Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Preakness Stakes: And the Winner is . . .


Big Brown: Photo by Rob Carr

The Preakness Stakes, the second jewel in the prestigious Triple Crown series will be held this afternoon, Saturday, May 17. The odd's on favorite is Big Brown, who galloped  to victory two weeks ago at Churchill Downs, capturing the roses at the Kentucky Derby, May 3.

My love for Big Brown is no secret.I feel strongly that he will be victorious today. But it is not only his amazing athletic talent and his thirst to win that captured my heart. I love his body! He epitomizes the perfect  racing Thoroughbred. This is not a delicate horse. He is huge and solid!

But when I ask my horse loving friends to reveal  their  "pick" for today's race, the overwhelming response has been, "I am SO NOT going to watch the Preakness". Their reason? They are scared to watch.

After Eight Belles' tragic accident at the Kentucky Derby, I suspect that  the dread of another horror is frightening people away from watching this race. I am repeatedly told that until racing is made much safer for the horses and jockeys, they cannot in all conscience support the sport, by attending, or even watching from the comfort of their living room.

I myself am conflicted, but feel compelled to watch! And while I, like those who will be viewing the race are hopeful that Big Brown will win today so his Triple Crown glory becomes closer to reality, can Big Brown really do the job?

I worry about his feet. I love his size and bone structure. He is built like a tank! And that is a good thing! But with his stature on such vulnerable hooves, I worry.. a lot! 


Photo by: Kenneth Klam

It has been 30 years since  the Triple Crown was won by Affirmed.  It has been a very long draught for a Triple Crown winner. You can bet that I will be on the edge of my seat this afternoon while I am glued to my bug screen TV. I hold a picture in my mind of my jumping up and down for joy at the end of the race as Big Brown flies over the finish line victoriously!

So I  humbly raise my voice in prayer to the Equine Gods to watch over all the horses and jockeys today to protect them. Perhaps the softness of today's  track condition from the rain will be a boon, but I don't know. I worry!!

Will you be watching  the race today? Who is your favorite? Don't keep us in suspense. . . leave a comment  and share YOUR pick!


Edit: 6:45 PM   Big Brown is tasting the Susans!


Vicki said...

I will be watching with much excitement. Being an avid fan of this sport, I always pray for a safe race for every race, not just the ones that are televised on major TV networks. What happened to Eight Belles was tragic, but it does not happen in every race. In all my years of being very close to this sport, I have never seen a horse break down in the gallop out. So this afternoon I will once again watching this important race, but before I do, I will once again say a prayer for the safety of everyone involved.

Joanne said...

I have to tell you that I will watch the race on replay if everyone comes home safely. I can't support a sport that euthanizes so many of the "players". Horses may love to run but they don't need to whipped to do it. Horse racing needs to clean up it's act. The tragedy of Eight Belles was just too much for me and my family too. Between Barbaro, George Washington and Eight Belles along with the unknown horses who give their lives everyday I can't in good conscience support this sport and boost the TV ratings. That combined with all of the race horses who go to slaughter for the crime of not being fast enough makes this a really tough "sport" for me to support. Racing needs a wake up call to reform or noone will be watching, IMHO

Coin Collector said...

It is a tragedy when a horse has to be put down during a race. Nothing worse than seeing the screen and the bucket loader coming on to the track. However, there is also nothing more beautiful than a horse in full stride. Yes, there is much that can be done to improve the sport, and the sooner the better. I will be watching the race. Go Big Brown!

Janet Roper said...

Hi there,
I won't be watching, but it's my prayer that the Equine Spirits will be there taking care of the animals, and that jockeys, trainers and owners will use good common horse sense.

Shiloh is stabled at a barn where they train the babies for Canterbury. When I walk through the barn in the late afternoon, those poor babies are so exhausted they are stretched out on their sides in their stalls. They barely have the energy to lift their heads when I stop to check on them. Racing is a hard life for those little ones.

Harmony to all horses today,

Sports Haven said...

Big Brown all the way. Racing needs a triple crown winner, and this horse has the best shot.

Matt said...

I still have images of Barbaro breaking down at the gate in the Preakness a couple of years ago. Once we get through the start, I will enjoy the race and root for Big Brown. The horse I was picking for second got scratched, so I'm looking for Yankee Bravo.

donna9331 said...

I'll probably watch, but more out of curiousity than anything. I can't condone the sport in any way shape or form. I just hope Big Brown comes through it okay, safe and sound.

lemshe said...

Like many others, I will be watching, but only after much prayer for the safety of all involved. Horses love to run; if you doubt that, just watch horses in a pasture that spontaneously break out in a gallop around the field. And they can get hurt doing even that--I know from experience. We need to do all we can to support the safety of our family--both human and creature--but accidents happen. God bless Eight Belles and all others on both sides of the Rainbow Bridge.

Anonymous said...

I was rooting for Big Brown. I really want to see a triple crown winner! But it is all over now. Congratulations to Dixie Stakes who ran a superb race!

Anonymous said...

NEVERMIND!!! I must have had a brain fart, I watched the race at a bar after a big motercycle ride and had to run right after it was over. There was no sound on the tv and I thought Big Brown lost. But he won!!!! Belmont here he comes!

annie! said...

i was trying to stay cool today, so didn't really watch much tv. but congrats to big brown on his second win.

still said prayers for eight belles today, though. and barbaro is still in my thoughts, too.

TreySpot said...

Saw the rerun of the race, when Brownies jockey asked for him to move it was amazing. The amount of run left in that boy was like he had been at a slow lope and then all of a sudden into a full out run.

donna9331 said...

I did watch it, on the edge of my seat praying no one got hurt. I also heard part of the debate about making racing safer for the horses, not using drugs, they ADMITTED that Big Brown gets a big dose of steroids DAILY!

I say if they want to race horses, take away the drugs, breed them so they're strong in body as well as the drive to run, put them in the gate, and let them race/run as they would naturally. Quit beating them, quit drugging them. If you get a horse that LOVES to run and he wins naturally, THEN and only then will you have a true winner! Good luck to Big Brown in the final jewel of the triple crown...I hope he can do it!

kneadstoknow said...

Actually Donna, he gets a dose of "steroids" once a month. In an interview with Rick Dutrow, the trainer admitted that he does inject all his horses once a month, according to instructions from a veterinarian he was using several years ago.

When informed that it would be illegal to do this as of January 2009, Rick Dutrow said that it made no difference to him and that he would, of course, comply. He said he doesn't know if it makes any difference, performance wise, but he has been doing it for many years.

Using steroids repeatedly, at least in humans, damages the bones and joints, according to my orthopedist, so I would assume it does the same in horses.


Luvbarbaro said...

I'm tardy, but I just wanted to say YEA!!!! I do definitely agree with some of the changes in the meeting they had with Dr. Porter, Randy and gang. Like Randy from ESPN said, these horsemen love their horses. The horses have their own manicurists, massage therapists etc... you get the picture! I definitely am against the drugging of horses, however, I was a college athlete and I sure took a whole lot of non-steroidal anti-inflammatorys, even on my highschool tennis team I was told to take them by my coach. The horses don't have the chance to say "No To Drugs" though. OK, now I'll read today's post. :>)

Fran said...

To tell the truth-- although this may shock you-- I had no idea that the Preakness was being held. 

While I love horses and deeply enjoy the beauty, grace and majesty of a horse moving in a way that comes naturally, I am not a race fan.  In the interest of full disclosure, I am not much of a sports fan at all (except for my kids' games.) I have heard directly from an animal communicator (Dawn Heyman) that many horses love to race and can love their trainers and their lives at the track, but I suspect that many do not-- for very good reason. 

My first hope/wish/prayer concerning this race was that all involved-- human and beast--would come through it safe and sound.. and my wish was granted.

As for the winner, I heard it on the news and noted it with mild interest. If there is a triple crown winner, it will pique my interest and I will likely read the reports and watch the video to learn more about the 'superstar' after the fact.  Sorry to seem so "Ho-hum" to all those enthusiasts, but the space in my brain is mostly occupied with the political race in this country, the outcome of which will affect human and beast in this country and this world for a very long time.