A lesson learned — one can hope

I know I’m a jerk.

I’m a jerk because I wasn’t rooting for Big Brown on Saturday at the Belmont.

I didn’t want him to win. I didn’t want Big Brown to be the first horse in 30 years to win the Triple Crown.

And so I took a little more than just small delight in his pulling up and finishing last. I’m happy the horse is OK and that he’s not injured. That’s great.

My problem wasn’t with Big Brown, his jockey or even the incessant hype of the thing.

My problem with Big Brown’s trainer, Rick Dutrow Jr.

The blowhard was everywhere the last three weeks, even insisting just a few days ago that Big Brown winning the Triple Crown was a “foregone conclusion.”

He didn’t stop there, blasting the other horses in the field, basically saying at every turn that none of them had a chance against his unstoppable creation. Maybe he wasn’t intending to do so, but his overconfidence was a slap into all of his competitors’ — and colleagues’ — faces.

And so as his horse came up slow across the finish, Dutrow and his sweat-stained shirt took a long walk back into the bowels of the Belmont, refusing at first to even acknowledge the very same reporters whose notebooks and tape recorders he couldn’t wait to fill up the five previous weeks.

Dutrow stood for a long time with his head down as he leaned against a rail the Belmont’s test barn, his dreams shattered. One could only wonder what was going through his mind.

One can hope it was some humility.

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Filed under Designated Hitter, Horse racing, Sports, Sports columns, The Sanford Herald

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