Jockey Kent Desormeaux still can't figure out what went wrong in Big Brown's last-place finish in the Belmont Stakes.
"Regardless of whether I had to earn it or not, I don't think it would have mattered what kind of trip I had, it just wasn't Big Brown's day," Desormeaux said Saturday after accepting the trophy for his Kentucky Derby victory at Churchill Downs.
Earlier this week, trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. questioned Desormeaux's ride and his actions following the Belmont loss, but Desormeaux said they are on even terms now.
With Big Brown trying to become the first Triple Crown champion in 30 years, Desormeaux said he wasn't easing off the unbeaten colt in the first jump.
"Everyone who thinks I grabbed him to slow him down in the first jump is in err," he said. "I had every intent of going to the front, but unfortunately he bolted leaving the gate."
Desormeaux said after he straightened out the horse, he started to focus on gaining on the leader.
"When I thought leader was getting away too easy and I went to chase him, I had no horse under me," he said. "The race was over at the five-eighths pole for me."
Desormeaux said he didn't immediately talk with Dutrow because he wanted to analyze his riding.
"In those three days I was able to investigate myself," he said. "We're on the same page now."
Desormeaux returned to Louisville to race in the $1 million Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs, highlighted by the appearance of 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin.