Comparing this years Kentucky Derby to this years Epsom Derby would be like comparing mud wrestling at an airport area titty-bar in Cincinnati to the National Ballet at Sadlers Wells.
I will admit though that they both do have a certain entertainment value.
If the powers that be insist on running the Kentucky Derby in the slop and at the same time insist on a full field of 20 horses,… there will be a possibly industry terminating disaster. Just a matter of time…
The damn Grizzly Bear showed up again. I am finding it difficult to maintain my self-assessed high level of sophistication acquired through a life of hobnobbing with the world’s rich and famous while wandering around the yard with a shotgun under my arm constantly looking over my shoulder for a large hairy carnivore that might actually eat me. I am trying to be Royal Ascot while looking and acting like Jed Clampett. I would like to think that the world values my opinion and good taste, at least the bear values my good taste.
I have a message to every body who is enjoying or has enjoyed a reasonable amount of success in the thoroughbred racing industry….. Listen Up…. We are not curing cancer here… We are not rescuing babies from burning buildings… Actually we are not doing anything at all that benefits society in any way whatsoever. We are providing trivial entertainment, mostly for the idle rich, using horses as a tool. This occurred to me late in the game during a flight back from the UK about a decade ago. I was feeling chuffed with myself having been quickly flown over and back specifically to examine a horse for purchase by a stupidly wealthy egomaniac client. During the return flight I was somewhat prodded into conversation by this very nattily dressed and irritatingly handsome young man in the next seat. In hindsight I went on perhaps a bit too long about how very valued my “expert” opinion on expensive race-horses was and after explaining the whole process and especially my priceless contribution to it, I felt obligated to ask the wide-eyed and obviously impressed inferior exactly what he was doing on the flight. He was visibly self-conscious as he explained briefly and in a soft low voice that he was a Stanford grad and a surgeon, performing free cleft-palate operations on tribal children in Africa for Doctors Without Borders. Virgin-Atlantic Airlines provided them with a free flight home to visit family once a year.
I literally crawled into the seat cushion with the peanut shells and sucked on my thumb for the rest of the flight. Honestly.
Has any of you ever seen and heard John Gosden give an interview after winning a major race? Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love and respect John Gosden. I just wish he would talk to me more often…. kind of. I often find myself hoping the Gosden horse wins the race I’m watching just so I can sit back and enjoy the silky-smooth seamless stream of incredible self-aggrandizing but entertaining bullshit that effortlessly flows from his pie-hole during the inevitable interview. Aiden O’Brien is absolutely painful to watch as he predictably praises the team while uncomfortably staring down at his own shoes. Painful, like a root-canal painful. John Gosden eloquently looks and sounds like he is accepting the Nobel Peace prize.
In my opinion John Gosden could be the best race-horse trainer on earth. He would do well to find himself sitting next to that Doctor sometime. Everybody in racing would. Maybe if he flew coach.
I vividly remember the horse that that pompous client flew me over to look at that time. Of course I bought it. A dismal failure. Useless. Beyond useless. Absolutely fucking useless.
So I am in the middle of delivering yet another misinformed and flawed explanation last week detailing that the bear has not been seen this year because of the high likelihood that the bear, finding itself devoid of companionship has decided to swim off of the island to another where a suitable mate is more likely to be found when the poor sap who is wasting his time listening to me points over my shoulder and says, “isn’t that a bear right over there?” I looked back over my shoulder and responded “Of course that’s a bear. Haven’t you ever seen a fucking bear before?”
The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP for short) have released a statement stating their opposition to the proposed law that would eliminate the race-day administration of Lasix. Medication currently administered for profit by said veterinarians to virtually every race horse in every horse race at every race track in North America. In their opinion eliminating the use of this medication on race day would be detrimental to the longterm health and well-being of the veterinarian. Oops!,.. Typo!,.. Sorry! I mean the horse. Of course they meant the well-being of the horse!!! Let’s ask Exxon-Mobil what they think about climate change.
I have never liked the habit in Europe of putting hoods over horses heads in order to load them in the gate. It was bound to end in disaster sooner or later and now it has. Stupid idea to begin with. While I am on a Europe bashing role here you can stop with those absolutely ridiculous Monty Roberts blankets for the gate as well. How about schooling and teaching the horse to load and behave in the gate to begin with. Horses do not get hooded or blanketed to load in America and even the craziest ones seem to go in just fine. We may be incapable of teaching a horse to canter down to the start without being dragged beside a lead horse but at least they go in the gate when they get there. More professional gate attendants might be a good idea. And just say no to cheekpieces. Those fluffy furry fuzzy fucking flaps are not doing anyfuckingthingatall. Unless you are only interested in making yourself and your horse look silly,… in which case you’re spot on. If you hate the idea of putting blinkers on your horse but you honestly believe your horse really needs them,…. well maybe you should consider therapy. Every single one of those million dollar breeze-up horses that Kerri bought in America had blinkers on when they breezed so damn impressively. Didn’t she notice? Doesn’t care? Now what? Fluffy furry fuzzy cheekpieces and a Monty Roberts blanket? The hood makes it look like they are headed to the gallows…. and so does the look on the jock’s face when they throw it on.
John Ferguson got the sack at Godolphin. Gee, I thought that they were having a pretty good year. I wonder if that makes M.V. “The Judge” nervous. I wonder if anything makes M.V. “The Judge” nervous? The family solicitor showing up at the house with an eraser might make him nervous.
In my experience around racehorses the amount of knowledge any person claims to possess in regards to racehorses virtually mirrors their level of ignorance in the same regard. On the same note, the more real knowledge and experience earned invariably leads to the understanding and sobering realization of just how ignorant one actually is. Beware the young tike who claims to know it all but take time to listen to the old guy on the shank who admits to having a lot to learn.
That probably applies to bears as well as horses.
Even a Grizzly Bear would have more sense than this…
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