A Derby of mixed emotions
It should have been a glorious day in Louisville; a big boy named Big Brown won the 134th Kentucky Derby, overcoming a poor starting position and running away with the victory.
Unfortunately, it was the story of the big girl who finished behind him that overshadowed his special day. Eight Belles collapsed and had to be euthanized just after running a spectacular race of her own and placing second. She had broken both her front ankles. A horse might survive one broken ankle, even a front ankle, but it needs to have one good front ankle to balance on in order to stand. With both front ankles impaired, there was no choice but to put the filly out of her misery.
The loss of any horse during a race is tragic. To see a horse who had just run her heart out to a spectacular finish at one of the most prestigious races in the world go down and have to be euthanized is especially so. Her runner-up finish most likely would have made her a serious contender for the Preakness, and the thought of a rematch between her and Big Brown would have generated some good hype for the event. For me, it brought back way too many bad memories of the tragic end of the great filly Ruffian, who also gave her all to win and paid the ultimate price for it. It will be hard to watch the rest of the Triple Crown this year without thinking of what might have been.
Girl power, horsie-style
For the first time since 1905, a filly won the Belmont Stakes today. Rags to Riches began her championship run with the traditional stumble at the gate, then muscled her way past the boys to a nose-to-nose sprint for the finish with the Preakness winner, Curlin before edging past him for the honor of getting 100 lbs. of white carnations slapped on her back and a big fat trophy and payoff for her owners, trainer and jockey.
Apparently winning the Belmont was a matter of sibling rivalry; Rags to Riches' half-brother, Jazil, was last year's Belmont winner. When it comes to sports, little sisters often want to do just what their big brother did--and sometimes, they get their wish.
06/09/07 | Posted by Jade | Category Horse Racing
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I got hate mail! Woohoo!
Apparently someone other than the usual gang happened to read my comment here
, because I got this in the mail tonight:
"Okay, they're heading into full-blown overkill on this now. Giving Barbaro an honor that he has done nothing to deserve is not only an insult to the great Secretariat, but it shows just how desperate the horse racing world is to exploit this particular horse to boost their product. Had any of the other Triple Crown contestants (including the winners of the Preakness and Belmont Stakes) had such an injury, they would most likely have been euthanized on the spot. Barbaro's accident was a tragic end to a career with potential, but it is certainly not a reason to canonize this horse into sainthood."
I am sure you have recieved many angry e-mails concerning this ignorant post of yours. Had you the mind to watch Barbaro's races, maybe you would have seen how incredible this athlete was. Barbaro never lost a race and was always a length ahead of the rest of the field. Make sure you have the facts, in this case the most obvious fact that Barbaro was a 'perfect' horse.
Cut to my reply:
The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved
The Kentucky Derby is something of a big event for those of us from Kentucky, so I'll be out of contact for most of the day. I can't promise I won't be drunk, but there's a good chance of if I end up swinging by the liquor store tonight and getting myself a bottle of high-quality Kentucky bourbon. That remains to be seen.
But if you'll click right here, you'll read what is probably the best summation of the Kentucky Derby experience ever written, by Dr. Hunter Thompson. Of course, these days there's a lot more security and it's a lot harder to sneak liquor in for a proper infield party, but things will never change that damn much. Nervous jittery drunks vomiting on one another, a sea of stinking human bodies.
05/05/07 | Posted by Ron | Category Horse Racing
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Breakin' (a leg) 2: Electric Barbaro
Matronly old women and compulsive gamblers everywhere can now rejoice! Barbaro's got another brother! Now, this new baby horse hasn't even been named yet, but I managed to grab an exclusive picture of him on a surreptitious nightime drive through Lexington.
Click to see the exclusive image!
The Barbaro Conspiracy Files: Barburial
So, even before my investigation into the conspiracy behind Barbaros death is finished, authorities from Churchill Downs are already scrambling to cover up the plot and get that body in the ground where I cant get to it: the grounds of the Kentucky Derby Museum. Derby winners/possible other victims Sunny's Halo (1983), Carry Back (1961), Swaps (1955) and Brokers Tip (1933) are already buried somewhere on the grounds. Whoever the fuck they are.
Theres even talk of Barbaro receiving horse racings biggest posthumous honor: full body burial, just like that little known and lightly regarded flash in the horse pan Secretariat. Oh wait, the little known and lightly regarded one race wonder in this question is Barbaro, whose only contribution to the racing industry was to break his skinny little leg on national television, suffer for 256 days, and then die after they got tired of milking him for his sticky white profit margin and wanted to cash in on their insurance. Why else would there be such a clamor for a quick burial without a proper autopsy?
Considering the fact that Churchill Downs is currently fighting to diversify its interests beyond horse racing into casino gaming (or at least a slots parlor at the Sports Spectrum off track betting facility), adding another attraction to the Kentucky Derby Museum is a good idea, provided they dont go to great expense to build a shrine to Barbaro or something equally retarded. Better to stick up a statue or a plaque, pump out some Barbaro-based merchandise, and start greasing palms in the state government to finally give you that gaming license needed to break into the non-animal-based gambling game.
Slot machines are much more reliable draw than a years worth of media frenzy and a bunch of 40-something cat ladies. With Barbaros corpse, cheap tourist crap, and slots, Churchill Downs is sure to clean up amongst Midwestern housewives. I can smell the money, cigarette smoke, and yeast infection cream already.
01/31/07 | Posted by Ron | Category Horse Racing
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The Barbaro Conspiracy Files: Barbaromosexual?
Folks the flags are flying at half mast today, because the 2006 Deadspin Sports Human of the Year, Barbaro, has (finally) been euthanized. Yeah, sad, I know, but in a way its not sad, and Im not just saying that because Im sick and fucking tired of Barbaro jokes.
Really, theres one reason that horse was kept alive this long, and thats because he was possibly a valuable producer of semen (which if they were smart they wouldve started milking him the day he came out of surgery and started showing a little interest in the poon-tang). He wasnt even guaranteed to be a good stud, but they let him suffer for over 250 days while they tried every thing they could think of to keep him on at least two of his four legs with a moderate chance of survival.
So, would Barbaro have been a valuable stud? Probably not. I think he was actually gay. Thats right, he was a fruit. How can I so accurately call Barbie out as an ass-mounter? Simple.
Barbaro had the perfect life waiting for him. Nothing to do but eat, romp, and get paid millions of dollars to fuck the hottest horses around. Basically he was going to be a less-hairy, smaller-cocked version of Ron Jeremy. And what does he do? Gives up.
Im sorry, but if you promise me millions of dollars, the best food money can buy, and a never-ending supply of fresh pussy, I dont care if you cut off all my limbs and take a lung, Im going to survive. If I have to use my jaw to crawl through a field of broken glass and used heroin needles, Im going to do it. Then again, Im not a matinee idol to hundreds of lonely cat ladies in Middle America. Maybe Big Boss Horse offed himself for a reason.
Or maybe Barbaro wasnt gay at all, but he was set up. Maybe
just maybe, Barbaro was murdered. But who could possibly have something against Barbaro? I have some ideas, but its going to take some top-notch detective work.
01/29/07 | Posted by Ron | Category Horse Racing
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