Wow we had some ups and downs last week with our race horses. The first was Alabama Bound back after a 7 month and 10 minute lay off (10 minutes standing in the gate waiting for everybody to load) who took the lead and slowed everybody down with a nice relaxed front end pace then at the last second just got nipped at the wire for the whole enchilada.
Cliffs of Dover who was with in striking distance the whole way around the track and kicked so hard at the top of the stretch you could see the turf fly out from beneath his hooves. But alas, he just couldn’t pass the horse who also set a very slow pace for much of the race and got squeezed by the outside favorite to just miss the place spot. Both very exciting races that left us breathless and voiceless.
Then comes the head scratcher. So far one of the best horses PGR has owned and raced; Sanctify was also coming off a long lay off but by the looks of his work outs and the fast times he’s been posting we were all dressed up and ready to get our picture taken. Now in case you are not familiar with this very fast animal, he holds a track record on the turf at Beautiful Belmont Park for 6 furlongs, one of two very fast races he's won. The other one being a mile and a 1/16th at The Spa in 139 and change just 3 ticks off of the Spa track record. And we all know how tough and fast the racing is at the upstate watering hole! Last Saturday our boy (wait he’s a man now) breaks like a shot, goes with the leaders in a 21 for the1/4 and 45 for the 1/2 and then for no reason at all just packs it in. Yes, you heard me... just throws in the towel, walks off the field, heads to the pit crew. The Jock said and I quote, “First I have horse and then I have no horse”. And we are all still scratching out heads. It's the beauty of the sport that horses can’t talk otherwise it would be just like baseball or football and who needs more whiny cry baby drama.
But it would be nice to have some clue or indication of why such an accomplished equine athlete just packed it in. Yes there is and it's what explains most of what goes on with horses, it's the explanation with no equal and no answer: Sh*t happens! Yes that’s about it. Its actually a great explanation that's very easy to understand and if you can’t live with it then horses (and most other things related to Mother Nature) will drive you crazy or drive you to drink. Hell they drive us to drink anyway either celebrating or drowning our sorrows, that’s why we keep coming back to the Pub for another! So we swallow a round and brush off the the defeat and get ready for the next one. As long as the horse is sound and he can run, then run again he will. We'll be ready to cheer him on because that's what horse racing is all about: the hopes and dreams of future valiant victories!