Were Loose Shoes To Blame For Big Brown Lot?

Most folks still haven’t come to grips with Big Brown’s last-place finish at the Belmont last month. The horse had a Phil Mickelson-ish collapse down the stretch that has gone completely unexplained–until now?

Big Brown with his jolly red

Extreme close-up photos of one of Brownie’s horseshoes may provide the clue for why the equine failed to perform.
IEAH Stables co-president Michael Iavarone to NEWSDAY:

“The picture shocked me,” Iavarone said. “When the shoe spread, a nail could have been pinching him. Or he could have been stepping on a hot nail, which would have been worse. I’m guessing the nail went back in but not in the same spot. Or it could have been a loose shoe, which would be like trying to run with a wobbly cleat.”

Big Brown’s vet agreed that a loose shoe could have been an issue:

“When a shoe comes off, it does throw a horse out of balance, but it depends how traumatically it happens and at what stage of the race,” [Dr. Greg] Bennett said. “A couple nails can loosen up, which can cause a lot of problems and affect a horse’s performance.

The photos appeared in the June 21 issue of BLOODHORSE magazine.

Shoes say a lot about a person, or even a horse. Right now, Big Brown is preparing for the Haskell Invitational on Aug. 3 at Monmouth Park. That’s in New Jersey, and hopefully Rick Dutrow and friends will manage to get the horse better dressed for success this time.