What an awesome race to watch!!! Will he do it a third time in the Belmont?
Well, he didn’t have to use much energy to win the Preakness. Still not sure how he’d handle adversity, but we’ll see if he can handle the Derby horses coming back in the Belmont (assuming they decide to challenge him). Since his owners have already announced that they’re planning to retire him at the end of the year, I’m having a hard time getting too excited about him. If he wins the Belmont then I don’t know if they’d even run him in the Breeder’s Cup. Though Big Brown vs. Curlin would be exciting.
I love this horse and if he were owned and trained by someone other than IEAH and Dutrow I would be rooting for him but as it is I can’t wait to see what Casino Drive can do to him in three weeks.
I really think Big Brown is going to do it this year… and I haven’t thought a horse was going to in a very long time. I don’t think it’s going to matter which horses he goes up against as long as he doesn’t get boxed in or injured as he looks like he has plenty left in the tank.
I’m with Juli, I want to get excited about Big Brown, but thanks to his connections (and, as Andrea pointed out, guaranteed short career), I just don’t really care. Yes, he’s impressive, but he’s only won 5 times. (And Dutrow keeps talking about what a crappy 3yo crop we have.) So…I don’t know that it means much if he goes 6 for 6 and then retires…definite achievement, certainly, but not compared to going on and racing in the Classic, or as a 4yo, etc.
I don’t want him to do it. Between the retirement thing, IEAH, Dutrow, etc. I also dont think that this years crop has been strong enough for him to earn the right to be compared to Seattle Slew, Secretariat, Affirmed, etc.
That said, his turn of foot in both the derby and the preakness is quite impressive.
I am happy he is going to Three Chimneys, though. Great place, if anyone ever has a chance to visit, do it. Gorgeous place, incredible talented horsemen and women there, esp the stallion manager, and they gallop and exercise all the studs (that are physically able) every day. Great place.
Im going to root for Casino Drive who won the Peter Pan and is half to Jazil and Rags to Riches.
Another thought - very grateful that every starter in every race at Pimlico made it safely back to the barns today. Especially considering Pimlico’s hard surface and reputation. PETA doesn’t need any more ammo
Did anyone see NBC’s roundtable discussion about changes that need to be made? The only part worth watching was when it looked like Gary Stevens was going to jump across the table and attack Rhoden…looked like Bramlage and Jones wouldn’t be far behind him either.
Can’t say as I really blame them… comparing TB racing to kill sports like Bull fighting and dog fighting… or relating it to greyhound racing… now there is an industry that just throws it’s dogs away… you’d cry to know the true numbers of dogs that are distroyed in that “legal” sport…
haha, i greatly enjoyed that little dialog they had going, for those reasons. That man was no more qualified to sit on that “panel” than I would be to sit in on a panel about the ethics and issues facing the journalism industry and the new york times where he writes. there are plenty of people from within the industry who are more qualified to speak than he was and have more “pro-change” opinions (for lack of a better term) than the other three. NBC just had him there to stir up controversy.
Im really glad bramlage brought up some of the studies that he did, especially the ones about horses who begin their racing careers at 2 being more sound and having longer careers than those who start at 3 or 4. I also appreciated Jones’ point about seeing different injuries with the polytrack as opposed to dirt and how more research needs to be done. I know I saw reports about increasing numbers of hind end injuries on the polytrack. (fyi - A PubMed search with equine, injury, fracture, breakdown, racing, etc. brings up some interesting studies for anyone interested in the science behind some of the racing industries’ practices)
I’m having a hard time getting really excited for Big Brown either, although his wins were impressive. After Eight Belles’ strange and tragic break down I’m beginning to think I would want to retire my horses early too, but for me it would be because I might be a nervous wreck every time they went to the track…I guess that might keep me from racing horses in the first place which is a brand new thought for me…I suddenly just can’t imagine losing a horse I cared about and I’ve always loved racing, despite the risk. I’m guessing for Big Brown’s owners though its more about losing money on their investment and the stud money that could be made rather than losing a loved horse.
For sure they are in it just for the money. Theyve pretty much said so in the past. The guy who runs it is off of wall street and is looking at the racing industry as a way to make money. His goal is to create a $100 million hedge fund to buy successful racehorses - ie snap up horses who show talent early (like big brown) make a ton in the big races and then sell them for millions as breeding stock. Even the name reeks of monetary interests - International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, Inc. Im not saying owners shouldnt make money, they definitely should, but these are the kind of people we dont need, especially if we want to put some longevity back in our horses. Like an Americanized, capitalist version of Darley…
I decided on Friday that my goal is to become filthy stinking rich and start a 4yo+ Triple Crown series Big purses with big bonus for winning all 3 and provide some financial motivation to keep horses running. Other than the Breeder’s Cup races, are there that many US races for 4yo+ with big purses? I know there’s the Santa Anita Handicap and a couple others, but if stud rights are worth 10’s of millions, then it is stupid financially to keep horses running. The only ones who can change that are the breeders (which will only happen if the buyers start demanding long lasting horses, which will only happen if they have a reason to want them to run longer than June of their 3yo season).
Another part of the equation would be to ditch the 2yo big-purse races, though. (So there’s less incentive to run the babies to death.)
I’d be all for just moving everything back 1-2 years. Have horses start in the spring of their 3yo year, TC is as 4yos, and maybe an “older” TC for 5yos. 3yos are still immature, but at least they’re not quite as delicate as the 2yos.
That, of course, requires that everyone put 1 more year of upkeep into the horses before training them/selling them/racing them/etc., which is unlikely to happen.
I agree completely guys… 2 y/o’s are a double-edge sword; bone density is the biggest issue here and doesn’t get much better into the 3 y/o year… Those of you who know me will laugh when I say this, but I do believe the problem is breeding practices. Eight Belles was by Unbridled’s Song… That line is notorious amongst horsemen for throwing excessively tall horses (17.0H+) with exceedingly frail legs and small feet. Her fractures suggest to me that it was pure strain applied in an unnatural direction (ie. she tripped or something). Overall, I’m hesitant to say that you’ll see anything done to eliminate 2 y/o racing only because sport is dominated by owners who are business men. Similar to breeding horses based purely on statistics, they believe that everything applies to the the 3 year business model. But I’d have to side with Dutrow with regards to PITA. I respect them for their passion to protect the animals, but they are sadly misinformed. I think the majority of the American public doesn’t realize that human medicine cannot be applied to horses. And the notion that they’d use Eight Belles death as a fundraiser makes me sick.
Gusty - How ridiculous is that hedge fund idea! I remember reading about it in Forbes or something (part of my job), and couldn’t believe that it would be a sound way to make money. I suppose if the horse is proven, or a monster on the track ala Big Brown, and they swindle the current owner… could that be considered contrarian trading practices?
As for Big Brown; he is a steamboat of talent, and I wish that someone more lovable had purchased him. I too am rooting for Casino Drive to really make Big Brown earn it. I really hoped that Big Brown and Eight Belles would be rivals to the Belmont; that would’ve been redemption for Barbaro.
As pedigree nut, I’m hesitant to support Big Brown because his pedigree clearly dictates the problem with the American TB: Linebred like WHOA to Northern Dancer.
i was ticked i missed the race but i watched it online and it was like he toyed with the other horses and was just out for his sunday gallop, when he pulled away it still didnt look like he was even trying. I agree with Shanthi tho that its hard to get excited about him if they are going to just retire him after this season. I mean what besides money is their concern, does he have problems that they think he will break down? if so when he breeds how many foals would inherit any “problems” . I think he will either win it or get it taken from him right at the wire. It would be awesome to see him next year against curlin, but like was said before, the “owners” are business men who just want to make a buck.
It is sad that owner’s of many Classic winning 3YO’s retire them after their 3YO season. The supposed rationale to that is that they are afraid that if the horse doesn’t train on as a 4YO, he will lose some of his potential Stud Value.
My view on that is that if they don’t train on as a 4YO, then they don’t deserve to be able to command a massive Stud Fee.
As far as Big Brown in the Belmont, it is hard to see anyone from the Preakness coming close to beating him, the way he toyed with them. He always looked like he could run away with the race at any time. I pointed out to my son how, all around the final turn into the home stretch, the jockeys on the front horses and those on the horses just behind them were all scrubbing away at their horses, whereas Desormeaux was just lying quietly down on Big Brown’s neck, not moving, almost like he’d fallen asleep. Then, just as the horses straightened up, it was as if he suddenly woke up, said to himself “Oh yes, I’m riding in a horse race”, shook the reins a couple of times, and Big Brown was gone. One second, there were a number of horses in a big bunch, the next second, Big Brown was about 5 lengths clear of them all. It reminded me of the movie “Seabiscuit”, when, in the match race with War Admiral, Seabiscuit’s jockey let War Admiral get real close to him, then he turned to his jockey, said “See you later”, shook up Seabiscuit and in a couple of strides was about 5 lengths clear of him.
Of the horses that Big Brown beat in the Derby, the only one that I think might have any chance to beat him is Denis of Cork. He was held up at the back of the field for most of the race and came storming through at the end to get third. With that style of running, he will appreciate the extra 2 furlongs of the Belmont, although whether he will be able to catch Big Brown at the finish will have to be seen.
I don’t know if racing 2yo’s is the problem though, I’m sure it is a problem with certain factors put in there, but top 2yo’s are babied a lot more now than they were years ago.
Regardless of how much they’re babied, I think it’s cruel to expect a 2yo (in racing trim, so it probably only weighs 800-900lbs) to carry a 100lb jockey and gallop at top speed on not-fully-developed bones. Yes, they can do it, but I’ve known a lot of young ex-racers with joint/arthritis problems from the pounding they took as youngsters.
I’m not saying I agree with them… but the Churchill Downs vet said that the horses actually are sounder (while racing) if they ran as 2yos because you get the bones to develop more densely and stronger than if you started putting them under the same wear and tear once they were older. It makes sense, but I don’t think that means that they should be riding yearlings around. Start them under saddle the spring of their 2yo year and they can start running in Oct or something.