I'd like to share my thoughts about this year's Triple Crown hopeful, Big Brown. I won't get into a lot of detail, but I'm not as excited about his possible victory, as I would have been if I didn't know about his genetically bad feet and how they've been put back together, glued to light shoes, and basically re-built. I also heard about his monthly steroid injections on the special round table discussion interview, that was televised prior to the running of the Preakness on May 17th. This really put things into perspective, for me.
Maybe I've been naive about what goes into the making of a race horse champion these days, but I feel "bionic" feet and monthly steroid injections are ways of cheating. Big Brown may or may not be a great race horse and champion. I don't know how we can really know for sure. The injections are legal if the horse is healing from an injury, but it's possible by next year that steroids will be illegal, altogether.
The Thoroughbred breeders need to stop breeding horses with flaws, such as soft feet & bones. Breeding for speed has not proved to be the solution for winning the crown, if that's the ultimate goal. I'd love to see some stronger-boned horses (Arabians) introduced to the weak Thoroughbred gene pool. My other issue is the fact that racing a 2-year old is pretty ridiculous, when you consider their bones have not matured. One solution would be to train at 2, start racing at 3, and the Triple Crown for ages 4 and up.
Here's a well-stated post on another blog at http://me-mira.blogspot.com/2008/05/triple-crown-races.html
If Big Brown wins the Triple Crown this year, time will tell whether that was an unfair win, especially if steroids get banned. I'll be watching the Belmont to see if we finally have another champion crowned after 30 years, but I won't be very thrilled about the way it came about (if it does). Perhaps all the modern "greats" were on steroids and we didn't know about it. I'd like to find out.
What do you think?