NEW YORK - Rick Dutrow Jr., the brash trainer of Big Brown, still was without an explanation Monday as to why his horse failed to win the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown.
He did have enough information to criticize jockey Kent Desormeaux.
"My mind has not changed," he said by telephone from his Aqueduct stable. "I don't know what happened."
Might it have been the lack of the anabolic steroid Winstrol in Big Brown's system? Dutrow didn't rule it out. "Anything is possible in this game," he said.
Giving horses Winstrol is legal in several states, including New York, but it has recently come under scrutiny. Dutrow has admitted to giving Big Brown the steroid before the Kentucky Derby. He also has said he did so before the Preakness, then backtracked, insisting he did not.
But what he has been clear on is that he didn't give it to Big Brown before the Belmont. And Dutrow refused to explain why he stopped doing so. "I don't need to answer that one," he said.
In an interview with the Daily Racing Form, Dutrow turned some blame toward Desormeaux, who eased up Big Brown with a quarter-mile remaining in the race.
"I don't know why he had to do that," Dutrow said.
He also questioned other Desormeaux decisions.
Entering the first turn, Desormeaux took a hard hold of Big Brown and yanked him to the outside, bumping with Anak Nakal.
"I'm sure he didn't have any idea what the hell was going on going into the first turn the way he was switching him all over the damn track," Dutrow said. "I don't know what he was doing."
Desormeaux speculated first about the dry track troubling Big Brown but summed it up this way: "I invited him to join the fray, and he declined. He just decided not to play."