There was a lot of hype surrounding the Belmont Stakes, Saturday. With Big Brown victorious in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, many speculated that he would be the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 30 years.
In fact, Big Browns trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., practically guaranteed it. This great claim was the substantiated by the fact that Big Brown had been undefeated in five starts, winning all of them by a combined 39 lengths.
In addition to his brilliant track record, Big Brown’s place in history seemed even more attainable when an undefeated horse, Casino Drive, was removed from the racing lineup because of a bruised hoof.
But like most “sure things” Big Brown just didn’t hold up; sadly, he finished dead. Instead of becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner, Big Brown is the only Triple Crown hopeful to ever fail that miserably.
During the race he ran third for most of the way. His jockey Kent Desormeaux tried to push him into an explosive sprint, but Big Brown did not respond.
Desormeaux slowed Big Brown down when he knew that victory was no longer within his reach. This action was incredibly stunning to the crowd of 94,476 who had come out to watch Big Brown win the Triple Crown.
Desormeaux made the decision to slow down the horse out of concern for his health. With the victory out of reach he decided to make sure that Big Brown would end the race safely. His concern most likely stemmed from the fact that Big Brown was running on a crack in his hoof.
While Big Brown’s defeat was one for the record books, at least we can all be satisfied that he finished the race safely. It would have been terrible to see the potential champ get euthanized like his former competitor Eight Belles.