134th Kentucky Derby

This is a discussion on 134th Kentucky Derby within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Today is obviously a huge day in our lives here in Kentucky, and though Churchill Downs is almost an hour away, the buzz of The ...

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Thread: 134th Kentucky Derby

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    134th Kentucky Derby

    Today is obviously a huge day in our lives here in Kentucky, and though Churchill Downs is almost an hour away, the buzz of The Kentucky Derby permeates and pervades the Bluegrass entire. We are not fortunate enough to be there for the party, but we'll be there in spirit! The atmosphere is thick with anticipation, and it seems like everyone has a special reason for picking "their" horse. The fact that the Thoroughbred industry pays the bills for almost seventy-thousand hard-working Kentuckians means a closer emotional tie to this race versus any other, and of 133 runnings, 100 winners were born in Kentucky!I can only compare it to what it was like in Columbus for a Buckeyes/Wolverines matchup (please note that I didn't mention That State Up North by name).

    It is a rainy day for the Derby, but that doesn't matter to the throng. The turf is officially termed 'sloppy' as the bell for the opening race approaches, and from 10:45 to 7:00, there will be horses off every forty minutes or so, but today, only one race matters - we're all chomping at the bit, to coin an appropriate phrase. Everyone seems to think that Big Brown will win, but I really don't think he has a chance, due to him drawing the starting position furthest from 1, the 20 spot. This means he's got to take an early lead and get inside fast, then hold the lead for the longest race in the entire sport (the Derby is one-quarter mile longer than most races), which is why he won't win on a less-than-perfect track.

    Around our house, we're watching two horses in particular - neither one is the favorite. Today, my heart is on Eight Belles. In addition to her firey attitude and grit which have earned her four first place finishes in her last four starts, she is the first filly to race in the Kentucky Derby in nine years. It would be stellar to see a filly show the boys up (what the hell...it happens everywhere else - why not in horseracing?).

    Going with the smart choice - and I am blisteringly more intelligent than I sometimes appear (maybe it is a bald-guy thing, right guys?) - I think anyone who has looked at these horses cannot deny that one stands alone - Colonel John - as a truly magnificent specimen. He is something of a freak of nature when it comes to asthetic perfection, and I really think he's got the best chance to win. If you want blazing sprints on the home stretch that bring you to the edge of your seat, THIS is your horse...

    YouTube - 2008 Santa Anita Derby - Colonel John
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

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  3. #2
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    I am not a horse racing fan but I always enjoy the Kentucky Derby. One hundred thirty four years is quite a tradition. I enjoy the pomp and grandeur of the event, the large hats and I am always mystified that so many people know the words of 'My Old Kentucky Home.'

    Big Brown ran an extraordinary race and will be a favorite to win the Triple Crown. Condolonces to the people associated with the tragic race of Eight Belles. What a performance! These wonderful equine athletes are so very fragile.

    At one time, horse racing was one of the top three sports in America. It is called the Sport of Kings. It is sad that a once beautiful sport has fallen to be now synonymous with low lifes, scum and hapless gamblers.

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    VIP Member Array cdwolf's Avatar
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    GUN CONTROL= I WANT TO BE THE ONE IN CONTROL OF THE GUN

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    That had to be pretty bad for everyone there.

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    Member Array mtnfreak's Avatar
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    Just for being so skilled at pulling a random slip of paper out of a hat, I get a free lunch next week. Thanks Big Brown!
    Law without force is impotent.
    Blaise Pascal

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    Member Array KG4ZRC's Avatar
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    No comment.

    Other than... When will they learn to not race 3 year olds?

    Most horses aren't even being ridden until they are 2+ years old... I consider the sport barbaric. YMMV

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    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post
    a once beautiful sport has fallen to be now synonymous with low lifes, scum and hapless gamblers.
    This is the same mindset that thinks all gun carriers are mindless separatist nuts. Sad that you subscribe to a stereotype. I might take umbrage, but I realize that you simply don't know what you're talking about. For those that posted criticism of the entire industry, flinging words like 'barbaric' with little or no education about what they were posting, go read a book about these animals and their care.

    What I consider barbaric is criticizing ANYONE when you don't have any idea what you're talking about.
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

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    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Well, it is clear that I shouldn't get my heart involved in horse racing. Perhaps some of you don't know, but the beautiful Eight Belles was immediately euthanized after completely shattering both sets of bones in her lower front legs. She ran a fantastic race, and was the only challenger to the winner, Big Brown. She took second place, but on the cool-down lap had a catastrophic event and was quickly put down.

    This kind of thing is really hard for people to understand, especially if they're not involved with Thoroughbred racing. To explain further, in a situation where one leg is broken, often a horse recovers very well (provided the delicate blood supply pathways are not damaged). This involved LOTS of time in casts, and quite often results in a situation where other limbs are compromised. This was the case with the Kentucky Derby winner last year, the much-lauded Barbaro. While the actual injury healed well, especially considering the severity, his other limbs developed laminitis and he was euthanized because he could not live without enduring excrutiating pain. Horses cannon lie down for long periods. Their lungs will collaps after a few short hours on the ground, such is the mass of their body. To try and save her would be unfair to her, and she ultimately would die a much more painful death, and very shortly at that.

    Eight Belles was put down because there was no recourse. She would not have been able to support her own weight during any sort of healing process. Some of you watching may have seen Dr. Larry Bramlage (one of Kara's mentors) talking to the media just after he made the decision to euthanize. He is the director of the American Assoc. of Equine Practitioners, and is regarded as the foremost authority in equine orthopaedic surgery in the world. If Dr. B makes a call to euthanize a horse, it is because there is absolutely no chance that the horse would live out a healthy life. He said, ''She was easing down, near an outrider by the seven-eighths pole, when her rider saw both ankles collapse. I was shocked to hear him call out. The left front break opened the skin and the injury was contaminated. The right had a broken sesamoid. She did not have a front leg to stand on even to get into the ambulance. In this case, there is absolutely nothing you can do.''

    All of this is rationalization, of course. What happened has sucked the very air from our chests, and our Kentucky home is a somber place. All the bravado and reasoning does little to stay the feeling that justice has no place here, and understanding takes great wisdom. It is important to see that, without this industry, this amazing horse would never have been conceived. Her entire life, she was pampered. Her athletic ability earned her a place in racing history, but ALL of her siblings and barn-mates are loved and cared for in meticulous fashion. While it may seem an unfeeling miscarriage of goodness, this sort of thing is inherent to racing. It serves to remind me that it is no easy thing to be a champion, and the risks are greater than most realize.

    In the spirit of this sport, our thoughts now turn to the heroic Big Brown. It is hard to believe that we haven't seen a Triple Crown winner in thirty years - since Affirmed won all three keystone races in the sport back in 1978. There were three winners in the seventies, but since then, the industry hasn't seen a true champion unite the Big Three races. Perhaps Big Brown will be the next to join the likes of Seattle Slew, Affirmed and the mighty Secretariat. Our fellow Kentuckians are thrilled to see a great runner like Big Brown win in such majestic fashion, but it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to the explosive filly that captured our hopes. Personally, her death will leave scars. It will be difficult to rally behind another horse to the same degree.

    Eight Belles will be buried this week on the beautiful Fox Hills farm where she trained. The starting trumpets will mark her passing (as they do for all great runners), and they will mark her grave with a simple headstone bearing her name and her record. The sun will rise and fall on her picturesque final resting place, and she will always be remembered in our most romantic reflections of this passionate sport. The pain of her loss will not soon fade, but as with all heroes, her tragic death will not be the hallmark of her life. She will be remembered as a champion.

    G'bye, belle. We hardly knew ye.
    A man in the hands of his enemies is flesh, and shudderingly vulnerable. - author unknown

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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scot Van View Post
    What I consider barbaric is criticizing ANYONE when you don't have any idea what you're talking about.
    Just curious, but where do you think I criticized someone?

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    Rule #2 On The Forum Rules Page

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