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Saturday, September 13, 2008

What's the Big Problem with Big Brown?

- Big Brown will start from the number four post at Monmouth today, and is listed as the 2-1 favorite. I think it's a fascinating twist in the journey of this Derby winner, the first time we've seen one run on the grass in his three-year old season since Unbridled in 1990. It is of course a race worthy of some national coverage, but, coming during ESPN's puzzling September blackout of the sport it promised to celebrate when it acquired the Breeders Cup telecast rights, you'll only see it in on TVG. If you get TVG that is.

Judging from what I've seen from readers of this and other blogs, a lot of people will be rooting for the horse to fail. The invective I've seen directed at this horse's connections is something I don't quite understand. No, they certainly don't qualify for a Nobel Peace Prize (though perhaps a Medal of Freedom). Michael Iavarone built himself up in the penny stock business, an industry well-known for sleaze and deception. I have no idea, but it's certainly possible that some unsophisticated investors were hurt along the way. He got into trouble when he was in his early 20's, a relative babe in the scheme of things. He employed a trainer with a record (though Jess Jackson has not?); that after a prior one was busted. He presented a deceptive portrayal of his background to Joe Drape of the Times. Certainly not the only public figure we've seen lying of late, and with far less profound implications in this case.

However, he's built a formidable racing operation, using his business skills to attract the right investors, and what is obviously an ample talent for picking out horses as well. For that he deserves full credit. And in Big Brown, he has a charismatic Derby champ whose real potential for greatness will likely never be realized due to the economics in the industry, as well as those cranky hooves.

Whatsmore, unlike a certain other prominent owner, he hasn't become filthy rich from oil reserves for which you're paying $4 per gallon. He's never exploited poor migrant workers living in squalid conditions, hasn't compelled youngsters to be camel jockeys, and hasn't happily hosted the president of Iran. So excuse me if I root just as hard for Music Note to lose at Belmont as I will be for Big Brown to win.

8 Comments:

Anonymous said...

going to change your name to Mr. Perfect instead of Mr. Alan. Maybe you can get Iavarone to buy Rap Tale and take that dog off your hands. Yea Alan I wonder who the unsofhistacated investor is. Look at yourself in the mirror one day and take a peak at yourself.

libby said...

What a septic point of view, the "Big Brown" chunks always float to the top. I admire your tenacity.

Anonymous said...

Alan's Cranky.


Must not like the looks of the Presidential race.

Superfecta said...

But Alan, I have a Prius, so I don't care what gas costs!

;)

But seriously, I don't think anyone is proclaiming any other specific owners are great people (and I'm not wholly opposed to the hedge fund model myself, it's certainly done more than pay the rent for friends in that business), but it doesn't help the sport to surround yourself with and portray your ownership group as people who generally suck.

Here's where I get all liberal elitist: it just seems so bridge and tunnel...

Anonymous said...

You have anything else to say about Big Brown his owner and trainer. Don't you ever say anything nice and credit deserving when its due. Nah, you can never do that because you only know how to bash and trash don't you Alan. Your nothin but a smartazzzzzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

It's "You're," retard.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Alan! And I love that you are not politically correct! For our industry to be under attack and everyone not united behind Big Brown is INSANE. Horse racing is not run by rescue/stop slaughter/trainers who don't like winning just yet. It's a sad fact that racing forums concentrate more on everything that is bad, gossip and animal rights activism more than the good that is in horse racing- and there is alot that is good. I post over at the MSNBC horse forum solely to be the one person honoring the sport and horsemen. And they hate me for it, which I wear like a badge of honor. (Bornfreeofpeta)

Anonymous said...

Note-Horse racing is not yet run by rescue/stop slaughter/trainers who don't like winning. Meaning, when the animal rights ideology permeates the rescues, the lady trainers, the people who sit on boards with their "holier than thou" ideals who get to make the decisions. When the reality that horse racing is a livestock operation that will always have losses and injuries becomes twisted into "crimes against horses by evil horsemen". When the kids growing up on animal rights drivel reject horse racing in the future. Then some may wish for the days they could have backed up Dutrow and Big Brown. For goodness sakes people, don't tell me how you love the animals if you treat your fellow horsemen like dirt. Horsemen need to UNITE now. I'll take a Dutrow over a PETA Misinformation Spewing Animal Liberation Lover anyday!!!!