Okay so we are now finally a day away from the Belmont Stakes and quite frankly, I'm going to have to agree with Big Brown's trainer, Rick Dutrow; I just cannot see how Big Brown is going to lose this race. Assuming Big Brown is healthy, and assuming all of the other horse are healthy as well (unfortunately there is word that Casino Drive has come down with a bruised hind foot today), it just seems hard to imagine that another horse can win.
Big Brown is thus far undefeated, so it is somewhat ridiculous to talk about the way to beat Big Brown. It has not happened yet, so any talk of how to beat Big Brown is pure speculation. However, one can certainly take some guesses about how it would be possible. Based on watching the races in which Big Brown has run thus far, in order to beat him, a horse would have to debilitate Big Brown's kick. Based on watching these horses run, Big Brown seems to easily have the highest top speed. In order to beat Big Brown, another horse would have to set dangerously fast fractions (:23.x, :46.x, 1:10.x perhaps) and hope that Big Brown follows and wilts on the final straightaway. The problem with this scenario is that (1) Big Brown has shown thus far that he totally responds to Kent Desormeaux's commands and Desormeaux would likely not allow Big Brown to chase an insane pace and (2) I don't really see any horse in this field setting such a suicidal pace.
The problem with picking another horse against Big Brown is that despite the fact that some of these other horses might be closers, I don't think that any of them have demonstrated anywhere near the closing speed to handle Big Brown's finishing acceleration. The paces off of which Big Brown delivered those bursts were legitimate paces, slow by no means. What this means is that Big Brown should have been able to handle even stronger paces, if other horses had set them. Sure, Big Brown may have not had quite the ending acceleration that he has displayed in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but against the horses he has faced so far, he would not have needed it as he would have separated from them with ease at those paces. The bottom line is that there does not appear to be any horse here that will take that kick out of Big Brown. Casino Drive may be a more talented horse than any other Big Brown has faced so far (and I do say he may be more talented because many people thought that some of the competition was pretty strong in the Kentucky Derby before Big Brown dispatched those horses with ease), but much of the hype concerning Casino Drive is based on two things. The first thing is his victory in the Peter Pan Stakes four weeks ago that I would argue is a weaker performance than any of Big Brown's last three races. The second thing is that Casino Drive's half siblings have won the last two Belmont Stakes races and so the story is that Casino Drive was "bred" for the distance. Yes, rather than seeing the last two Belmonts as some sort of a fluke occurrence (which it very may well be), I think that because there are many out there who do not respect what Big Brown has done and do not respect Big Brown's capabilities, they are willing to so easily talk themselves into giving Casino Drive a questionable edge.
I just cannot see Big Brown losing to these horses.