Sunday, May 21, 2006

'Tis a tough day....

Where do you even start talking about yesterday’s tragic, eventful day of horse racing?

It is times like these that truly challenge a neophyte’s writing skills. All of the emotion. Huge quantities of action –both on and off the track. Is it insensitive to focus on the race and betting rather than the tragedy and transcending pain?

One interesting note I came across was over at LATG, where a reader commented about Barbarino’s early exit from the gate – a false start if you will:

“Do you think it possible that Barbaro knew he was hurt, and busted out of the gate to spare himself from running the race? It seems like odd behavior, for a horse who seemed to genuinely love a good race...”

Very interesting. I brought this idea up to the girlfriend who grew up on a horse farm and demanded that I stop the TiVo so we could watch the race together. She loves to tell me over and over how stupid the t-breds are and how high strung and difficult they are/can be. When I posed this eerie theory (is that allegory or alliteration?) she poo-pooed it rather succinctly:

“It’s not likely that there was any THOUGHT put into breaking through the gate early to TRY and get scratched. There is no logic going on with the horse linking breaking through the gate early and not having to race. However, there is a good chance that he WAS feeling something awry within. This subconscious physiological action that was making him feel completely out of whack – a sense of not being right - dictated the action that pushed him forward prematurely.”

I buy it.

But in the end, who really cares. It was a sickening event and continues to try the soul.

A sadder fact though, is that a lot of people are pretending to actually care about the horse, when we all know deep down, for those vested, this is strictly “monetary based sympathy.”

However, for once I will forgo the cynicism and pessimism and offer the following:

Larger than winning a triple crown, could this horse EVER get well enough to race again and WIN? That would be the biggest story, the greatest pr push this sport could ever have. It’s not likely, but it would be nice.

Finally, did we need any more evidence of exactly who and what Fran Stronach actually is? Thanks for ending all of the doubt about your character, sir.


Michael T said...

"Fran" I love it! thats his name from now on...

Jolene said...

Barbaro's connections were put up by CD in the same hotel as us...we were only a few doors apart. Talk about some nice people. Where many top-tier owners will be dismissive of fan-types, both the Jacksons and Matz spent a good deal of time chatting with the front desk/housekeeping employees, giving them special "Barbaro" trinkets they had made for friends/family, etc. I was reminded for a moment of Bob Lewis, and the way he'd share that same kindness with fans who approached him. It was clear that, despite having two runners in the derby, the Jacksons most loved their homebred Barbaro. He seemed special to them, it came across in the way they spoke of him.

While I may have not been a Barbaro fan at that moment, I certainly became a Lael Stables fan. The sport needs more folks like the Jacksons.

Handride said...

10 days is enough of the mourning.