Big Brown More Compelling in Defeat

Belmont defeat reminds us of why we race in the first place

By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 8, 2008 12:39 PM CDT

(Newser) – Big Brown may have performed poorly at the Belmont Stakes, but his loss makes for a better story than victory would have, and he's in good company, writes Wallace Matthews in Newsday. Between Roberto Duran throwing in the towel against Sugar Ray Leonard, and Alex Rodriguez's plummeting temperature each postseason, defeats typically make for more drama than triumphs.

Horseracing's hero failed to capture the Triple Crown, but the ups and downs of the story (Rick Dutrow guarantees victory! A hoof injury may hurt Big Brown's Chances! Casino Drive drops out! The favorite draws plum post position! But then makes the worst finish in Belmont history!) make it more spectacular than a win could have been, Matthews argues.

Da' Tara crosses the finish line as jockey Alan Garcia comes up out of the saddle after winning the 140th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. on Saturday, June 7, 2008.
Da' Tara crosses the finish line as jockey Alan Garcia comes up out of the saddle after winning the 140th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. on Saturday, June 7, 2008.   (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
Big Brown's jockey Kent Desormeaux removes his helmet after Big Brown pulled out of the 140th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.  on Saturday, June 7, 2008.
Big Brown's jockey Kent Desormeaux removes his helmet after Big Brown pulled out of the 140th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. on Saturday, June 7, 2008.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Big Brown is walked back to his barn by groom Herasmo Gonzalez and exercise rider Michelle Nevin after he pulled out of the 140th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, June 7, 2008.
Big Brown is walked back to his barn by groom Herasmo Gonzalez and exercise rider Michelle Nevin after he pulled out of the 140th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday, June 7, 2008.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Big Brown's jockey Kent Desormeaux trys to keep the Triple Crown hopeful under control. Although many predicted a historic victory, the celebrated horse came in last.
Big Brown's jockey Kent Desormeaux trys to keep the Triple Crown hopeful under control. Although many predicted a historic victory, the celebrated horse came in last.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Da' Tara's jockey Alan Garcia celebrates after winning the 140th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.  on Saturday, June 7, 2008.
Da' Tara's jockey Alan Garcia celebrates after winning the 140th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. on Saturday, June 7, 2008.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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