Well, the room was more than stunned as we watched Big Brown patiently run in the number three position for much of the Belmont and, as we cajoled the TV that it was time to make the move to the front, he just faded.
Of the women present, one was a classical riding trainer and three others ride regularly, so we all know that there are days when a horse is just not interested. My trainer Gayle says "that's why we call them horses, not motorcycles or bicycles."
It does raise bigger questions about what effect steroids do have on a race horse--and, in particular, what effect they had on this horse. It will be a better racing world when steroids are banned from racing and all the horses are on a level playing field.
I was sorry that Casino Drive needed to be scratched, but better a scratch then a damaged animal.
Sally Jenkins wrote a terrific article in the Washington Post, praising Kent Desormeaux for doing what was best for Big Brown when it was clear that something wasn't right with him. She is straight-forward about the unsavory people who own and train the horse, but recognizes that the jockey isn't one of them. Mr. Desormeaux left a press conference saying he will never doubt what he did was right, which is a good place to be for a man who seemed tortured by the press for his loss of the Triple Crown in 1998 on Real Quiet.