"It's a horse race, and I have the best horse in the race. It's that simple. We're going to Kentucky to win, anything less than that is not going to be OK with us. I love the spot I'm in. I can't see anyone going into this race nearly as well as we are. There's such good karma going around the stable now that I don't see how he can get beat."
Those were the comments by Big Brown's trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. Thursday morning after the Boundary colt turned in his final major work for the Kentucky Derby, a sharp :58 3/5 breeze at Palm Meadows.
Wow. There is no misinterpreting those quotes. Dutrow has a reputation for being a ‘call-it-as-I-see-it' kind of guy, but those comments might be a bit over the top, even for him.
Hey, if you have confidence in your horse, that's great. Obviously, Dutrow feels that Big Brown is training superbly and is the most talented horse in the Derby. I'm OK with that. But to say "I don't see how he can get beat" is going a little too far.
Hey Rick, you ever hear of getting a bad trip? Not liking the Churchill Downs surface? How about a horse with only three career starts getting overwhelmed by the pressure of the Derby? The best horse doesn't always win?
Apparently Dutrow isn't worried about any of those "trivial" things, or rubbing the other 19 trainers the wrong way. Or maybe Dutrow just got caught up in the moment after a huge work.
Whatever it may be, his comments seemed very arrogant and will surely incite more than a few people. There is something to be said for humility and modesty. Dutrow must not have learned during his 47 years. And he certainly hasn't learned how to play things close to the vest.
Only time will tell if his comments come back to haunt him.