Monday, June 30, 2008
Big Brown: Does the Shoe Fit?
Photo by Bob Mayberger
We all hoped that Big Brown would capture the Triple Crown and end the long and frustrating 30 year draught with no winner. When he "ran out of gas" during the Belmont Stakes, the last leg of the prestious series, speculation was rampant. What stopped him from losing the only race in his racing career to that point in time? Was it the hot weather? Was it related to the lay off in exercise as he recovered from yet another problem with his hoof? Was it that he was boxed in or that he had been bumped by another horse? Why was he pulled up and just allowed to gallop at his leisure across the finish line with a very disappointing last place finish?
While this may be old news for some horse racing fans, I was totally blown away when I discovered, while surfing the 'net this morning, what may actually be the real story and what may have caused this major upset.
Michael Iavorone, co-president of IEAH Stables, thinks that he has discovered what really happened on that sultry, hot afternoon. Free-lance photographer, Bob Mayberger took a revealing photograph which clearly shows a nail sticking straight up Big Brown's right hind hoof. Iavorone suspects that the shoe was hit by another horse's hoof early on in the race, which meant that Big Brown ran 1 1/4 miles with a "dislodged shoe and the nail sticking out."
Another photograph revealed that Guadalcanal's left hind foot stepped on Big Brown's right hind as the horses made contact.
This certainly seems to be a rather compelling cause for Big Brown's disappointing performance, that day, which as far as I am concerned, trumps any controverial explanations offered after the race.
As far as I am concerned, I wonder if the shoe became loose after Big Brown kicked the stall wall shortly after his move into the secure area stall. He sure didn't seem happy there at all. But that is only a speculation on my part, and one that I suspect will never be validated.
Do you think that the loose shoe explanation is sound? Does it help to dispel nasty rumors? Leave a comment and let us know how you feel.