Paddock to Post — Triple Crown Diary

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: May 8, 2008

Kentucky DerbyPHILADELPHIA — After the astounding performance of Big Brown, two scenarios are in effect: As in the Florida Derby victory, the win in style was decisive, and credit must be equally meted out to trainer Rick Dutrow and jockey Kent Desormeaux for knowing how much horse they really had; as the clear run from post position No. 20 aided Big Brown’s safe trip around traffic without stealing any late foot in his stretch drive.

Secondly, the tragedy that was the death of Eight Belles was further defamed by the parasites who compile the group calling itself People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The efforts of these media whores to attempt to destroy rider Gabriel Saez’s career before it could begin in earnest is another attempt to find a new Vick – tim for their spurious spewing and sham spouting of false expertise as to what the rider should have done.

This much I can speak on in all the years I’ve followed horse racing. People may swear at a horse and rider for not performing up to expectations, but when a horse goes down, everyone collectively fears and hopes for a safe outcome for both.

These bastards from PETA would’ve been, in my opinion, happy if Saez had gone down and maybe ended up injured or worse. And their indignation seems to always be very selective.

We didn’t hear a peep from these pricks when Barbaro went down about jockey Edgar Prado’s handling of the horse – what would make them think Saez cared any less about Eight Belles than Prado did about Barbaro? Or not be as concerned about the horse’s safety?

Not a blessed thing. Just another opportunity to rail about things they know nothing about; and fuck anyone who gets in way of their agenda. As a pet owner and lover, I am disgusted at the actions of these lowlifes and bullies, who want the world on their terms.

I’ll say it again – these are the same muthafuckas that tried to pimp the sympathies of hundreds of thousands of people in Vancouver, Canada by equating mutilated bodies of dead women by convicted serial killer Robert Pickton to animals being killed in slaughterhouses.

Only a rare spark of ethics (or guilt) by a Vancouver paper stopped them from publishing that propaganda.

Which brings me to another aspect of this, sorely lacking in the scope of this genuine tragedy. Whenever thoroughbred racing receives its moments in the spotlight, the expertise of the jockeys is never emphasized to the point where the lay person can appreciate the ride of anyone other than the winner.

In a field of 20 horses, some of the best rides come from those riders who have the sense of sportsmanship, courtesy and skill to assist in ensuring their colleagues get through a race like that with as few incidents as possible.

In part, it is because of the magnitude of the event that the aptitude of the rider is downplayed. As much as I appreciate boxing, I feel the men and women who mount up every day at tracks around the world – thoroughbred race jockeys — are the best pound – for – pound athletes in all of sport.

Race Redux

So what of our choice, Pyro? A repeat on the broadcast camera angle isolating Pyro (No. 9) was “squeezed” at the start by Visionaire (No. 8) and Colonel John (No. 10).

The pinching effect took Pyro out early and Pyro closed from 17th to eighth at the finish. This is a tactic, which can at times, throw a horse out of sync and hamper their performance.

As to our bets, we lost – but not by much. Had Tale of Ekati held on for third at 47-1, we would’ve caught the trifecta and did all right; but no excuses.

So we start out in a Triple Crown hole of minus 296 ducats. We’ll get ‘em next time. We know the field will be smaller in the Preakness.