Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Smell of Victory

Alligator poop.

That's the only thing that I could think of as I held a fistful of losing wagers following Big Brown's impressive win in the Monmouth Stakes yesterday.

This year, I've refrained from boarding the Big Brown Bandwagon. It initially began with the usual observations such as "lightly raced", "questionable hooves", "lackluster crop of 3-year-olds", and eventually evolved into a mild irritation with his colorful-yet-somewhat-creepy connections. No matter what I may think of Big Brown's ability, Michael Iavarone and Dick Dutrow give me the heebie-jeebies. And John of Not to the Swift fame doesn't exactly help their cause by pasting hot pink lipstick on Mr. Dutrow's photo.

Anyway, if ever there were a chance to go against Big Brown, the Monmouth Stakes looked downright juicy. Rain, wind gusts, hurricanes, dirty laundry ... nothing could keep me away from the track that afternoon. Proudinsky. Shakis. And just for fun, toss in Silver Tree.

Of course, Big Brown was formidable; Proudinsky unable to catch him at the wire. I couldn't understand it. Why couldn't Proudinsky and Shakis pass him in the stretch? I resisted the obvious answer. I stubbornly refused to proclaim the greatness of Big Brown. There had to be reasons: global warming, weapons of mass destruction, New Jersey in general, etc.

Aha! Alligator poop.

I remembered reading a little anecdote in Ed McNamara's Cajun Racing book, proving to the author as well as the entire literate world that I actually read the book, about how sometimes Cajun horsemen would smear foul-smelling "grease" of a dead alligator on a racehorse's rump. "It smelled so bad that the other horse wouldn't try to pass it," says some Cajun guy on page 25.

And we all know, Kent Desormeaux is one crafty Cajun.

However, the only flaw to this reasoning is that there appears to be a paucity of dead alligators in the bayous of New Jersey.


Valerie said...

Brilliant! However, instead of gator poo, maybe they substituted it with excrement from another more northern animal—say Northern Jersey—as Iavarone has been know to really shovel it.

“He might race at 4 if we buy him back from Three Chimneys.”

“It was just a general comment. The bottom line is that the horse will be sent to Three Chimneys in December. He definitely will be retired.”

Pass Dutrow the shovel next.

Winston...not really said...

How would one note that in the comment line of the form? Loomed a threat. Overcome by poo.

I'm sure the bayous of NJ are full of something dead.

kevin morris said...

If the racing commission begins testing for this, I don't want the job. Maybe that's why you see all those flowers in the winners circle?