Notes from the Cup elims and the Belmont. In my usual quiet non-opinionated way :)
People do not like Richard Dutrow.
From ESPN.com's piece titled "Trainer Dutrow eats crow after Big Brown busts at Belmont"
Someone asked trainer David Carroll, whose Denis of Cork finished second, whether he felt bad about helping spoil a Triple Crown.
"No, I don't," Carroll said. "Not one little bit. There's a right way and a wrong way. You win with class and you lose with class.
"Basically what [Dutrow] has been saying is, [Denis of Cork] is a P.O.S. And he isn't. He rubbed me the wrong way."
I agree with that. When you are in a race with other owners and trainers who love and respect their horses, and who worked their asses off to get him ready, you never show any disrespect. You wish them well, nothing more. Tooting your own horn is completely unacceptable in this business, and it never has been acceptable.
As Zito said here: in the latest on Big Brown: "If I could give him one thing that he could change, just don't say anything about the horse," Zito said. "Say something about me or somebody else or whatever. But don't say nothing about the other horses, because that will get you in trouble."
I watched Big Brown walking to the paddock and Dick predicted he would win easily. He guaranteed it. Love him or hate him he has some serious cajones. However, I guess Dick is a trainer and not a bettor. We sure know when we guarantee anything we end up needing to hit the ATM.
There is some 'dancing on the grave' chatter on the chat boards about this loss. Sure Dutrow was over the top, and I know some (many?) don't like him, but really there is no need for that, in my opinion. For owners of horses doing it, just as it is classless to show disrespect to another man's horse or toot your own horse's accomplishments, it's equally classless to revel in someone else's misery.
On the chat board paceadvantage.com, a new poll popped up. "When will they announce Big Brown is Retired". The choices were all in the near future. It is telling that this is what racing has come to. As soon as a horse is defeated (one who is already syndicated), fans feel that the retirement will come with the obligatory mysterious injury, followed by the "he was the best horse ever and I wish he could have proven it" nonsense. Let's hope this horse races a few more times at least.
In another nonsense file, there is chatter that jockey Kent D "cost Big Brown the race". Eghad, 180 pound me while eating a steak sandwich could have ridden him to get beat by 50.
Also, the "let's blame it on steroids" knives are out as well for the BB loss. I think steroid use, and it as a performance enhancer is the most overhyped thing I have seen in this biz for a long, long time (even the CPMA's Mike Weber weighed in on that). Out of the list of 1000 things that plague racing, I would rank it about 846. Stopping Big Brown's steroid shot last month had about as much to do with his loss as the oats he had for breakfast Belmont morning.
Some people want to do similar to driver Luc Ouellette on the harness front; crucify him, for the Dali drive last night. Eghad again. The guy places a 3-5 shot on top, gets a great third quarter rest and the horse can't even come home in 57 and it is his fault? Dali lost that race, not Luc.
We are all much better off if we stick to reading the racelines, rather than looking for blame all the time. Heck one of our horses came 8th by 24 Saturday. Blame the driver? How about the trainer? How about we just turn the page and forget about it. Horses lose sometimes.
Last night's dollar pick 3 with Tug River Princess, Badlands and Somebeach paid a whopping $2.20. One of the horses (Badlands) was 3-2. Yikes. I'd love to get $1.20 profit for a $1 bet if I am coin flipping, but not betting a racetrack where I need three consecutive winners.
A friend of mine had the tri in the Belmont. He pitched BB on all tickets. Megosh that payout was disappointing. There were some rumours swirling that huge money came in the Vegas books against Big Brown the morning of the race. True, no idea, but I read that from a couple people that seem to have a clue about these things.
The Belmont winner closed at 200-1 at betfair. Big Brown was 1.3, or one and a half to 5. Exchanges eliminate all favourite-longshot biases.
I see some people are commenting on SBSW's trainer Brent McGrath's interview in the WC at Mohawk on Saturday. He said that he thinks that the horse is not quite there yet, because the injury did not allow him to get him trained down properly. He said that he thinks the horse was "80%". What the heck is wrong with him telling us that? Seems fine to me, and completely believable. He did not predict victory, disrespect his competition, or anything of the kind. I thought he did a great job relaying the horses condition and how much pressure they are all under. This is of course a marvelous horse, and we hope he stays sound. If so, we might be talking about him for 100 years. Decent interview and better than the usual gobbeldygook.
Anyway, the fingers are tired, and so am I. Those were my rambling thoughts about the weekend. Any comments, folks? Fire away if so. It's always nice to hear what everyone thinks on these big race weekends.
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