Sports Illustrated’s Dan Patrick interviewed Kent Desormeaux on Monday—the transcript is here, as well as a link to the audio file.
Initially, he blames the track, just like Iavarone. “The slippage, the first step out of the gate, probably was his demise,” he says. If you skim about half-way down, he is asked, “You're still going to continue to race this horse, right?” His response: “Absolutely. I think they've got two races in mind. They want to run him once before he attempts to win the Breeder's Cup Classic.”
Dan Patrick: “So, two races that you know of that they'll race him, are you going to be the jockey for those two races?”
His response: “Yes I will, Dan. There's definitely no one pointing a finger in my direction. In fact, I've been complimented by the trainer and the owner. Believe me, I was spanking on him, encouraging him to run until I was last. Icabad Crane came inside me, bumped me out of the way, and proceeded on his endeavor to win the race, but at that point I was already like seventh and backing up fast.”
“I love horses, they have given me everything that I have. There was no way that I was going to beat this horse up to be last by then. Why not just be last in an easy fashion? It didn't make sense to me at all and at that point, when I couldn't keep up with the last place horse, I thought, Listen, let's take this home, get him home safe, and recharge his battery.”
Obviously he hadn’t yet heard Dutrow’s comments to the media, but it sounds like there is certainly some conflict brewing, with Iavarone saying he isn’t pointing fingers at Desormeaux while Dutrow does. Also, it's pretty clear Desormeaux did not believe Big Brown was injured; for whatever reason, he just wasn't the same horse.
Also regarding the Belmont, I'm curious....what’s the connection between Bo Derek and Tale of Ekati? ABC showed her in his saddling area before the race, and I have seen photos of her wearing a Tale of Ekati pin. Just a celebrity fan with great access or is she dating Barclay Tagg? (That last part was a joke.)
Also, it didn’t occur to me at the time to look, but was Funny Cide the lead pony for Tale of Ekati in the post parade? I’ve looked for photos and clips online to no avail. Did anyone else notice? What irony that would have been if Ekati would have been the one to deny Big Brown with Funny in attendance....