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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Some People Got to Have It...

You know that song by the O'Jays, For The Love Of Money, played as the theme song for Donald Trump's The Apprentice, well it came to mind as I read the following quote from former Big Brown trainer Patrick Reynolds in the BloodHorse:

"Of course, I would much rather Big Brown be running in my name in the program. Winning the Derby is a career-changing race. But we couldn’t have sold him and held on to him at the same time. If we had to do it again, we would. You always got to take the money. I wish the connections of Big Brown the best."

All I could think of was, wow, this guy would still take the money (he received 10% of the ~$3M) rather than be sitting on a probable triple crown winner, even with 20/20 hindsight? Really? Are you freakin' kidding me? Does historical significance mean anything to anyone anymore?

Reynolds is the guy who discovered Big Brown for Paul Pompa in the first place through his association with Snake River Canyon, Brown's older half-brother (by Gulch). Reynolds had claimed Snake River Canyon from a Gulfstream trainer, Frank Brothers, for $62,500 in January 2007, and won a $75K race (his only lifetime win by the way), and was claimed back. This was enough for Reynolds to convince Pompa to buy Big Brown at Keeneland's 2yo in training auction in April from a pinhooker for $190K. After his monstrous performance on the turf (11 1/2 length win) at Saratoga on closing day last September, Pompa's phone was inging off the hook with potential suitors. Through the deal to IEAH, Reynolds received a 10% commmission and the horse was turned over to trainer Richard Dutrow (has anyone read anything about this guy?).

Now, maybe I'm old fashioned, and would do anything for a championship ring or playing a professional sport (my four year college basketball career at little Elmira College ended after the 12th round of the 1985 NBA draft to no avail, guess no one wanted a six foot white kid with a 30 inch vertical, thank goodness for that accounting degree!), and if I had the chance to be a triple crown winning trainer, that would be the ultimate accomplishment. I have to assume the same amount of opportunities would come from that as from the money Pompa received to reinvest in new horses for Reynolds to train. I just don't get it. I'm not saying Reynolds had a choice in the matter, it's just his quote that if given the chance for a do-over....

But as the O'Jays say so eloquently in their famous lyrics:

You know, is the root of all evil
Do funny things to some people
Give me a nickel, brother can you spare a dime?
Money can drive some people out of their minds


John said...

Keep the O'Jays references comin. . .can you work in Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes "Bad Luck" while you are at it.

Welcome to the TBA

Alan H. said...

Maybe Reynolds means that given the same circumstances, and not knowing what Big Brown was going to be, he would take the money again. I'm sure if he had a crystal ball and knew how this was going to turn out, he would not have encouraged Pompa to sell.

Superfecta said...

It's also possible Reynolds had concerns about Big Brown's long-term soundness; taking the big pile of money already on the table was probably the safe route.


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