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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Kent Blame the Jockey?

- One commenter places blame on Desormeaux, pointing out the way Big Brown was restrained early on. Clarice correctly pointed out that the rider was in a spot at that point, and that he quickly got him out into a stalking position.

But perhaps the original commenter has a point. Not that you can every really place sole blame on a jockey for such a decisive defeat. But I thought it was interesting to hear Desormeaux comment that: "There were a couple of times where he thought it was time to go and he jumped into the bridle." Earlier in the week, he was insistent that he wouldn't make the mistake of moving too soon, as he admits he did with Real Quiet. That leaves me wondering if the jockey was so intent on correcting that error, that he, on more than one occasion, discouraged Big Brown from running when the horse wanted to do so. And that if it's possible that any such restraint, combined with the earlier incident, the heat, and the distance he'd never run before, could have all contributed to the horse getting discouraged and giving up the chase.


Anonymous said...

A good horse does not give up the chase - though,
BB could been and certainly looked liked he should have been, rated on the lead.

Anonymous said...

Or he might have been a little cautious from the getgo knowing his physical condition - can you blame him -or
maybe its as simple as that the official the word came down to KD - no triple crown

Anonymous said...

Kent Desormeaux's mindset might have been something like the manager who strolls to the mound to unwisely tell his struggling starter who has just loaded the bases: "Whatever you do, don't give this guy something middle in or he'll hit it out"- and then proceeds to do exactly that. Just not Kent's/BB's day to join the sports world's most exclusive club with it's heartbreaking, borderline cruel hazing rites. /S/Green Mtn Punter.

Jim O said...

A few day-after thoughts.

As Derby Lister Sal Carcia pointed out, Big Brown's connections didn't acted surprised when he came back dead last, eased at the top of the stretch. That plus the way the colt was acting up in the holding stable: I think they knew what was coming. I was there, so I didn't catch any day-of-race interviews with Dutrow. Was he still running his mouth Saturday afternoon?

One thing about those Belmont Stakes days when a horse is going for the Triple Crown: women use the men's rooms. The place just isn't built to handle 100,000 plus people, and when ya gotta go, ya gotta go. The loo's were so overworked that they lost water pressure for a while, causing me to suspend my beer consumption. Speaking of beer, the ladies used to act a little embarrassed about the Belmont mens rooms, but not anymore, thanks to that beer commercial.

Alan, I hope you're not surprised at the snark you got in reponse to a strong opinion about a horse race that turned out to be wrong. We conservatives are highly aware of the evil that lurks in the hearts of men, waiting patiently for chances like that to emerge. That's why we're conservatives.

Anonymous said...

Foolish Bid -- nice trip, nipped at the wire.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading the same argument over at, only he thinks that this is just a pattern for Kent... I'm hesitant to disagree.

paul d

Anonymous said...

With no speed in the race BB should have been taken to the lead and he wasn't. The chart shows the result says it all - bad ride by the jockey.

Anonymous said...

Oh Contrare.

Horsemen and racing fans OWE Desormeaux a heart-felt thanks for preserving this horse. Had he continued to push and the horse broke down in front of the world, there might no be a horse racing industry left by the time the dust settled.

Desormeaux, as well as, most other reasonable people, know the horse wasn't right on June 7th. In my eyes, Ken is a hero--he saved both his horse and possibly the industry, as well.

Anonymous said...

how much do jocks get for preserving? There was nothing wrong wih the horse on 07. Or was it the other connections that were giving the racing orders? "Don't push him because he is worth too much". Maybe they should have paraded him in front of the crowd instead.

Anonymous said...

The horse is "100% sound" today, so he did not "preserve" anything.

Kent may have been under orders to ride like he did, but Dutrow claimed all week he would ride his own race.

He went to well once too often, almost got trapped in the Preakness, but Edgar let him out, eventually. This time the double team got him.

The rail was wide open, he could have just sat pretty and waited.

Obvious the feeling is this horse does not want to be inside horses, and the rider acts accordingly.

But when he got restrained and bumped around, he either got hurt or lost his heart.

In any case, Kent owed it to the 100k fans, and the punters who wagered millions of dollars, to ride the damn horse out, at least until it was 100% clear he would be unplaced. He should have tried to get him motivated by actually using the whip he was carrying. Not excessively, mind you, but at least give it old college try.

A "great" horse is not beaten with a half mile to go. If Kent rode Personal Ensign in her final race he would have eased her and claimed she wasnt handling the mud.

Anonymous said...

from Smarty Jones to Big Brown:

PS - they will try to hold you back because you are too vaulable but I heard KD has weak hands!

good luck and see you when you arrive at the barn.

Anonymous said...

DFR blog:
"The winner's 2:29.65 for 12 furlongs earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 99, the lowest Belmont in the 20 years since the Beyers have been published, and one could argue that even a 99 was slightly generous."

Nice call Alan !!

TripCrown73 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TripCrown73 said...

According to Gary Stevens on HRTV this morning, KD was under orders to allow BB to take the lead, which never happened. Gary also stated that BB looked tired in his stall and they did show footage of him hanging his head as if he was tired (or maybe he was just embarrassed, lol).

Having rode horses throughout my lifetime, some thoroughbreds, once you start fighting with them they will start to "shut down" and not listen or respond to the rider's requests. Therefore, I think KD fighting with BB over how the race was to be ran could very possibly have lead to the horse basically giving up and and deciding not to cooperate.

IMHO, it comes down to a bad ride along with the possiblity of poor conditioning based upon Gary's comments and this morning's stall footage.

Anonymous said...

re: Belmont and plumbing.

The only thing that went down the drain yesterday was Big Brown.

Erin said...

He should have been ridden out. What is this, "if we can win we won't play?" Just what I would have expected from Iavarone and Dutrow, as I don't doubt KD did that under instruction from them, and I don't think KD thought he was injured. Or at least pulled that stunt believing that's what they'd want. How many other important valuable horses haven't been pulled up when found in similar circumstances?
What a lack of sportsmanship...this is all from what I can see, admittedly, sitting in my living room. The world may never know I suppose.

SaratogaSpa said...

Horses will shut down if held back early on. After watching the video many times, i really think Kent made a mistake combined with BB being tired. Plus who knows maybe cycling off Winstrol is a factor too?

Anonymous said...

Geez,IMHO this is pretty straight-forward: an unsound, lightly raced horse trying to do too much in 5 weeks. Only got this far through the magic of PEDs-- At the NYRA level, jockeys are mainly passengers--the horse would have been rank and unresponsive no matter who rode him. Delighted to see Dutrow and the connections lose. Hope this keeps the spotlight on his operation.

steve in nc said...

Horrible ride AND the horse was ready to head south. Both can be true and I think were true.

He looked absolutely ready to clear the field after the break, and then could have been rated off Da Winner or could have kept the rail. But he HATED being wrangled back, was it 3 times before he finally got him wide. I didn't bet the race but started yelling "What the..." at Desormeaux through the TV. I'd never let him back on that horse if BB were mine.

So he was discouraged to put it mildly, but given the way he couldn't even keep up going into the turn, I have to think his form was very vulnerable anyway. All the warning signs had been there.

Is he going to be another Discreet Cat?

Anonymous said...

methinks mr. edgar prado would have done a better job. nice going mr. iavarone.

and how much might a non-stone bruised casino drive have won by?

Anonymous said...

What I saw was Big Brown hated being inside, hated being yanked back, and hated being herded once he got to the outside ... and I think he spent a lot of energy fighting Desormeaux and after a mile he was spent. I think also that this kind of trip -- "Go! No, back off! Go outside! Now relax! Hold on! Now Go!" -- confused and angered Big Brown. I wonder if it will linger with him next time, if there is a next time. He could run in the Travers not just not be the same horse anymore.

Anonymous said...

For Kent it's damned if you do and damned if you don't. Enough already of this Monday morning quarterbacking. Nope, just wasn't meant to be.

The NY Post reports this morning that they are pointing BB for the Travers and vindication. Now that he is the underdog I will be rooting for BB to make amends in the 4th Jewel at the Spa.

NYRA should dig up some extra purse $$$ to lure IEAH to run him in the Whitney on July 26, for a Whitney-Travers "twin spin", as other top 3 YO's in the past have done- perhaps Curlin could be drawn in and then we would have the match up we all would like to see in NY.

Now, let's all hope that BB is sound and can stay in training to headline a great Spa meet! Dutrow can also achieve absolution by keeping his yap shut and letting his horse do the talking on the race track. /S/Green Mtn Punter