The Lessons of Big Brown

By Zirin, Dave | The Progressive, August 2008 | Go to article overview

The Lessons of Big Brown


Zirin, Dave, The Progressive


Why did Big Brown go down? It's the question vexing the sports world, and, like trying to find a contact lens in a pile of horse manure, the more you look, the nastier it gets.

How did the three-year-old colt dominate the first two legs of horse racing's Triple Crown, only to flame out on the precipice of history? How does a horse, with ace jockey Kent Desormeaux holding the reins, win the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby going away, only to come in last at Belmont?

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The reasons coming out of the cloistered, corrupt world of horse racing are thinner than a jockey on Atkins. They point to a crack in Big Brown's left front hoof. They say, "The track might have been too deep for him." (Can a track be shallow?)

They remind us that the failure of Big Brown only demonstrates just how remarkably difficult it is to win the Triple Crown, how it has been done a mere eleven times in the last century, and hasn't happened in thirty years. Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., a man with an ego that makes George Steinbrenner look like a Buddhist, has blamed Desormeaux. In an utterly classless move, he said, "I don't want to hurt anyone, especially Kent. But . . . I don't see the horse with a problem, so I have to direct my attention toward the ride. That's all I can come up with."

Dutrow was clumsily trying to deflect attention from his own yammerings. Before Belmont, Dutrow bellowed to the press that Big Brown clinching the Triple Crown was a "foregone conclusion," which' now looks as prescient as Rupert Murdoch saying the Iraq War would make oil $20 a barrel.

So was it the hoof?. The track? The jockey? All of these reasons may contain an element of truth. But it's like saying Dick Cheney is a wonderful grandfather. Just because it's true doesn't mean it tells the whole story.

The truth lies in something more nefarious: the underworld of big-time horse racing and how these majestic animals are "prepared" for the big race.

Take the issue of that big bad bogeyman of Major League Baseball: anabolic steroids. For horses, steroids are as legal as sugar cubes in nearly thirty states, including--big surprise--Kentucky, Maryland, and New York, the three states that host the Triple Crown. Big Brown's bloodstream was an anabolic cocktail, with the steroid Winstrol being a regular part of his training regimen. When this became public, Dutrow ordered Big Brown to come off Winstrol in April, a public relations ploy to show that the colt could win the Belmont off the juice. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Lessons of Big Brown
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.