Tuesday, May 10, 2005


I'm finally back from my fact-finding tour (AKA having a smoke out back).

Looks like those Celtics let me down again! All I can fall back on is last year's Red Sox and Patriots, so I won't complain. Besides, call this sour grapes if you must, but I haven't seen a more insignificant series since... well, since this year's Washington/Chicago series. Basketball realists have just went into hibernation as far as the Eastern Conference is concerned. Wake me when Detroit plays Miami in the spring.

Until then, let's branch out and consider The Sport of Kings, horse racing! First off, that "Sport of Kings" thing is great for promotion, but nothing could be further from the truth. Since royalty is a foreign concept here, let's apply the American Translation. What used to be "Kings" elsewhere, in America, is "rich heartless businessmen" who are convinced that their watching a horserace constitutes competition. -That irony is completely independent of the white trash "royalty" who litter the Churchill Downs center field.

Regardless, I've been a fan of the Triple Crown for a while now, I think my fascination started when Lisa was walking out of the office 2 years ago and said, "I'm going to the Kentucky Derby, want me to make a bet for you?"

To which I muttered, "Ten bucks on the 6 horse." That 6 horse was Funny Cide (which is the way I want to die someday), paid 15 to 1. $150! Horse racing, you have a new fan!

So immediately after last weekend's race, when they said Giacamo was a 50 to 1 winner, all I could think of was "10 made $500! Fortune favors the bold!" Still, the beauty and euphoria of watching the ultimate underdog take the top prize was squashed by the post-race interviews of the favorite, losing owners. NBC couldn't seem to locate Giacamo's owner, if he could get a ticket at all, but they had their cameras locked and loaded on the losing owners.

Maybe this relates back to the American translation of "Sport of Kings", maybe it's widespread in sports, but losing gracefully, with pride and composure, is truly a lost art. Since animals are known to make people more compassionate, I expected a bit of humanity after watching such a powerful spectacle. Nothing. Just pure disappointment, as if he was cheated out of an investment. Not even the trite, "Well, we're just happy for all we've accomplished and for the chance to compete. Ya can't win 'em all!"

The only emotional reaction came from Giacamo's jockey, who rightfully was at a loss of words. Good luck the rest of the way!


At 7:49 AM, Blogger J Shifty said...

Am I the only one who goes to the track just to watch those hot guys who walk the dogs out from the kennels? And not so secretly hoping one of the dogs stops to take a shit on his way past the grandstand?

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Drew said...

If horse racing is the 'sport of kings' then dog racing must be the 'sport of the guy who empties the King's chamber pot'.

There sure didn't seem to be a lot of Kings hanging around Bay Meadows that day we went down around there. Unless of course the concept of 'resplendent flowing robes' has been replaced with 'shirtless, beer in a bag, and drunk by 11AM'.

At 6:30 PM, Blogger Drew said...

Wait a minute! Perhaps I'm a King!


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