Big Brown Raced Like a Cat

By Fred

Horses need nine lives almost more than cats. For Big Brown, deciding it made no sense to do a mad dash in blistering heat at Belmont may very well have ruined his remarkable racing career.

OK, so he got disgusted during his one chance to become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years, but he’s only 3 years old. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a kid.

Big Brown reminded me of Barbaro in the way he could make all the other horses look like they were standing still while he hardly broke a sweat. He even seemed to be having fun.

But when they started calling him a shoo-in for the Triple Crown, I had bad Barbaro flashbacks. “Pride goeth before the fall” and all that jazz.

Sure enough, trapped in a mob right out of the gate, Brownie gamely took hooves and tail in the face until his jockey could get him in the clear. But by then it was too late. He’d had enough and decided racing wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Now instead of a superstar who won every race, Big Brown will be remembered as the only Triple Crown contender who came in dead last.

It’s not fair. He’s just misunderstood.

Big Brown may have the body of a horse, but he obviously thinks like a cat. His trainer camouflaged it with steroids that kept him artificially pumped and enthusiastic. But after his “catnip” was discontinued cold-turkey in April and Big Brown realized that racing sober is dirty work, he gave it up cold-turkey, right in the middle of the track.

If people tried to race cats, this sort of behavior would be common. The rare cat would actually finish the course. For a blanket of flowers or a trophy we wouldn’t be allowed to eat from, the rest of us couldn’t be bothered.

Big Brown’s last-minute decision to pass on the Triple Crown cost him lucrative deals, but he doesn’t seem to care. To learn what went down right from the horse’s mouth, read his interview with Fox.

I think Big Brown could have a future in television, starring in a remake of Mister Ed with his trainer Rick Dutrow as goofy Wilbur Post. Their first episode could be, “Ed, the Recovering Junkie.”


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