Big Brown Win Bad for Racing

Victory would be success for 'win-at-all-costs' methods: NYT
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 7, 2008 7:56 AM CDT
Big Brown, ridden by exercise rider Michelle Nevin, runs on the track at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., Thursday. Big Brown is favored to win the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 7.    (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)
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(Newser) – Big Brown carries the best hopes of racing fans as he tries to capture the Triple Crown today, but represents the worst of horse racing, writes Peter Thomas Fornatale in the New York Times. Brown is an admirable creature, sure, but he's the product of a company that runs its stable like a hedge fund, where "the horse becomes just another commodity to be bought and sold like a share of stock, with little concern for its fate."

“Rooting for the firm would be validating a ‘win at any price’ mentality,” Fornatale argues. The company's former trainer lost his license in 2005 for giving a horse a performance-enhancing drug; the current trainer has been fined or suspended for doping in each of the last 8 years. With American horse racing facing troubled times, “No horse is going to save” it, writes Fornatale. “Racing must save itself—and for that reason I’d rather see Big Brown lose.”