Here he is, Big Brown, surrounded by three Australian beauties (Kate Waterhouse, Alexandra Agoston O’Connor, and Rachael Finch) and what looks to be Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis. The last time I had three women smile at me I had to pay for it.
I find it no such coincidence that two of the women have the both Rachael and Alexandra in their names.
Big Brown’s not the only one who seems excited by this photograph, but it just goes to show you what flash-in-the-pan brilliance delivers, no low and slow here.
Hopefully his flight back from Australia is better that Oceanic Flight 815. But what if he were to suddenly crash on a mysterious island in the Pacific? Who would he run into? Ghosts of racing’s past? The Smoke Monster?
Big Brown’s precocity seems mirrored by another two year old who ran Monday at the Spa by the name of Kantharos—a colt named after a type of Greek pottery used for drinking which possesses large looped handles that extend above the lip of the pot. What is the significance? Who knows. His owner also named a horse Kensei—an honorary title give to a warrior of legendary skill in swordsmanship.
Yes, Stonestreet Stables has what looks to be brilliant young colt and how bad do you think JJ wants to get to the Derby? After watching Kantharos burn up the sealed highway in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special to win by 7 ¼ lengths JJ won’t need his Cialis for a week.
“You like a horse a lot,” said winning trainer Steve Asmussen, “and like how he’s doing, but it’s the variables you have no control over. Garrett [Gomez] said it took him awhile to get into it — he thought he was cautious going over the track when he was warming up. He said that during the first 50 yards he wasn’t on the bridle much at all, but after he went a little ways he got into himself. I thought that he came into the stretch well. He hesitated a little bit when he first left [Bail Out the Cat], but late he really looked good and smooth and like he’ll go further, which is what everybody wants to know right now. What he’s done at these sprint distances is very impressive and brilliant, but we want to be greedy and get a little bit more.”
What does it mean to have a talented two year old? Not much. It gives you hope, the same way a fast-maturing 12-year-old Little Leaguer with a 5 o’clock shadow looks: mighty tough to beat.
About this time last year Dublin was the mare’s nay and now look at him: singing in a poorly-formed ABBA-style quartet with Drosselmeyer, Hot Dixie Chick, and Stardom Bound.
I have to imagine it is exciting to think that you’ve got the nation’s best juvenile colt, a colt that makes it look pretty darn easy. His daddy, Lion Heart, went hoof-to-hoof with Smarty Jones in the Derby and Preakness so you know he’ll like the distance and dirt. So what’s next? The Hopeful is too close so perhaps the one-mile Champagne at Belmont would be a good fit. More importantly it is run on October 9, seven weeks away.
So, like anything, Kantharos’ win should be praised in perspective. Daily Racing Form’s Mike Watchmaker has the right idea: “You'll have to excuse me if I don't run right out and buy a Kantharos t-shirt and fitted hat just yet. Kantharos might be a very special horse, but you just can't tell off of the Saratoga Special, a four horse race (including one first time starter) run on a tricky, slow, sealed, muddy track. I want to see more, against better, on a fast track, before I start thinking about Kantharos being the next great savior.”
If he is, he may just be taking his picture alongside a few babes and he won’t have to pay a lick for that kind of attention.
Brendan O’Meara blogs about horse racing here at HRI and at The Carryover. He also blogs about narrative nonfiction and his book project “Six Weeks in Saratoga” at The Blog Itself. His Web site is http://www.brendanomeara.com.