This from Bill Dwyre's column in the Sunday June 8 Times, referring to Big Brown, who came in last at the Belmont, with trainers and jocky saying he just ran out of gas, had no "go" to go, or the jocky saying, "I had no horse."
"The third question put to (Veterinarian on duty) Bramiage in the post-race news conference was about drugs. Dutrow (the trainer) had admitted to giving his horses, including Big Brown, the steroid Winstrol on the first and 15th of each month.
"That is legal in horse racing in most states, including the three where the Triple Crown is contested.
"Then, recently, Dutrow said he had not given Big Brown any Winstrol since mid-April. so, the question to Bramiage was, could this have affected Big Brown in the Belmont? Instead of Big Brown, did we have Ben Johnson on Advil?
"Bramiage correctly wouldn't speculate.
"But the issue gets larger as the Breeders' Cup gets closer. this October, Santa Anita will host the first of two straight Breeders' Cup events, the next best thing in racing after the Triple Crown. More significant, this will be the first Breeders' Cup in which steroids will not be allowed."
Let's review: Amazing horse runs amazing races while on bi-monthly shots of (legal) steroids. Horse goes off steroids, runs out of steam. People act surprised.
Anyone with an I.Q. larger than their shoe size can tell you that steroids of any kind are always an unpredictable double-edged sword. They can save your life or trigger a cascade of disasters that can end it. They can have blow-back consequences on all sorts of bodily functions. They are, in short, nothing to mess with unless you absolutely have to in serious medical conditions.
Why are we giving them regularly to healthy, in-their-prime, bred-to-run race horses?
Oh, right, it's not about the horse, it's all about the money. Silly me.