The Girlfriend’s Guide to Sports

Sports with a girly twist!

Big Brown’s Big Flop June 9, 2008

Filed under: Professional Sports — gfg2sports @ 4:31 pm
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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.



Derby Death May 5, 2008

Over the weekend the 134th Kentucky Derby was held; a horse named Big Brown came in first. Sadly, this fact is not the most notable occurrence at the Derby. Unfortunately tragedy struck as the second place horse, Eight Belles, who stumbled and broke both of her front ankles.

Eight Belles was then immediately euthanized right there on the track.

According to an article found on the ESPN website there hasn’t been a horse that went down at the Kentucky Derby in over thirty years.

I know that my writing about the Kentucky Derby is kind of a stretch for this blog, but I think it’s pertinent enough. The reason that I’m writing this post is to inform other people about what kind treatment these horses are receiving.

Not only are they whipped and kicked, they are also denied any kind of a chance at life when they are injured. I’m not truly an animal rights activist or anything, but honestly this aspect of horse racing is barbaric.

I know that horse racing has been around for centuries, and that killing an injured horse is routine, but I truly wish it wasn’t.

Apparently I’m not the only one; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA, is now seeking to have the jockey that was riding Eight Belles, Gabriel Saez, suspended.

According to another article found on the ESPN website, PETA faxed a letter to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority claiming the Eight Belles was “doubtlessly injured before the finish”.

The letter also indicated that PETA would like there to be ban on whipping, limits on the number of races each horse can compete in, limits on age of racehorses, and a move to softer, artificial surfaces for all courses.

Like I said earlier, I am not an animal activist, but I would like to see new policies implemented that would better protect both jockeys and horses.