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More Big Brown Drama – Oh, and Some Racing

Sure, there were some horses running over the weekend, but their performances were somewhat overshadowed by the ongoing trainwreck that is the Big Brown Situation. In case you missed the hilarity on ABC when Michael Iavarone and Rick Dutrow directly contradicted each other in separate interviews, The Aspiring Horseplayer has helpfully put both videos up for your enjoyment.

One does have to feel sorry for Big Brown (and the other IEAH horses) caught up in this situation; when they played the video of Iavarone hugging Big Brown post-Belmont (and naturally we heard jockey Kent Desormeaux’s take on that — again), my first thought was not ‘aw’ (as was presumably the hoped-for result) but rather, ‘I hope he doesn’t get any spray tan on the poor horse.’

While I enjoy a little schadenfreude, the ongoing drama among the human players has long since jumped the shark; if this were a horsie novel for pre-teen girls, Michelle Nevin (who seems to be the sensible one out of this bunch) would have long since kidnapped Big Brown, trained him herself in secret and come back to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic with him in disguise (naturally serving as her own jockey). Obviously in the fictional version she’d be about 16; if anyone wants to option this as a vehicle for Miley Cyrus, let me know. I’m sure it would be even better as a musical.

But there was actual racing as well; the big names seemed to uniformly fold in the Diana, leaving Forever Together to stamp herself out as a legitimate turf runner; her victory was rather impressive to watch. Those betting on Abraaj in the Vanderbilt were certainly correct to do so; Thor’s Echo wasn’t having his best day and it seemed clear even before the race that E Z Warrior wanted nothing to do with the entire exercise.

Ginger Punch did what so many good horses are unable to do; she overcame what might politely be called ‘strategic’ riding by the other jockeys and made her own running room to win the Go For Wand again. While I agreed with Randy Moss that the field she faced this year was not nearly as strong as in the previous installment, it was still a gutsy performance and a well-deserved win.

The other highlight of Saturday’s card had to be Commentator (pictured) picking up another win in the Whitney; the 7-year-old gelding joins such select company as Kelso and Discovery with his victory. He may not run often, but it’s certainly worth coming out to see it when he does.

Yesterday’s Jim Dandy was something of a heartbreaker for Pyro fans, although he certainly put in a good effort and was perhaps a bit unlucky to finish second, given his wide trip. Belmont winner Da’ Tara finished well up the track after an early speed duel with Mint Lane, and Tale of Ekati showed a little flash of speed briefly — one wonders if perhaps he would prefer the mile. Let’s take nothing away from winner Macho Again, however — he had traffic trouble as well and managed to hang onto an ever-decreasing lead. He’s been overlooked despite winning the Derby Trial and coming in second in the Preakness; he may be one to watch in the Travers (depending on who shows up).

As to the matter of the Travers field, it seems that will depend on what happens in the Haskell (and yes, we’re back to Big Brown again, but just for a moment); Joe Drape reports:

Iavarone owns racehorses, so one must also forgive his tendency to acknowledge that unexpected results often become reality in the sport of kings. “If he throws a dud, there was something wrong that we missed, and it could very well be the end of Big Brown’s career,” he added.

You’ve been warned…

5 comments to More Big Brown Drama – Oh, and Some Racing

  • Winston

    …spray tan, OUTSTANDING!

    Great piece.

  • Anonymous

    It’s a shame such a good horse has been surrounded by such idiots (trainer/owners) and has caught so much flak their words and actions. Nobody said Funny Cide or Smarty Jones “were all hype” when they lost their Triple Crown Bids. But everyone came down on Brownie, tearing the horse apart saying “meltdown, he’s all hype and he’s just not that not talented, etc” when he lost the Belmont. And it’s all because of his shitty handlers.

    I’m sure that the public would have reacted to his loss in a way more along the lines of “even champions get beat” instead of “he’s just all hype” if he had been surrounded by a better group of people.
    What a shame.

  • Kevin Stafford (The Aspiring Horseplayer)

    That spray tan bit had me busting a gut. Excellent work, Superfecta.

    I thought Ginger Punch looked amazing. I just feel bad for her since Zenyatta on her home turf out west looks to be a bit much to topple in the BC – but anything’s possible. She won like a champ this weekend, that’s for sure.

    Commentator. Wow…just wow. I picked against him, but…WOW! My hat is off and I don’t mind losing that bet. He earned it. I guess he’s the new “old man” on the block while we wait for news on Lava Man.

    Pyro – I picked him, but I was worried as his killer instinct didn’t quite seem as sharp lat time out in the stretch – then he sort of did the same thing again this weekend. Still, I’ve got an affection for Macho Again since the folks shooting pics of the Preakness workouts assured me he looked live and I used him in the trifecta under Big Brown – with Icky in show of course. 🙂

    BTW – did you see Street Boss this weekend? I know that track has favored his style recently and that the “track record” thing seems to happen with each successive race – but that was awesome seeing him go from 20 back to win. God that’s exciting in sprint races. I sure hope we see him and Benny the Bull lock horns at some point.

  • Luvbarbaro

    I have to agree with Winston about the spray tan!! LOL!!

    I was really hoping for a Pyro win, but he came a lot closer than some of his previous races.

    Great Blog Superfecta!! :>)

  • forego is my witness

    Take away the greasy owners and ego-damaged trainer, and you’re left with a horse who deserves much positive press. Who was the last horse who had Big Brown’s talent that received more press about the handlers than the actual races raced?

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