You're right, Stomper, that's only one of many reasons why he could have performed the way he did. To me it's the most logical reason, since he did get electrolytes before the race according to his owner, and according to his trainer the hoof was a "non-issue." A horse as strong and dominant as BB showed himself to be at the Derby and Preakness shouldn't have been bothered by a heavy track to the extent he obviously was in the Belmont, so I can't imagine that's the issue.
I guess they're going to do blood work and other tests, including x-rays, on him in the next couple of days. If those come back negative, I think the focus has to be on the steroids. They're saying that next year steroids should be completely banned from horse racing, so this could be the one and only time they're an issue (if, indeed, they are the issue here).
It's just bizarre that a horse that so destroyed both fields in Kentucky and Maryland should be so utterly defeated in Cali. I really hope it's steroids, though, because the alternative would be something medical, and I'd far rather have him be a victim of roids than a victim of some medical problem.
How 'bout them Huskers!