A Day of Sadness - Not Tradegy
 By Chris Antley Memorial   •   22nd May 2010   •   13,525 views   •   27 comments
In 2008, I followed a horse named Big Brown. I watched on Live TV, him winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Everyone knew that he could easily win the Triple Crown. It was in is blood.

Big Brown

When the Belmont Stakes post time approached, my sister, mom and I sat in the living room, gathered around the TV. When it finally started chills started to run down my body. If he won this race, I would witness history.

Going into the turn Big Brown was in perfect striking position. However, when it came time for him to make his sweeping move, nothing happened. I listened and watched in horror and shock. I heard the announcers' own shocked words, "And Big Brown has been eased at the top of the stretch." At that moment, my heart dropped. After the broadcast was over, I walked into my room and started to write:

June 7, 2008
Belmont Stakes

Everyone is always saddened when a horse breaks down and is sent to the hospital or is put down on the spot. But on this day, June 7, 2008, there was a different kind of sadness. Not a sadness of loss or tragedy, but a sadness of seeing and experiencing something great suddenly fall in defeat.

Millions of people followed Big Brown from before the Kentucky Derby to this very day. They watched him destroy the field in the Derby and then left the other horses in the dust as he accelerated incredibly in the Preakness.

In the Belmont, he was in a perfect striking position, but when his jockey asked him to go, there was nothing. Big Brown didn’t leave the field he didn’t leave them in the dust. Instead he was the one who was left behind in the dust. And at the top of the stretch I and millions of others watched Big Brown and heard in horror the words of the announcer, “And Big Brown has been eased at the top of the stretch.” At that moment the tragic memories of Eight Belles appeared.

In the end, Big Brown was uninjured . . . he was healthy.

That day, for me, is one of the saddest horse racing’s tragedies because on that day an undefeated champion fell in defeat and was denied the Triple Crown by a dislodge shoe. It will remain the saddest because millions of people watched Big Brown disappear from the field and canter across the finish alone, while his exercise rider is walking on the track watching to see if her champion is okay.

It will remain the saddest because back at the barn the owners were there with Big Brown giving him a hug and telling him, “He was the reason everybody was there and that he brought so much joy to everybody around him.”

It will remain the saddest because when the owners saw Big Brown back at the barn, he just dropped his head as if to say “I’m sorry.”

It will forever remain the saddest because here was an undefeated colt named Big Brown, who knew he was defeated who thought that he disappointed everyone. But like one of his owners said, “Just knowing he was okay, it felt like we won the Triple Crown.”

I am still saddened when I watched the 2008 Belmont.

Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Stories      Horse News More From This Author:  Chris Antley Memorial
the second picture with the crowd in the background is amazing :)
  55 days ago  •  4,099 views
at least the jockey was taking care of his horse and didn't push him which could have resulted in serious injury!
  55 days ago  •  4,081 views
bambam roxs  
i agree with foffelola!!!
  55 days ago  •  4,084 views
Chris Antley Memorial  MOD 
Fawny - All horses were off drugs in the Triple Crown races and steriods are illegal now. Toffeelola - I agree.
  55 days ago  •  4,506 views
I followed Big Bown too and I too was extrememly dissapointed when I watched the Belmont, but I still think that Eight Belle's case is sadder. Both things make me sad!
  55 days ago  •  4,497 views
Fawny- Its obvious that the reason he didn't run well was that he had a bent shoe. Would you be able to run with half the bottom of your sneaker poking out?
  55 days ago  •  4,560 views
Dark Star  
Personally, I have to agree with Fawny that Big Brown didn't have it in him. The most saddest accidents in history are Barbaro, Eight Belles, and Ruffian. All of those struck the world hard. Big Brown will race again, he can make up for losing it. All the horses who lose their lifes on the track can't....but those horses died happy, that's all I can say.
  54 days ago  •  4,466 views
I honestly never like Big Brown. His owners and trainers were to cocky and thought they had such a special horse. Big Brown had major foot/hoof problems. In fact he retired before the breeders cup because during a workout he injured himself in the hoof. I was VERY happy to see him lose and not only that but dead last. Though I know its not the horses fault how his people act, its just the way they publictized him I hated. I forget were I heard this but some trainer I read about or watched said somthing like,"You cant have a horses without feet." And now Big Brown is at Three Chimneys being a sire! I honestly think breeding now days is the fault of the weak breed of thoroughbreds. B Brown only raced like what two times before the kentucky derby? Barbaro already raced in five races before the derby and only finished 6 races going farther back to Secretariat who ran 6 races as a two year old and went on to finish his career with 21 starts and 16 wins. Seabiscuit ran in 89 races placing in
  54 days ago  •  5,007 views
Wanderin Boy Memorial  
Chris didn't post this to start an arguement. She posted this to show you guys what she wrote. Every horse is great in it's own way. Just because one doesn't like the owners or trainers of a horse that doesn't mean that you should say that a horse is a bad racehorse. I don't like Rachel Alexandra's owner, trainer, and even jockey, but that doesn't mean I hope she finishs last in a race or hope that she gets hurt. Despite her owners I still see Rachel as a great racehorse. I don't care for Big Brown's owner or trainer, but I still love Big Brown. He was a great racehorse and had amazing talent. Horse racing is all about the horses. I don't look at the owners or trainers because they are just the ones who train and own the horse, pick the races and stand in the grandstands. The horses and jockeys are the ones winning the races, and working hard.
  54 days ago  •  4,941 views
I never once said I wanted to see him break down thats just wrong for any horse or animal lover to say. Im not starting an argument either, I was just posting my thoughts. It was a very nice article. I also never said I wanted to see him in dead last I just didnt want him to win the triple crown, I was just happy that he not only lost but bost big time. I respect everyones thoughts and opinons. I understand he was fast, he had a good record but as others have said to me he just didnt have what it took or wasnt proven enough. Oh I ment to add to what I said earlier, i saw you wanted to be a jockey, Chris, I wish you luck with that dream. I too want to be in the sport of kings and plan to be a vetrinarian for racehorses and possibly a trainier. Best wishes to you :)
  54 days ago  •  5,083 views
Erm...guys. Does it matter? She was just posting to give her feelings on the race. There's no need to start an arguement on if Big Brown was a good racer or not. I think it was a very well-written article, Chris. I enjoyed reading it thanks for posting :D
  54 days ago  •  4,964 views
Chris Antley Memorial  MOD 
Thanks Equestri !!!!!! SuperLevi - Good luck to you too!
  54 days ago  •  4,969 views
I think Bog Brown is/ was a good racer and I will argue for it if I have to. Nice article!
  53 days ago  •  4,956 views
Untamed Heart  
I dont care about the compition all i care about is the horses personality and that horses personality was kick butt!!!
  Aug 27, 2010  •  4,949 views
i think the rider did the righ thing.I love bog Brow.
  Sep 6, 2010  •  4,973 views
Castaway Wish  
Ruffian's story is way sadder, and a REAL tragedy, it is one of those it's-so-sad-it-makes-me-cry stories.
  Oct 12, 2010  •  5,210 views
poor eight belles,i watched her run her final race,the one when she was put down.she is out of pain now.R.I.P.
  Feb 14, 2011  •  4,930 views
Silent Nights  
wow that is a sad video.
  34 days ago  •  4,944 views
Oh man, I heard oh this
  17 days ago  •  4,928 views
this was soooooooo sad! but he will go on to produce great foals! (I HOPE! LOL)
  16 days ago  •  4,927 views
All That Jazz  
At least he's okay in the end.
  Aug 30, 2011  •  4,934 views
Let It Ride  
Even if he didn't win, it doesn't matter. We all knew he could have. At least his jockey didn't push him--or else it might have a tragedy
  Jan 12, 2012  •  4,950 views
Free Spirit Farm  
Thats a big disapointment, good thing he wasn't seriously injured.
  Jan 19, 2012  •  4,964 views
This is moving. Especially the pictures. What a spectacular horse he was. =)
  Jan 22, 2012  •  4,936 views
I'm thoroughly in love with the last Triple Crown winner, Secretariat. What a legend of a horse. And I hope that whatever horse wins the next Triple Crown deserves it, fights for it, and has a good story behind him. Big Brown just wasn't that horse. =(
  Jan 31, 2012  •  3,785 views
big brown was a lovey race horse
  Feb 3, 2012  •  3,793 views
Sapphire Flames  
great article!
  Mar 19, 2012  •  3,769 views
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