We're big on blame. We love to find out who is to blame for something that sometimes is beyond anyone's control or impossible to explain. That doesn't stop us from trying to assign blame because that's what we love.
Find a human tragedy and you will find a person to blame. Find a product at fault and you will find a corporation to blame, whether or not the humans involved partook of the substance of their own free will.
People smoke cigarettes and sue the tobacco companies for selling them. People eat too much and sue the food producers for making them fat. It's generally someone else's fault and rarely do we take responsibility for our own actions. It's especially true when there are large sums of money on the line, as there was Saturday during the Belmont Stakes.
NEW YORK - Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. still blames jockey Kent Desormeaux for Big Brown's stunning last-place finish in the Belmont Stakes. "I don't want to hurt anyone, especially Kent," [but he will anyway] Dutrow told The Associated Press on Tuesday morning in his barn at Aqueduct. "But I still don't understand what happened. I don't see the horse with a problem, so I have to direct my attention toward the ride. That's all I can come up with."
Of course you don't understand what happened. It's a horse. The horse probably doesn't understand you either. So, let's blame the only other person (besides yourself) that you can think of.
Prior to the race, Dutrow shot his mouth off and told people that Big Brown's Triple Crown victory was a "foregone conclusion." If he had a brain in his head he would know that (a) nothing is a foregone conclusion and (b) he was talking about a horse who really didn't know anything about Triple Crowns or (probably) what was at stake as he ran around in an oval. As is generally the case when someone promises or guarantees something, the opposite occurs. It's simple probability. In most cases, there is a 50/50 chance that the other thing will happen. When somebody tells you that something is a "sure thing" it's not all that certain. Then, when the "unthinkable" happens, we need to assess blame, which (as I said) we love to do.
The most recent case comes where one of the principles is a defenseless animal and the other is along for the ride. During the pre-race show they told us that Big Brown's value, should he win the Triple Crown, would be upwards of 100 million dollars. I don't care who you are, that's a lot of money for horse sperm, so it stands to reason that, when the horse finishes last that it is somebody's fault. Somebody besides the actual participant, who is powerless to speak for himself or the person who trained the participant who is assessing the blame.
"I had no horse. He was empty," Desormeaux said after the race. Dutrow insisted Tuesday he had found nothing wrong with Big Brown.
So, the trainer blamed the jockey and the jockey blamed the horse and the horse ... well, the horse just wants to know where the oat bag is. It isn't (and never was) his money.
And that's where the real blame lies.