Horse Racing News
Big Brown a big bust at Belmont, denied Triple Crown
Jun 8, 2008, 4:36 GMT
Jockey Alan Garcia aboard Da\'Tara leads the pack into the fourth turn in the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York, USA 07 June 2008. Big Brown finished last after pulling up in the fourth turn as Da\'Tara went on to win. EPA/MARK WYVILLE
Washington - Overwhelming favourite Big Brown failed to complete the rare Triple Crown of US horse racing Saturday at the Belmont Stakes in New York as 38-to-1 longshot Da'Tara led wire-to- wire.
Big Brown was a 2-5 favourite and becomes the 11th horse since the last Triple Crown in 1978 to lose the Belmont after winning both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in May.
Less than an hour before the race, Big Brown's trainer, Rick Dutrow, walking from the barns to the paddock, was asked by an ABC Television reporter if he could guarantee a victory, and replied: 'Yeah, I sure can.'
There appeared to be a physical problem - still unexplained in the minutes after the race - that contributed to Big Brown's failure.
After a minor stumble near the starting gate, jockey Kent Desormeaux guided Big Brown into third place on the outside, poised to release the powerful bay colt to finish off the field in the same convincing fashion as in the previous Triple Crown starts.
Instead, Big Brown failed to respond, and Desormeaux backed off on the 3-year-old, sensing a problem and letting him lope across the finish line in last place in the nine-horse field.
After the race, he described having 'no horse' when in position for a stretch run.
'This horse is the best horse I've ever ridden, and something's wrong,' Desormeaux said.
Big Brown's camp said that veterinarians found no obvious injuries after the race, ABC reported. The horse was undergoing further examinations for problems such as internal bleeding, which can occur spontaneously in highly bred racehorses.
No horse has captured the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. The three-race event within five weeks is a grueling schedule faced at no other time by young thoroughbreds, and the 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometre) Belmont Stakes are the longest of the three jewels with a growing record for sending favourites to defeat.© Deutsche Presse-Agentur