Friday, June 6, 2008

I'm Rooting for Big Brown

I’m rooting for Big Brown to win. I like his name. It’s not a phrase, not clever, or meaningful. They didn’t take part of his dam’s name and part of his sire’s name and try to make a new word. Nope, it’s just plain Big Brown.

I’ve spent the better part of my day Googling to learn just how big he really is; how many hands, his weight, something to do with his size. The only thing I’ve learned is he has a big chance of being the next Triple Crown Winner. And, it’s been thirty years since we’ve had one. Came close a couple of times, but the last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978. Two others won the elusive honor in the 70s: Seattle Slew in 1977 and Secretariat in 1973. See those names are nice, but they don’t really sound like a horse. The name Affirmed sounds like a statement, not a name. And although I had the honor of meeting, and touching the great and beautiful Secretariat, his name sounds like a piece of furniture.

Yep, I like the sound of Big Brown. Tells me he is a brown horse, well he’s actually a bay. For you readers who are not horse folk, a bay horse is any shade of brown with black points, meaning it has a black mane and tail and the lower part of its legs are black. And I assume Big Brown is big, as most Thoroughbreds are big, standing at least 16 hands tall. You can tell from his photographs he has long, smooth muscles made for speed and endurance. But I couldn’t find out how tall he is. If you know, please tell me.

I wonder that he may be a little too big for his feet. Several articles mentioned foot problems even before his quarter crack on the left front hoof made the news. They are downplaying the crack. And, since the owners have more money than the average horse owner to deal with this problem it may not be so serious. A quarter crack means the hoof has a crack on the side. In front it is called a toe crack and near the back it is called a heel crack. The severity varies according to whether it starts at the top or bottom of the hoof and the length and depth of the crack, and if it involved the sensitive inner parts of the hoof. Patches and special shoes are common treatments. The staples or sutures used to help Big Brown hold the crack together and hopefully will keep it from getting worse. Bleeding or exudation will warrant such radical procedures like removing part of the hoof wall and further medication and treatment, and rest. Last I read this has not occurred in Big Brown’s case. There is much at stake on the condition of that hoof come race day.

So, I’ll be saying a silent prayer that Big Brown will be the first Triple Crown Winner of the twenty-first century. Go Big Brown! And then, I hope they make sure the crack heals without further ado. He seems to look the part of the invincible racehorse. Reminds me of another legendary horse, “Big Red” nickname of Man O' War, seen pictured above.

No comments: