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Big is no Red

May 20, 2008 7:00 PM

Getting Rich with Saber by Richard Saber | Big Red, not Steubenville Big Red, but the great 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat continued his greatness into a four-year-old season when a race horse was a race horse.

Horse players back in 1972 knew Big Red was a champion 2-year-old. Those still around who were lucky enough see him win Belmont Stakes probably can still feel the chills as he drew away with the greatest of ease down the Belmont stretch. The rest of the field was so far back you needed a telescope to find them.

Secretariat is gone and for some unknown reason was no Storm Cat as a stud, but on the track there were few if any better. Now it is 2008 and we have another big horse called Big Brown and some are comparing him to Big Red.

Big Brown was a virtual unknown as a 2-year-old and no champion. He sprung full throttle on the Triple Crown scene with a historic win in the Florida Derby against a very suspect field of 3-year-olds. He then blitzed the same suspect field in the Kentucky Derby from post position 20.

Then it was just a glorified workout for him winning the Preakness under a snug hold by Kent Desormeaux down the stretch. Itís on to Belmont Park now and a showdown with Casino Drive, a horse some think is also a super horse. He was bought at the annual Keeneland yearling sale in Sept. 2006 for $950K by the Japanese mogul Hidetoshi Yamamoto.

In only his second lifetime start he won the Peter Pan Stakes and ironically Kent Desormeaux was in the irons. A new rider will need to be chosen for the June 7 running of the Belmont. It is interesting that he is directly related to the last two winners of the Belmont Ė Jazil and the super filly Rags to Riches.

Will history repeat in someway? I donít think so.

With just two lifetime starts and a very questionable field in the Peter Pan, it is my hope that there will be a ton of backing for Casino Drive in the Belmont. If so, I will be in my car making a Casino drive to the nearest book and betting on Big Brown.

No way does Big Brown compare with the great Secretariat. He is a very good horse in a year with little or no competition. We have horses bred for speed running on the safe poly tracks, that couldnít get a 1ľ in a workout with a plow horse on a real dirt track.

Secretariat was a man when he was 2. These horses today are still kids at 3. Big Brown probably will win the Triple Crown and then make his last lifetime start in the Breedersí Cup. He will never race as a 4-year-old as his megabucks connections will farm him out for millions as Saudi buyers will line up for his offspring at historic prices.

Big Brown would be a great story if it werenít for his Wall Street connections. I donít trust anyone that worked on Wall Street with million dollar investors. If fact, I donít even care if he wins the Triple Crown. I would care if some of my $2 horse playing buddies and I had a little piece of him, but we donít.

And, we canít bet a horse 1-5. So we will just sit back and handicap some of the other races across the country and try and find a 10-1 shot to bet our hard earned $2 on.

Maybe there will be a torrential downpour that could hamper Big Brownís chances but I donít think so. But heís no Secretariat.

If you had received a coupon from the Palms for the free matching $2 win, place and show bet on the Kentucky Derby and made that bet you then received another one for the Preakness. I made my $2 across bet on Big Brown which paid $7.40 and with the matching bet got back $14.80. Now that was a good bet, but that $2.60 payoff for place wasnít bad either.

My 7th inning stretch

As I was sitting in the book taking in a Pirates-Cubs game, a guy next to me asked me how the seventh inning stretch came about? Well, it is often credited to a Christian Brother in New York back in 1882.

Brother Jasper of Mary, FSC was coaching the Manhattan College baseball team on a hot and humid day. Noticing that the players were becoming restless and edgy during a particularly close game he called a timeout in the middle of the 7th inning. He then told his players to take a five-minute break to stand and stretch.

Since Manhattan College annually played the New York Giants, Brother Jasperís 7th inning stretch soon became a major league tradition.