Saturday, April 22, 2006

Tough week for me and others...

In 1991 FOX debuted a TV show called “Herman’s Head”. Somehow, my 15 year-old television saturated mind fell in love with this show which counted amongst its young, yet to be famous cast; Hank Azaria and Yeardley Smith.

A contributor on has put together a brief synopsis of the show which gives you a good idea about this show’s overall plot:
“Herman Brooks is an aspiring writer working as a fact-checker at a publisher. While dealing with life in the big city, his inner thoughts are played out by four characters representing his intellect, fear, compassion, and lust. His "outer world" consists of a trivia-trove boss, two female co-workers, one mouse-ish and the other a social-climbing bombshell, and a best friend who’s both a successful writer and a sexist pig”

The beauty of this show was how the viewer was able to literallywatch Herman’s head work out all of the moral dilemmas and difficult decisions each and every one of us has to face on a daily basis.

Unfortunately for me, I have recently been way too wrapped up in my own trials and tribulations to be able to enjoy my passions. My current job seems to at times suck all of the energy and pizzazz out of a once vibrant, fun, sometimes unpredictable existence. 40+ hours a week spent somewhere you really don’t want to be can have a severe negative effect on any creative output, and mine has been hit hard these past few weeks.

Unable to follow the past week’s comings and goings in the world of horseracing, the following are the only two horse related thoughts I came across all week. It took me until late Friday afternoon to see these two things:

1) “Bluegrass Cat's jockey injured, will miss Derby” (
2) “Jockey John Velazquez to miss Derby with shoulder, chest injuries” (

Finally, by 8 pm pt, I was able to understand the full impact of what had taken place in Thursday’s Forerunner Stakes at Keeneland by reading the myriad accounts of this awful event.

Coupled with my recent first time viewing of the Real Sports piece on the Jockeys Guild- filled with horrifying jockey spills- it is difficult to relay the amount of uncomfortably I had in my stomach reading each and every added detail of this story-photos included.

Compounded by the fact that the reprehensible Wayne Gertmanian is still fresh in my mind, all of these recent events add up to a disturbing inner feeling, leading to one uncomfortable horse racing fan.

As far as I go: This story is B-A-D for this sport.

Will it actually have any major impact on anything in the larger scope? Probably not. The Derby will still “sell out” with the maximum 20 entries and a rider will of course dutifully fill-in for Johnny V. The quest for the Triple Crown will go off as planned at 6:04 pm et and all our respective worlds will move on.

I’m fine with that. I just hope this sick feeling in my stomach goes away. I know it’s not just for the jockey. Thinking about that horse-and the many others before it- is just not sitting all that well with me right now.

-Emerald Downs opened for its 10th Anniversary season tonight. A 6pm (pt) post. I am looking forward to making AT LEAST(!) one visit there this year. For the first time ever, Emerald’s Ultimate Qualifying Tournament (for the DRF National Handicapping Tourney) will be asking for an entry fee. No complaints from me. Maybe this year I will be able to get in after being shut out for the past three years. If you’ve never been, Emerald is a really nice track set right at the base (ok, maybe a few miles off) of Mt. Rainier. For the East Coasters and Southern folks, that means a GIANT snow covered mountain just behind the first turn. Good times.


Anonymous said...

I am SO happy they are requiring an entry fee. I got to play last year, but Michael didn't. One of our friends was able to be an alternate, after hanging out to see how many no-shows there were...they burned through all 50 alternates, I am pretty sure.

Anonymous said...

I REALLY like Bluegrass Cat (and AP Warrior), they are both big parts of my Derby tri-box. I just don't know how jockey dependent that horse is.

Freaking racing, the jockey scandal is NOT what we need to bring us into the 21st century. Maybe something will happen like what happened to poker, but I don't see it.

Tom B