Joe Drape writes on The Rail that Michael Iavarone told him, shortly after his IEAH purchased half of I Want Revenge, and in the context of having acknowledged that Big Brown might not have beaten a stellar bunch in the Derby and Preakness: “I think we have a better horse this year."
I'm pretty shocked that he would say such a thing. For one thing, at the time he did, after IEAH desperately bought into I Want Revenge (after the Gotham and before his impressive Wood), the colt was nothing more than a horse with two wins in seven starts, including his Big A freakout, which came after a perfect trip in an extremely weak Grade 3 field behind the perfect foil in Mr. Fantasy. Big Brown was a Derby and Preakness winner who was undefeated in races when actually ridden out to the wire. And, while his opponents may not have been all that much, I'd like to see any of the horses in this year's edition go five wide into the first turn and win easily with a 109 Beyer.
Besides, even if he does really believe that I Want Revenge is a better horse, why would he say anything at this stage to tarnish the reputation of Big Brown at a time when the horse is still very much in the process of being marketed as a stallion with a hefty first-year stud fee?
Perhaps this is going too far, but I also find it rather disrespectful to the sport. Big Brown wasn't just any Derby winner. His was a sensational victory of historic proportions, not only coming in only his 4th career start, but making him the first horse to win from the 20 post since the First Great Depression. Big Brown affirmed that accomplishment with his laughably easy Preakness win. And even if you don't believe that his two post-Belmont wins punctuated his spring campaign with a bold exclamation point, they at least showed class and style worthy of a Derby winner. He had charisma too, attracting crowds and attention. And, as we all know, if healthy, he would have kicked Whats-his-name's butt. I believe he was a great horse, and that he has fascinating potential at stud given his pedigree. I Want Revenge hasn't accomplished even a tiny fraction of what Big Brown did, and it just seems tacky and self-serving at the least to have made such a comparison at that point in time.
- This is the page where you'll find Mike Welsch's workout reports. As in the past, I'm really more interested in who he thinks is not working well than those he finds impressive since the latter generally pertains to most of the field. And Welsch did not at all like the work by General Quarters on Thursday.
Unfortunately, he never really leveled off through the final furlong, coming home his final eighth in a lackluster 13.13 seconds, especially considering the rapid nature of the course. He also shut down a bit quickly during the gallop-out, pulling up six furlongs in 1:16.09.Also on Thursday, I got a photo of the colt's work from Churchill publicity with permission to use it as long as I credit Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs. So....
Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs
- A reader writes: No mention of those extremely dirty and stupid Avery penalties? Fair enough. Not that I don't have anything to say about that; but people don't come here to read about hockey so I try to keep those comments perfunctory. But as long as you brought it up, those were indeed extremely dirty and, especially, stupid penalties. Sean Avery is not a stupid guy, but he has some severe problems to say the least. While I'm really glad that this commenter watched and otherwise enjoyed the game on the recommendation of this site, I'm sorry he/she had to see that. It's embarrassing. But Avery is also a very talented hockey player; an excellent skater with a good shot, adept in traffic along the boards, and with surprisingly good vision of the ice.....and his return was one of the reasons that the team is in the playoffs at all. So I imagine that you'll see him on the ice again tonight for Game 5. One of these days, maybe he'll chill and learn to manage his anger before he gets his team eliminated or hurts someone and gets thrown out of the sport for a really legitimate reason other than crude comments between games.
I could also go on about the unrelated matter of the unprofessional manner that he's been singled out for penalties by the officials, but.....I know you're not here to read about hockey...