Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Desormeaux did the right thing.

Since Saturday night I have been reading story, after story, blog after blog about how Kent Desormeaux should have never pulled up Big Brown. I am starting to get a little sick of some of the comments.

If you want to call out Desormeaux for how he placed Big Brown, or how he got him out of the gate, that is fine. Everyone loves to play Monday morning quarterback. My problem comes with all the people who have issue with pulling up the horse. Desormeaux said going into the final turn he had "no horse". Was this normal for Big Brown? No! This has never been a problem. Anyone who watched the race saw that this was not the same horse who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. In the mind of Desormeaux, this is not the behavior of the winning horse of the first two jewels. He feels something must be wrong. When the horse did not fire in the turn (when asked), Desormeaux decided to protect the horse from injury, or further injury (he did not know if something was wrong).

If they found a chip in Big Browns knee the next day, Desormeaux would be a hero for protecting the horse, and all the opinionated writers would be calling to canonize Kent. The same people would be calling for his head if he rode out the horse (whipping him down the stretch), and he broke down in front of the grandstands.

Before you write another story about Kent Desormeaux, please think about what he did, and how hard of a decision it must have been. Sure, everyone wanted to see a Triple Crown winner. But no one wanted to see another dead horse on the track, and Kent made that decision coming out of the final turn. After that race I have a much greater respect for Kent, and I would choose him over all others to ride my horses.


Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

I see your point, but disagree that Desormeaux thought the horse was hurt. If he though the horse was hurt, why wouldn't he dismount the way I have seen every other jockey do so in the past when a horse has a legit problem? Instead he galloped him out past the finish line... do you do that on a horse that has a possible injury?

That's a big part of my problem... I think Desormeaux quit b/c he knew he wasn't going to win not b/c the horse was hurt.

If every odds on horse that isn't going to win starts to pull up in the stretch we're going to start to have problems with injuries and spills.

Baloo said...

Michael - we will agree to disagree on this. When he pulled the horse up, I believe he thought there was a problem, maybe not structural, but a problem. slowly galloping out a sturdy but lethargic horse could help the horse work through the problem. You bring up great points, and thanks for commenting.

Brooklyn Backstretch said...

Baloo, I'm with you. I see Michael's point, and it makes sense, but I just don't see what Desormeaux gains by pulling him up without a good reason.

Michael said...

Thanks -- it's nice to have a discussion with someone you disagree with, yet still respect what they say.

It's not that I think Desormeaux was trying to "gain" anything, I just think he quits and gives up when things don't go his way.

dana said...

I think his "good reason" was that he was probably freaked out... in the context of anti-racing climate + his feet I can't fault him for that snap decision. However, I really REALLY don't want to see favorites pulled up because they didn't show up.

While not a total 1:1 comparison, Borel didn't pull up Street Sense in the Classic, Cornelio didn't pull up War Pass in the Tampa Bay Derby and Bridgmohan didn't pull up Pyro in the Bluegrass.

And I agree about discussions, it's good and necessary to have them + nice when everyone is respectful!

Baloo said...

Wow! This is great. We should be doing the round table on TVG this afternoon.
I agree with Dana 100%, favorites should not not be pulled up because they are having a bad day. That is my point. Big Brown never had a bad day (this leads to the lightly raced discussion) Kent thought the horse was having problems. Bleeding, palate, who knows. Next time out if BB runs out of gas, he will ride him out. The rider/trainer now know that the horse is not perfect! (well, at least the rider knows!)

dana said...

I know, I think we'd make great TV (by way blogging, lol).

I would also argue that War Pass and Pyro hadn't had a bad yet either, and perhaps Street Sense too. But of three of them War Pass seems the most apt comparison.


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