Into the shed too soon

Mr. Flip's Rant

May 19, 2008

So you want to know what's wrong with horse racing? In yesterday's Preakness section of The Sun, right there on Page 5, one of the problems was staring us right in the face.

In an article about the sale of Big Brown's breeding rights to Kentucky's Three Chimneys Farm for a reported $50 million, it was pointed out that the Preakness champion's ownership already has decided he won't race as a 4-year-old.

So let's celebrate Big Brown, hope to watch him romp to a Belmont Stakes victory that secures racing's first Triple Crown in 30 years and then wave goodbye to him. All right, maybe he'll run in the Breeders' Cup in the fall, but that's probably it. Then it's off to the breeding shed, which certainly is nice for Big Brown, but not so much for the sport.

Yes, Big Brown's owners have a lot of money involved, and it's easy for Mr. Flip to tell them to walk away from $50 million. But here is a potential superstar who could draw the media spotlight every time he runs, focusing attention on a game that is starving for it.

However, Big Brown won't be delivering that.

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