also ecstatic that they couldn't find a reason for why the horse lost. They couldn't find any medical issues. He lost because he wasn't on dope. It's that simple!!

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

People Who Are Violent to Animals ... Rarely Stop There
Palm Springs Real Estate
Air Filter