Interview with Allyson Latta

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Horseshoes and Asses

Well, if there's one thing I've learned about myself in the last couple of months - I do not have horseshoes up my ass. I have the best intentions, go with my gut, hope for the best and the things I believe most in, don't work out, in fact they have come dead last. Now, that sounds like I'm feeling sorry for myself but honestly, it is what it is. Take the Preakness, I was a nutcase that day. On fire with beliefs, intuition and for those of you who may have read my Preakness blog, the horse and jockey I believed in came out of the gate flying, and ended dead last. At that point, I was a self-admitted Big Brown skeptic. Yet, the minute I set eyes on him on Preakness day, I didn't doubt my gut, it just had a few new kicks in it. Big Brown won that race like nobodies business, and on that day - it wasn't mine. So he won me over and I had no doubt, no doubt, he would take the Belmont and be the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown.

I bought Proseco, rounded up my closest friends, called my folks to ensure they were aware of post time, I did my hair, hyperventilated and ultimately in less time than it takes to sneeze, it was all over and my no-doubt-prediction came, it's even too hard to say now, dead last! Unbelievable. What went wrong - I wrote about it maybe, put it out in the ether, when I should have kept my big mouth shut.

My other theory. Big Brown was ready. Although he did not look the same going into the race, his jockey didn't either. There was a definite change in both horse and jockey's demeanor pre-race. More pressure, sure, I imagine. So then Big Brown steps onto the dirt and his ears prick up, he regains his composure. Looks almost himself. Not bad going into the gate, a little hesitant, comes out of the gate like he just wants to go. "Let me go Kent, let me go. I don't want these ponies in front of me, clear my way buster, let me go. God damn it, let me go. I can do it. I can do it, just let me go, man"

And his jockey appeared to be holding him back. Who knows? We don't really know what's going on between horse and mount but it looked to me like he was struggling to hold his horse back, preserve his energy for the mile and a half race and yet Big Brown wanted to go. He wanted to win. So I'm figuring that when Kent said, okay Buddy, now, go, go." Big Brown said, "You know what, screw you!! I wanted to run right from the get go and now, now, when I'm all messed up you want juice. Forget it man. No way buster. I'm done." I have a feeling at that point his jockey had to do everything from stopping Big Brown from stopping dead in his tracks - on the track, pulling a Seabiscuit.

Communication between horse and rider is huge and I think something went awry in that department. I think Big Brown could have done it - easy. What I've learned, is to keep my mouth shut. Every time I pick a horse to win, they come last. So I'm not about to tell you who I think has the potential to win this Euro Cup. All I can say, I can't, I just can't.

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