I have a cat who, independent as he is at times, generally comes when he's called.
But, being that he has that independence and a mind of his own, sometimes he doesn't.
So what's the big deal about Big Brown not kicking it in and going hard when his jockey sought such a response in the Belmont Stakes?
I'm glad they've gone over every hair of the horse to see if he's OK, but why can't anybody associated with the animal air the thought that maybe he didn't want to run?
Yes, he's been trained extensively. But so are seals, whales, dolphins, dogs, etc. And years ago, a whale trainer told me that the biggest thing to remember with those beasts is that they are still animals and inherently unpredictable.
How egotistical is it for trainer Rick Dutrow to think that it's not possible that Big Brown wouldn't go when told to go?
Who's to say that the horse wasn't thinking, "Hey, it's hotter than hell out here and this little guy on my back is nuts if he thinks I feel like running any harder. I'm awfully damned tired and I just want to get a drink of water and lie down."
My cat's smart enough to get some water and find a cool spot on a hot day, whether I'm tossing around his favorite toy or not.
I'll grant a racehorse that kind of intelligence, too.