Monday, May 18, 2009

You Go Girl!

Did you hear what happened over the weekend in the fascinating, thrilling, unpredictable world of thoroughbred horse racing?

At the 134th running of the Preakness Stakes at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, for the first time ever, track officials didn't allow the spectators to bring in their own beer, so the thrill and buzz seekers went to the NASCAR races instead.

A forever-lost Preakness Tradition

Also. . . .

A little girl beat the blinders right off of the 12 boys she was running against.

Coming out of the 13th slot, the 3-year-old Filly named Rachel Alexandra became the first female to win the event in 85 years, since Nellie Morse made the boys cry way back in 1924. Not even Nellie Morse's daughter, Nellie Flag, could accomplish what only 5 females have been able to do.

When asked after the race how she was able to leave all the men in her dust, Rachel, who could have truthfully gloated about how the rest of the competition were a bunch of losers, instead tactfully responded with just an enthusiastic whinny. The comment was later translated into, "All the men were horsing around, making dismissive jokes at my expense before the race, commenting on my manicured nails, trying to make me feel self-conscious about the white spot on my forehead, and my "unlucky" number 13, telling me that I belonged in the WNBA, which didn't even make horse sense. I just used all that energy to motivate me to prove to them, that although my name was not Babe Didrikson Zaharias or Ruffian, it WAS Rachel, and I had every right to be there." Indeed, it was a loooong whinny.

Finishing right behind Rachel was Mine That Bird, the Kentucky Derby upset winner, who made his characteristic late charge from the rear only to come up full length short of the galloping gal. When interviewed after his galiant but futile gallop, Mine That Bird was tight lipped in his response and gave only "genetic predisposition" for his noticably long face.

Now with two of the three major races out the way, each with a different winner, there will not be a Triple Crown winner again this year. Nonetheless, the Belmont Stakes, the final and most challenging race of the three, is shaping up to be as exciting as an NBA game seven between Magic Johnson's Lakers and Larry Bird's Celtics. After a gruelling test at the first two races, the showdown at the 1.5-mile track between the Kentucky-slighted Ms. Alexandra "the Great," and the Preakness-slighted Mr. That Bird will will be exciting to watch. Who will win the two-out-of-three battle of the sexes? Will Ms. Alexandra be the Billie Jean King of the Belmont or will Mr. That Bird be the Peter Sellers of the classic British comedy, or will it be more like the upcoming collaborative album by Ludacris and Shawnna?

Although neither horse will have a chance to win the coveted "Triple Crown Oats Bucket" this year, there is still possibility that a Triple Crown winner will be crowed. How can that be? It turns out that Mine That Bird's little jockey in the Kentucky Derby, Calvin Borel, didn't ride him again in the Preakness. Instead, Mr. Borel mounted a different horse (with the help of a ladder) for the second race. That horse was Rachel Alexandra. This begs the question: how did he KNOW to do that? Is Mr. Borel so talented that he can race ANY horse to victory, or did he just get lucky in sitting on two animals who would have with a 120-lb sack of flour on their backs? I guess we'll just have to get the answer to that question in a few weeks at Belmont. It would be interesting, although highly unlikely if a 120-lb sack of flour existed and also entered the race, and if Mr. Borel mounted a thoroughbred by the name of "Born To Lose," or "Congenital Defect."

I wouldn't bet on it.

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