Geesh, with all the venom directed at Rick Dutrow this year, you'd think that there was never a jerkoff, druggie trainer to make good before now.
I say, lighten up people. Try working day in and day out alongside these types. Excruciating. So, why do the universal powers smile down on these guys? Well, here's my take:
Big Brown is the product of modest so-so breeding. Sold at Keeneland's 2007 Two-Year-Old in Training Sale for a paltry $190, 000. Small change in this biz of lofty international ambitions. Imagine this two-year-old in the barn of Pletcher, Asmussen or Frankel. Maybe even in the barn of my personal hero, Zito. With a barnful of royal, multi-million dollar babies, this horse would be relegated to a stall in the middle of the backside of the barn. His groom would be the new guy, and his exercise rider would be the kid with not so much talent, but hey, he or she shows up sober every day. He'd probably be one of the last to train late in the morning, long after said trainer has headed over to the racing office.
Do you get where I'm going with this? Instead, Big Brown ends up in the barn of a minor trainer who struggles to overcome adversity, disrespect and his own inner demons. The horse is welcomed here and his price isn't considered so modest and he is actually appreciated. He gets the attention he wouldn't get if he were in the barn of one of the big guns.
"You know, America loves the underdog and I'm no longer the underdog, so if people are going to start taking shots at me, I'm ready for that". - Kid Rock