Big Brown has fallen shot of winning horse racing's so-called Triple Crown, finishing last at the Belmont Stakes in New York. As VOA's Jim Stevenson reports, the race belonged to an unlikely winner.
The underdog Da'Tara won the 140th running of the Belmont Stakes. At 38-1 odds of winning, Da'Tara set the pace out of the gate.
Big Brown, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, started the long 2.4-kilometer run on the inside rail. He slipped into what appeared to be a comfortable pace in third place. But when jockey Kent Desormeaux asked Big Brown for more speed, the horse did not respond and he pulled up on the final turn.
"When I got outside going into the first turn, I said 'this is is. The race is over. I got it.' And unfortunately there were no popped tires. He was just out of gas," he said.
Denis of Cork placed second, five-and-one-half lengths behind Da'Tara. Anak Nakal was third.
In the week leading up to the race, Big Brown was treated for a quarter crack in his left hoof. It is not clear if it had an impact, or if the very hot weather affected his run.
Veterinarians on hand did not see an immediate cause for Big Brown's last place finish and first career defeat. Big Brown is the 11th horse to fall short of wining all three races since Affirmed in 1978.