Like seven percent of the country’s sports fans, I was enraptured by Big Brown’s pursuit of the Triple Crown, which hadn’t been accomplished since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967…
(Oh sorry, horse racing, right. Affirmed, 1978, got it, thanks.)
Anyway, I had an exclusive chance to sit down and talk with Big Brown this morning, something ESPN’s Jeanine Edwards - who has taught me everything I need to know about horse racing on SportsCenter the past month - couldn’t even do.
I even had Mr. Ed alongside to translate. I caught a lucky break because he just happened to be hanging around outside the stable when I got there, which is fortunate because you really can't interview a horse without a translator.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s the latest horse who has failed in the quest for immortality…in his own words:
Q: So what happened to you yesterday, Big Brown? It looked like you just stopped trying.
A: You know how hot it was out there? I was sweating my you-know-what off! Plus, I bet on Da’Tara to win it anyway, so it didn’t really matter where I finished.
Q: Wait a second – you bet on another horse?
A: It’s always been a passion of mine, going to the tracks and betting on horses. He was getting 38-to-1, you know.
A: Trust me, I made a killing. And I’m going out to stud now anyway, so I could have really cared less how I finished in the Belmont. I’ve got my money, I’ve got my ladies – I’m all set.
Q: But didn’t you want your name up there alongside all those other greats? Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed?
A: You know, those are great horses and all, but I’ve been much more of a fan of Smarty Jones and Funny Cide. Those guys are great and I talked to them a lot after I won the Preakness. Anyway, I’d prefer to live out my life flying under the radar a little more and not have to deal with the label of being a “Triple Crown winner.”
Q: Were you perhaps feeling overwhelmed because your trainer, Rick Dutrow, kept bragging about you and how you winning the Triple Crown was a “foregone conclusion”?
A: (stamping angrily) Next question.
Q: OK – so how is your hoof feeling? Do you think you might have been more, umm, “inspired” to compete if you’d been able to train properly?
A: The hoof’s feeling fine – I don’t know why everyone is freaking out about it. Like I said before, I was just really hot. And tired. Ever since Mr. Dutrow stopped giving me that magic pill, I just haven’t been feeling the same.
Q: Are you talking about the steroid Winstrol?
A: Is that what it is? I gotta tell you, it felt great. I used to pop those things like they were Tic-Tacs.
(Pause in the interview while Big Brown received his daily bath and walk. We picked it up 45 minutes later, but only had time for one more question because Mr. Ed had another speaking engagement.)
Q: When people look back on your racing career 15, 20 years down the road, how do you want to be remembered?
A: Hopefully as fondly as my friend Mr. Ed here (accompanied by loud whinnying, which I can only assume was horse laughter.) No no, but seriously, to answer your question, I just hope that people remember me for me than being a horse named after a large shipping company. Hopefully they’ll talk more about my successes on the track than my failures – after all, I did only lose one race. And I hope I haven’t been turned into glue by then, either!
(More whinnying as Big Brown and Mr. Ed leave.)