Thank God I'm Not A Horse
Last night while waiting for friends I was goofing around with my Booberry and in raising MSNBC, read the tragic story of Eight Belles, who finished second in yesterday's derby only to be put down, on the track, just a few minutes later because she broke both front ankles.
I was really quite stunned by this story. Because she couldn't stand to be splinted, they couldn't move her off the track so they put her down right there. As beloved as these incredible animals are to those in the racing world, it struck me as incredibly undignified.
I'm sure my reaction is "uninformed", and that folks deeply enmeshed in the world of horse racing could explain to me why they did things the way they did. But even a whole day later, after a wonderful evening and now on a beautiful sunny day, it seems so awful. It is awful.
I know the horse would have to have been put down. I've heard some pretty horrible stories from a friend who has a horse, and some of the things that happen on the track are tragic. It just seems out of whack to put down a horse like that, right away, still on the track, the adrenaline still pumping, the one filly run in the race.
We have a track here in Northeast Ohio but I've never been. Understanding racing is about as cloudy for me as understanding football. There's an entire culture built around it, protocols and a set of standards about how to dress and what to drink. It's not a world I think I could ever really enjoy. But I know it's a world that lots of people do enjoy and even make quite a living on. Knowing how a horse runs, where he or she puts her weight, what kind of track it is, how the other horses are running -- put all these together and the right mathematician can get himself uninvited to a race for good.
Poor Eight Belles. She beat out a lot of boys in this race. She did very well, as they said at the age of just three years she ran the race of her life. Sometimes you have to do that, work harder and sacrifice more just to get ahead of the boys.
So I know I promised, no more tunes from Chameleon, but this one is the right one. It's called Hoss Race, and it's got a clever gallop that I think even Eight Belles would enjoy. So this one's for her.