Some say the world will end with fire.

Others say with ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those that favor fire.

But if I had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate,

To say that for destruction ice,

Is also great and would suffice.

Robert Frost


"Good things come to those who wait, but, only the things LEFT by those who hustle." - Unknown (at least by me)

"Life is wonderful, without it you are dead." - Hy "Pete" Peterson - Park City and Kenecott Miner

"Don't worry about those people in your past---there is a reason they are not in your present." - Unknown

"Life's tough - it's even tougher if you're stupid." - John Wayne

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary!" - Vince Lombardi

"If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re probably taking up too much space.” ~ Attributed to Jim Whittaker by Doug ‘Swani’ Swantner, Alaska Smokejumper and Air Attack Base Manager (Ret.)

About Me

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I am married and have seven children and twenty grandchildren. I retired January 1, 2010 after working 39+ years for the Forest Service...NEW CHAPTER IN MY LIFE HAS BEGUN!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Horses = Stallions
Mares = Female Horses over two years old.


OK frustration raised its ugly head yesterday when I lost half of my blog -I debated whether to do it again and wondered if I could even get close the second time but thought at least my kids ought to know a little more about the race track than they do. I spent quite a lot of time there with my Grandpa to start with and later as an exercise boy and I even got to ride a few races. I never got good enough to ride the rail like the jockey that rode Mine That Bird though.

I watched the race again last night and I was in awe at how the jockey rode him through the traffic. He shot the gap to come from dead last, then rode to the right around a horse that was blocking the rail nicely. As soon as he passed that horse he pulled Mine That Bird back against the rail and rode him through another gap of less than 18" to take the lead. The gap was certainly there and he certainly took the horse through it. I sat on the edge of my seat as he went through again even though I knew he made it and won the race. Why was I on the edge of my seat? Well for one thing anytime a horse tangles up the front legs the only thing you can count on is the horse is going down and I mean head over heels down. The back legs are nowhere near as sensitive and they almost always recover and just lose a few yards.

SO....Mine That Bird is going to run in the Preakness on May 16th. Was there any doubt in anyones mind when the trainer said we'll wait and see if he comes up sound from the Kentucky Derby. There is so much money at stake now that he has one in the bag it isn't even funny. As of Saturday he is the only three year old out of 400,000 foaled in 2006 that has any chance of winning the Triple Crown - which by the way hasn't been won since Affirmed did it in 1978. No matter how you look at it unless this colt breaks down he will run all three races (the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and The Belmont) - if not because of greed by the owners then because of the pressure from us racing fans - we need another Triple Crown winner - and it is likely to happen this year because every year since 1979 I have taped the races as long as there was a chance of a new winner. I didn't do that Saturday so this colt can also make me personally sorry that I didn't follow my own tradition.

OK here is just a little racing history so you can ponder the SPORT OF KINGS. The Pimlico Race Track opened in 1870, and the first race that was called the Preakness and running the same distance as it runs today was run in 1873 (a long damned time ago). The first Kentucky Derby was run at Church Hill Downs in 1874 (yup the Preakness was established first so it is kind of funny for me to see it running second in these races but that's just how my mind works - or doesn't). The Belmont (the longest and most grueling of the races - and the distance has been played with a lot over the early years) had it's beginning in 1867. I don't know all the history of the rest of the story and can't tell you when they finally started calling the three races the Triple Crown but I do know that there was not a Triple Crown winner until 1919 when Sir Barton won it. I can also tell you that early on there was less than a week between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and only another couple of weeks until the Belmont. The race dates were moved further apart to give the horses a chance to recover and hopefully give us better horse races.

I was going to give you the year and the names of the Triple Crown winners but I have misplaced my little piece of paper with it written on - eleven horses have won it (if you want their names put in a comment on the blog and I will put them in the remarks after I look them up again) - three of them occuring in the 1970's (73, 77, & 78). I remember at that time that I just thought there would be a new winner every year or two. It certainly hasn't turned out that way and it gives me new respect for the horses that were able to win all three - especially early on in the history of these three races.

OK that is the end of the trivia - now back to my other blog that I lost yesterday.

The media is c0mparing Mine That Bird to Sea Biscuit - you know the horse that ran through the depression as the horse that all of the common people won money on. He won all the time and was a great horse even though no one thought he'd amount to anything. Apparently they thought the same about Mine That Bird because they gelded him - and lost all of that breeding potential. Bet they are kicking their butts now - both for cutting him and for selling him for $9,500.00.

SOOOOO........Here is my hope. I hope this horse goes on to run a long, long, long time and actually replaces John Henrie as the winningest horse in history - he didn't win the most money but he did for sure win the most races. Geldings have to run a lot of races to make any money. When I last saw him run he was 15 years old and blew the doors off the competetion. I loved watching that horse not only run but prepare himself on the way to the track for the run. He was named after that STEEL DRIVING MAN and he could damned sure carry the steel around the track. I ran out of time tonight so I'll write about John Henrie tomorrow.

1 comment:

Amber said...

good blog!! :) this is really interesting stuff!