Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

14 May 2008

Big Brown Retirement Looms

In the tradition started by Secretariat, and repeated with Point Given, War Emblem, Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex, and Street Sense, Big Brown triple crown race winner is going to be retired during or after his three year old season.

For the fans this is no surprise but it is yet another bummer for the game. While Secretariat had the decency to finish his three year old season, it would not be much of a surprise if Big Brown retires after the Preakness if he loses the race. However I am suspicious that he may retire after the Belmont regardless of the outcome as he has built up his reputation to gargantuan scale, why soil it by exposing his lack of foundation. The way horses are typically campaigned these days is sort of like building the facade of a beautiful castle, a castle so grand and exquisite that it elicits ewes and ahhs from all that see it. However the foundation is non-existent and the interior is barren, so why invite the smitten crowd in to see the interior of your castles facade? Sell it while the crowd is in mid ahh and the stock is at its paramount. While most of us can see through this charade and would surely want to take a look inside before investing, why is the breeding and auction industry so smitten with these facades?

My question is why do horses like this do well at stud? Their form is so thin and such an insult to the game, it is almost like a mirage, without any foundation or soundness. This is like buying a car that could go zero to sixty in 3 seconds but is likely to completely stop running a mile from the dealer. Sort of like a 1986 Yugo with a Ferrari V12 engine. Yet these completely unsound "cars" are what are in vogue in the horse auction business. This proves that money and long term smart thinking does not necessarily go hand and hand. Are the managers, owners and buyers of horses really this foolish to breed to horses with known confirmation/soundness issues? Hopefully we will soon cycle out of this short term thinking as a new generation emerges to take stewardship of the game.


Anonymous said...

" Big Brown triple crown race winner..."

Dude, he hasn't even won the Preakness yet...one race at a time.

G. C. said...

Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby which is a triple crown race, that would make him a triple crown race winner.

Anonymous said...

With feet held together by glue and a pedigree well endowed with bad feet and other unsoundnesses (including the usual linebreeding on Native Dancer), the idea is probably to retire Big Brown to stud where he can earn big bucks passing on his bad feet and other genetic problems to future generations.

Retiring horses before they break down doesn't strengthen the crumbling genetic cookie though!

G. C. said...

You are right about the unsoundness anon. Big Brown is like a Ferrari built on a Hyundai Excel chassis.

Anonymous said...

I would never wish bad things on a horse, but Thank GOD he lost. Maybe people will realize this horse is not the next great thing- He is broken and the product of too much hype.