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The Big Brown “know it all know nothings” coming out!

Posted by devildogtodd on June 8, 2008

One of the many problems with horse racing is that even the average fan doesn’t really know much about the sport and how it works. They never trained horses. They have not rode horses as a jockey would. Most of them have never been close to a horse. So it is understandable that the average fan would say really dumb things.

But what the hell is the excuse for sports writers writing about Big Brown? Take, for example, Mark Beech from CNNSI. This guy has to be one of the dumbest writers around! He actually said that the reason Big Brown did not run well in the Belmont is that the horse was not ready to run a mile and a half! Hysterical!

Uhhhhh Mark. The horse was finished after 7/8ths of a mile. Conditioning had nothing to do with it. Big Brown missing four days of training was not a major deal. After all, he had just run two races in two weeks. Missing four days of training with a dead fit horse is not going to cause much problem.

Even with a short horse for the Belmont you would expect Big Brown to be plenty fit to go a mile and a quarter, especially against those horses. He was DONE at the 5/8ths pole. And Mark, just in case you don’t know where the 5/8ths pole is, that is the pole that shows you there are 5/8ths of a mile REMAINING. Which means Big Brown was done after 7/8ths of a mile. I sure think he was plenty fit to run that distance.

Maybe the horse simply didn’t want to run much, which is not likely. Maybe the horse’s foot bothered him more than anyone knew, a little more likely. Maybe the horse had an underlying illness that was not found, happens all the time. But more than likely this bad performance was breathing related. It is really hard to tell.

But to be a national writer like Mark Beech is and say something so stupid is just an example of the type of coverage horse racing gets. Just awful.

And finally, can we get Kenny Mayne off of these telecast? Let him do his little features, by my goodness, get him off of the rest of the telecast. He is truly clueless. To bring up the fact that Big Brown was a little frisky in the security barn, and that is why he might have run poorly is just an absolute ignorant statement.

Racing has a lot of problems, and one of the major problems is most of the yahoo’s covering it.


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Big Brown eased in the Belmont

Posted by devildogtodd on June 7, 2008

It looks as though Big Brown may have bled or have had some sort of breathing problem during the Belmont. As of now, just moments after the race, my best guess would be the horse bled, got his tongue over the bit, or displaced his palet.

The possibility of the quarter crack bothering the horse is there…but this sure looks like a breathing problem. The horse seemed to travel well but it looks like an air issue.

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Casino Drive out of the Belmont Stakes

Posted by devildogtodd on June 7, 2008

What became apparent yesterday is now official this morning, Casino Drive has been officially scratched from the Belmont Stakes. Anyone in the racing game that has much experience knew this would most likely be the outcome. A bruised foot is a serious issue, especially with a horse of this caliber. It would have been hard enough for Casino Drive to beat Big Brown completely healthy, but with a bruised foot, that was not allowing the horse to move well the day before the race, there was really no choice.

Hopefully Casino Drive gets many more chances to run in America and we all hope he and Big Brown are able to hook up later in the season. Is that asking too much from the connections of both horses? Let’s hope not. Let’s hope that the people in the racing game stop with their greedy, selfish, boring ass behavior and do what is best for the racing game.

If these two colts, plus Curlin, could meet later in the season that is just a major boost for racing. But when these greedy bastards retire these perfectly sound horses just so they can make more money, they are hurting the sport that has helped most of them become famous and experience excitement they have never experienced before.

Racing has so many problems and the retiring of horses at such an early age is one of the biggest. Racing needs stars just like any other sport. So you greedy owners…pay attention.

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Big Brown the next Triple Crown winner if…..

Posted by devildogtodd on June 7, 2008

The next Triple Crown winner

…he shows up and runs his race. You can never say anything in horse racing is a sure thing. There are so many things that can cause a horse to lose a race and most of them the average viewer never knows about. Let’s look at the ways Big Brown can be denied the Triple Crown.

1. He doesn’t run in the race. Could happen, not likely.

2. He loses the rider out of the gate. Not likely, but has happened before.

3. He breaks down.

4. He gets into a HUGE amount of trouble.

5. He loses a shoe, which could easily be enough to throw his stride completely off.

6. He bleeds during the race. Many horses have bled, even when they showed no signs before of bleeding.

7. Desormeux thinks the race is six furlongs and rides the worse race in the history of racing.

8. Big Brown gets struck by lightning.

Other than that, this colt wins the Triple Crown. Is he a great race horse? Absolutely. The only problem is that he is not running against other horses considered to be really good or great. But these are not donkeys either. He has destroyed every horse he has run against. None of his races have been close.

He has won races doing things other horses have rarely been able to do. He won from the far outside in the Florida Derby, something that had NEVER been done since the track had been re-configured.

He won the Kentucky Derby from the 20 post, something that had only been done once before! And he won the Derby EASY. Like breaking tiny sticks.

He destroyed the field in the Preakness. His race in the Preakness was probably his best race, although the numbers don’t show it. This is where numbers are misleading. Big Brown was asked to run for maybe 150 to 200 yards. His move when they turned for home was nothing short of amazing. Rarely, at that stage of a race, do you see a horse re-break with such sudden acceleration. He was being geared down the last sixteenth.

In each of his last three races it would not be hard to imagine him breaking the track record if he was actually asked to really extend himself.

So the pick is obvious, but who runs second? As of this time Casino Drive has not been declared out of the Belmont, so we will include him in our handicapping. We are going to throw him out. He seems like an immensely talented colt but does not seem to be coming into this race like you would like to see a top horse come into a race. His one work was so slow they really can’t even say it was a work.

Casino Drive also appears to have a bruised foot, which obviously could be a big problem. But even before that the colt seem very uncomfortable with the way he was traveling. He is not a real good mover. So we are going to throw him out here, hope he gets better, and hope he can meet Big Brown down the road.

We are going to go with Dennis of Cork to run second. He ran a very credible race in The Derby after having some serious traffic problems. He will get a clear shot at Big Brown here. He has trained well since the Preakness.

Macho Again was one of our exacta picks in the Preakness and came through with flying colors. We like him here again.

Icabad Crane is our choice to fill our the perfecta. He seems like he might be able to run all day long and we expect him to pass tiring horses.

But let’s get real here, if Big Brown shows up and runs any of the races he has run in his last three…he is the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years. Let’s hope he continues to run, but that is the subject of another article.

1. Big Brown

2. Denis of Cork

3. Macho Again

4. Icabad Crane

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Big Brown arrives in New York City….Belmont next in site

Posted by devildogtodd on May 20, 2008

Does that colt look like he even ran? Ears pricked. Looks like he was out for a Saturday stroll.

Big Brown stepped off the van at Belmont Park today looking like he never even ran on Saturday…of course he didn’t need to run much! He is so superior to any three year old running right now that he can basically just turn it on for 3/8ths of a mile and win.

The task on hand in the Belmont is going to be a bit tougher, not because any of these three year olds are of his caliber, but because of the distance. The mile-and-a-half Belmont Stakes is not always won by the best horse in the best of circumstances. The distance is a distance these horses, 99% of them, will never run again. It is the distance that gets horses beat.

But Big Brown is different. He has brilliant tactical speed. He has terrific early speed to be put anywhere the rider wants him to be and best of all…he seems to be able to run all day long. In order to beat Big Brown they are going to have to make him run fast…EARLY. Probably not going to happen.

In races this long these horses can just lope along at a very comfortable pace for them. Then they are only asked to run about 3/8ths of a mile, if that. If Big Brown gets caught up in some sort of crazy speed deal, which is really hard to imagine, he can be beat. But if they set average fractions and he is on the lead or close to it…the race is over.

People keep talking about stamina when they mention the Belmont. Well stamina is a factor, but when a horse runs as effortless as Big Brown does he does not need “mile-and-a-half” stamina to win. He is so much the best after 1 1/4 miles that no one can catch him that last 1/4.

We all keep hearing about Casino Drive…but who did he beat. No one. When he runs against Big Brown he really is going to meet the Godzilla of horse racing. He better be EXCEPTIONAL to have even a slight chance of beating Big Brown.

There was one moment in the Preakness that showed just how GREAT Big Brown is…at the top of the lane he was asked to run for maybe a 1/16th of a mile. He immediately opened up six lengths in about six strides. He actually looked like he re-broke. Rarely will you see a horse open up that quick. You saw about three separate runs from him during the race, which is not something you see much from even the best horses.

Dutrow (and God, isn’t he wonderful) knows that the only thing that gets this colt beat is sickness, injury, or a really bad trip. What you will see from Dutrow is just a series of long strong gallops and probably a 5/8ths or 3/4 work about a week before the race. A shorter workout is probably going to happen the day of or the day before the race.

What we are seeing here is potentially one of the greatest horses to ever run. We’ll find out just how great this guy is in about three weeks. Until then, just keep this guy happy and sound Rick. Most of us are rooting for you.

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Big Brown detractors already coming out….pathetic!

Posted by devildogtodd on May 18, 2008

It didn’t take long for some of the big mouths in racing to start bashing Big Brown…one of them being Andy “doesn’t know that much about real racing’ Beyer. To say this colt is not something special because he has beaten a mediocre group of horses is ridiculous.

He has DESTROYED every field he has run against. Every single of them of them. His times have been fast, although not brilliantly fast. He hasn’t had to run brilliantly fast to win. He did something no horse has done in the Florida Derby….he won from the far outside post in a cake walk.

He did something in the Derby only one horse had ever did…win from the the 20 post and he did it in a cake walk.

He barely broke a sweat in winning the Preakness. You might have a point questioning his greatness if he was BARELY winning these races….but he is winning without much effort and doing things other horses have not done before.

You simply cannot tell me that this colt could not have EASILY run five lengths faster today if he was pushed at all. He wasn’t touched with the whip and was geared down the last 1/8 of¬† a mile.

Big Brown is one of the best horses to EVER step foot on a track…all horsemen who have been around the game can see the greatness. Guys like Andy Beyer just think numbers. They don’t understand how impressive his comeback race in February was. They don’t understand that not one time has this horse really had to lower his belly….because these horses simply can’t keep up. They might not be great horses he is running against, but they are a decent group of three year olds. He is just making them look silly with his brilliance.

So let the naysayers come out…if Big Brown wins the Belmont Stakes…he deservedly should be considered great. When you do something only 11 others have done you should be considered great. When you do something no horse has done in 30 years you should be considered great. When you win the Triple Crown being undefeated you should be considered great.

Let’s see if he can do it. If he does hopefully numbers geeks like Andy Beyer will give this colt his due. Until now Big Brown has passed every test with flying colors and done it with style.

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Big Brown destroys the field in the 2008 Preakness

Posted by devildogtodd on May 17, 2008

Well, what can you say? Another sensational performance by Big Brown. This might have been his BEST performance, which is a scary thing considering he only had two weeks between races and was not even asked to run until the final 3/16th’s!

We’ll be back with our analysis of the race but the analysis will be very short and brief. There really is not much to say.

This colt will be incredibly difficult to beat in the Belmont. He looks like he can run all day long. What a super horse!

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Big Brown blows out a 1/4 mile for todays Preakness

Posted by devildogtodd on May 17, 2008

This is not something done on a regular basis but you will see it. What it tells me is that this colt is sound, you do not breeze a horse the morning of the race if it is not 100% sound, and that Dutrow  has complete confidence this horse has not bounced. You do not breeze a horse the morning of a race if you are worried about him being tired. All signs look like Big Brown is ready to romp.

Having looked at the early betting odds there is some good value there if you really think Big Brown is going to get beat! But honestly, you don’t think that is going to happen do you!?

We still really like Macho Again to get part of this and would not be surprised to see Tres Barrochos hit the board.

Good luck to you all today and let’s all root for a safe race.

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Big Brown carrying a lot of weight on his shoulders in the Preakness

Posted by devildogtodd on May 17, 2008

If you are a horse racing fan this is a big big day for you! Big Brown has a chance to give our wonderful sport a huge shot in the arm…a shot it could really use after what has transpired in the last few years with Barbaro and Eight Belles. Racing needs stars…and this colt looks like the real deal.

Let’s face it, Big Brown is not running against a stellar field today. He beat a very good group in the Derby, but only one horse from the Derby, Gayego, is challenging him in the Preakness. That is not surprising! Big Brown won easily from the 20 hole while looking like he was out for a morning jog. Eight Belles, was 4 3/4 lengths back but it was over eight lengths back to the third horse.

Unfortunately we all know that Eight Belles will not be running again. If she were in this race she would be the OBVIOUS second choice. So the fact is that against colts and geldings Big Brown won by over eight lengths while barely breaking a sweat.

The only thing that gets him beat is a bad trip or an injury.

When Big Brown wins today he will set us on a path three weeks from now that all of us racing fans want to see this sport go on. A Triple Crown chance, especially with a super talented undefeated colt would be great for racing. Our sport needs this.

What would the other sports be like if Elway, Marino, Montana, Jordan, Kobe, Tiger Woods, and every other star retired just as they became good? Well, that is what happens in horse racing. The lone exception recently has been Curlin. If Big Brown continues to do his thing and Curlin continues to run….can you imagine the build up to their first and hopefully subsequent meetings! Now that is what racing needs!

First of all let’s hope we have a safe race today for horses and riders. Then, unless you have a serious interest in other connections, let’s hope Big Brown delivers and sends the racing world (and the outside world to a much smaller extent) on a fun ride for the next three weeks.

Big Brown has a good chance to really give our sport some positive light…not much riding on his powerful shoulders is there!

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2008 Preakness Picks

Posted by devildogtodd on May 17, 2008

Is there anyone out there that seriously thinks Big Brown is not going to win the 2008 Preakness? If so let’s here why you think anyone else has a chance. The only thing that gets Big Brown beat is a bad break (really bad), traffic problems, or an injury. This colt can bounce and still easily beat this group.

So here is why we think Big Brown wins the Preakness EASILY. First of all he is the best horse by probably seven or eight lengths. He could bounce and still not have a problem beating the next best horse is this race. In his last three starts this colt has ran beyers of 106, 106, and 109…while not being challenged in any of those races.

What makes this even more impressive is that he has done this with very little experience and not being dead fit and ready in any of those races. He might have been pretty tight for the Derby, but for the Preakness this guy is as ready as you can get.

Big Brown can go to the lead, sit right off the lead, or come from a little further back. But the impressive thing about his tactical speed is that it is better than any horses speed in this race. So Big Brown can basically take the lead at any point in this race….a huge advantage to have!

The other advantage Big Brown has over most of his rivals is his trainer. Dick Dutrow is a GREAT trainer. He is flaky as hell sometimes but this guy wins a lot of races and knows how to get a horse ready for a big race. His approach with Big Brown the past two weeks has been excellent. So picking the winner here is easy. It is Big Brown. But who fills out the exacta, trifecta, and superfecta?

Gayego had a nightmare trip in the Derby. He broke slowly, was shuffled back, became rank, and basically was done before they hit the first turn. This guy is a very good horse. Just not as good as Big Brown. His Arkansas Derby victory was a terrific race that earned him a 103 beyer, which was the second time in his career he broke the 100 beyer mark. Before the Derby he had never finished worse than second. He has a terrific rider in Mike Smith and has enough tactical speed to stay in contention. To us the obvious second choice.

Our third choice is Macho Again. His last race was terrific and we believe the distance will not be a problem. He has enough speed to stay in contention and looks like he will be a major force the last 3/16ths….for second or third!

Filling out our selections is Tres Borrachos. He figures to be on the lead until Big Brown decides to go. If for some reason the others, including Big Brown, wait to challenge him he could be on the lead till fairly late in this race. But we don’t think he is good enough to win unless he gets loose on a very slow pace.

Our selections for the 2008 Preakness:

1. Big Brown…. easy. 2. Gayego 3. Macho Again 4. Tres Borrachos

Don’t miss this race. We might be seeing one of the greatest horses to ever step foot onto a racetrack. Big Brown has a chance to make history by winning the Triple Crown…this next race will tell us a lot.

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