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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Duck in Lipstick

- Dutrow is hepped up about Big Brown's return to grass, and so is Kent Desormeaux, telling the Form: "Dutrow won the Derby with a grass horse."

"We're hopeful he's going to be doing what he enjoys - racing on the grass - which is very exciting heading into the Breeders' Cup."
...where Dutrow assures us that he won't be running on grass. "There's no chance we'll enter for Breeders' Cup Turf and Classic, just the Classic. It's where we want to run." [BRIS] Which means that Saturday is the last time we'll ever see this grass horse run on that surface. I dunno, none of this really makes much sense to me anymore.

Unfortunately, I'm seeing Red Rocks mentioned less prominently as a possibility for Saturday's race, but McLaughlin is bringing Shakis off his second Bernard Baruch win, a race in which he zipped home in 10 3/5 for the last furlong and earned a Beyer of 105.
“Big Brown’s a top horse and Dutrow’s a great trainer and I loved his first race at Saratoga on the turf, so there’s no doubt he [runs on turf] very well....But going from a maiden race as a two-year-old to running against older horses right now, I think we have a good chance to beat him and it’s $500,000, so let’s go try it.” [Thoroughbred Times]
Meanwhile, amidst all the fun, Jess Jackson continues to be a curmudgeon.
"As I have always said, I would love to have Curlin race against Big Brown. It would be great for the industry and the fans.....But as much as I would like to see them race, it would not be a match race ... [blah blah blah blah blah]" [Newsday]
Look Mr. Jackson, if you'd love to have Curlin race against Big Brown (though not in a match race), do the right thing and send him to the Classic, period. Big Brown's connections have made their intentions clear for many a month now. I mean, no matter which way Jackson puts it, he's the one doing the ducking. You know that saying, something like - you can put lipstick on a liar but it's still not qualified to be vice-president. Or something like that.

- Writing on, Paul Moran, who can usually find the dark side of nearly anything, seems to think that it would actually be a regular riot deciding on who gets Horse of the Year if, as seems likely, the two of them never meet.
The ensuing debate would be almost as much fun as the process.
Big Brown's better. No, Curlin's better. No, Big Brown. No, Curlin. Hardy har har. Can we stop having fun yet?


Hold All Tickets said...

I got too spoiled last year with the class and the grace that Street Sense, Carl Nafzger and Calvin Borel lent to the sport. Unlike then, I've never looked so forward to the retirement of a horse than I do for Big Brown's.

El Angelo said...

Call me nuts, but I still think Zenyatta should be in the conversation for HOTY.

Alan Mann said...

>>Call me nuts, but I still think Zenyatta should be in the conversation for HOTY.

I don't think it's nutty at all, but she could sure make a strong case by running in the Classic. What does she possibly have to prove in the Distaff? Or Ladies or whatever the fuck it is.

Anonymous said...

Gov. David Paterson uses the race card.

Just like a good Liberal.

Alan Mann said...

Governor Paterson did not use the race card, he merely pointed out that the Republicans have...though I think he's wrong in the specific example he gave. If he had spoken about the Karl Rove article that called Obama lazy and referred to a basketball court, or the ads which included Paris Hilton and Brittney Spears, an obvious attempt to use white women to inflame racial fears, then he would have been more accurate.

Superfecta said...

I'd love to see Zenyatta in the Classic too - depending on which Euros turn up and which races they go in, it could end up being the easier option.

Anonymous said...

No matter what you think of Big Brown's connections, the fact of the matter is that this horse has been managed brilliantly.

Let's look at his career. He explodes in his debut on the turf, and the owners are smart enough to wait on him until he's right. He comes back and flashes great talent on the dirt, so it's straight into the Florida Derby, where he crushes the field. Then straight into Kentucky, where all that nonsense about "lack of seasoning" that used to mean something for Derby horses is disregarded by his shrewd connections and he wins the race for fun. Then the Preakness romp. But then the horse just had nothing in the tank and he flops in the Belmont. Fine, he's a fragile sort and they had to take a shot at the triple crown. After that, they take their time with him and bring him back in the right spot - the Haskell, where he is life and death to beat a speedball, but he gets the job done.

Then, instead of bowing to pressure to bring him back too soon in the Travers or to try Curlin in the Woodward, they do right by the horse, giving him six weeks and putting him on a surface that should be kinder to his tender feet.

Feel free to attack his connections for being shady. I won't fight you on that one. But they have managed him brilliantly. The Classic is their stated goal and I hope we get to see this exciting horse try the poly and his mediocre elders, including Curlin, not that Curly is mediocre, but I feel that Brown will handle him if he's right, thanks largely to his superior tactical speed.

-JP from MA.

El Angelo said...

JP---he has been managed pretty well, I agree, but he's also lucky as all hell that he came in a year with absolutely NO good 3-year old colts. Had he been a 2007 Derby horse, I have to think he would have been lucky to run second in the race, and his Preakness certainly wouldn't have gotten it done against Afleet Alex, Bernardini or Curlin.

Regarding Zenyatta, it will take Big Brown AND Curlin losing an unforeseen race or two for her to get HOTY consideration, presuming she doesn't go in the Classic. Should she run the table, though, she'll have beaten far better competition than either Curlin or Big Brown has this year. That isn't their fault, because you can only run against whoever's still active, but it's my reason for wanting her in the discussion.

Anonymous said...

"The ensuing debate would be almost as much fun as the process."

How true.....

Anonymous said...

Disagree, Brown is ducking Curlin.

They are contenders for HOY, based on their prior victories on true DIRT.

Brown is the one that refuses to face Curlin on dirt.

Hence, Brown is ducking Curlin.

As for making their plans clear for many months, Jackson has made it clear a long time ago that Curlin would not compete on the outdoor carpet in the Classic.

Browns connections are the ones that are switching surfaces, otherwise they should run at Belmont instead of Mth.

Wont matter one bit in the end since Brown will never win another race. Shakis will kick his butt, and he will not hit the board in the Classic, if he runs, versus proven older horses.

This crop of males is just not very good, Proud Spell and Music Note would kick his ass.

Anonymous said...

In fact, doubtful Brown could hit the board in the Ladies Classic.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant? Hardly. Big Brown has had bad hoofs all along and now grass and Pro-ride are the buzz words for a problem riddled horse. BB has been used by Dutrow/IEAH from the getgo. He stays out of Graded races and is put in a homemade grass race with a roaming purse. You got the B right but the rest of the word is spelled ullshit.
Retire to stud? Who wants a bloodline of bad hoofs? Did not Dutrow say he still did not understand why BB did not run in the Belmont? Do you suppose a loose shoe and sore feet might have had something to do with it? Oh yeah, it was Kent's fault..blah blah blah blah blah, what an ultra marrooooon!

Hold All Tickets said...

"He stays out of Graded races and is put in a homemade grass race with a roaming purse. You got the B right but the rest of the word is spelled ullshit."

Libby, now that's brilliant!

forego is my witness said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
forego is my witness said...

Check out today's Daily News for Dutrow's comments about a match race between Brownie and Curlin after the Classic.

Nice work, Alan! ;)

Anonymous said...

>>He stays out of Graded races and is put in a homemade grass race with a roaming purse

Indeed, Big Brown has done such a good job staying out of graded races that he's managed to win Four (4) Grade 1s in 2008. Talk about a miracle!

Now his connections are wisely avoiding a grueling showdown with Curlin in a race that used to mean something before the Breeder's Cup was born, finding an easier spot for $500k on a better surface (if he's right, he's going to blow SHAKIS' doors off and SILVER TREE's and whoever else shows up) and then putting him in racing's championship day where he'll run for $6 million (To spare you the math, that's 8x the purse of the JCGC)against all comers. And you'd have him run for $750k at Belmont with those wide easy turns which favor the lumbering Curlin. No disrespect intended, but your "plan" makes no sense financially or otherwise.

Brown's connections haven't been coy about their plans. He's going after the big money and the big prestige of the Classic. All comers can meet him there. This apparently doesn't include Curlin, whose owners don't think he can handle poly. Odd when you consider they were all gung-ho to go get their a$$es kicked in France until they watched their horse get lambasted by a good-not-great Euroturfer.

Assuming he's healthy, if Curlin doesn't run in the Classic, and Big Brown does, it's the DUCK of the century. What's really going on here is that they know Curlin isn't as sharp after the trip to Dubai and they're afraid. Very afraid. Either that, or man up and run him for the big money in racing's Classic.

-JP from MA.

Alan Mann said...

>>And you'd have him run for $750k at Belmont with those wide easy turns which favor the lumbering Curlin. No disrespect intended, but your "plan" makes no sense financially or otherwise.

Agreed, JP from MA...where have you been to defend me over the last two months?? Been lonely over here! I'd just want to add that I believe that anyone who would suggest that Big Brown would actually run again over the same track of his Belmont fiasco just isn't being realistic. And no question that Curlin's people understood very well that that wasn't going to happen, no way, no how.

Anonymous said...

Big Brown loves to run wide when he wants to run that is.
Your cystal balls work well for your fantasies. Blow doors off? Wide easy turns? Cannot handle poly? A$$es kicked? Very afraid? Whats really going on? They know?
Not as sharp? Ok ,Carnac the Magnificent ,I give, what is my plan?
Definition of DUCK: avoiding a grueling showdown.
All in fun, no disrespect.

Anonymous said...

thanks HAT

Anonymous said...

Well, when you can't win an argument with facts, there's always the insult and "humor" route.

As for Brown, it's possible he's not the same horse and maybe he gets beat this weekend.

But I like his chances.

-JP from MA.

Anonymous said...

I like Big Brown's chances too, -JP from MA.

Anonymous said...

Curlin is still the champ, BB is just another wannabe. Jess Jackson is a curmudgeonly, Johnny Mac- maverick type who loves to be the contrarian, and is just what racing needs. Watching IEAH shadow boxing Curlin is like watching the Obama campaign trying to shadow box the new champ, Sarah Frontierwoman Extraordinaire! Obama, IEAH and BB the wannabes and phony baloneys of their respective world's, Johnny Mac Fighter Pilot, Sarah Frontierwoman, and Jess Jackson contrarian horseman, the genuine articles./S/greenmtnpunter

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Palin and Curlin are just like each other!

What a loser.