Big Brown Shoes

A friend of mine who loves to play the ponies sent me an e-mail recently, linking Big Brown’s stunning loss in the Belmont Stakes to an ancient proverb.

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Perhaps it would be wise to add the following line: For the want of a Triple Crown, a race was lost.

The ancient proverb has been around since the 14th Century, and may have had its beginning with the French military. Benjamin Franklin included a version of the rhyme in his Poor Richard’s Almanack. And during World War II, this verse was framed and hung on the wall of the Anglo-American Supply Headquarters in London,

It all points to a simple fact — you really do have to sweat the small stuff. Just ask Big Brown’s co-owner Michael Iavarone or trainer Rick Dutrow.

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