Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Catches of Roses and Shakers of Salt

This Saturday is Cinco De Mayo and Kentucky Derby Day. Perhaps at Churchill Downs they can combine the two events. Immediately before post time for the Derby, require all of the jockeys to slam a shot or two of Patron before sending them hurtling down the track atop their respective mounts. Jockeys are mini-sized humans - something akin to postage stamps with limbs affixed - so even in a field as crowded as the Derby one bottle shall suffice. A dozen and a half liquored up Central Americans at the controls of a vehicle with more horsepower than they can handle? That to me sounds more like Bergenline Avenue in Hudson County than the homestretch at Churchill Downs on a Saturday night in early May.

I know as much about horse racing as I do about most things, which is to say that you could pour all of my knowledge into a thimble and still have ample room for your thumb. One of the things that I think I know is that a thoroughbred race horse's name can be no longer than sixteen characters long. If I ever possessed enough money to purchase such an animal I would name it something motivational such as "AFUTUREGLUESTICK" or "NEXTWEEKSDOGFOOD". Not your idea of motivational? You misunderstood my meaning. By "motivational", I meant George Steinbrenner circa-1976 to 1981-type of motivational. The belief that fear is the greatest motivator of all. If motivational does not strike your fancy, then how about a name that embodies what the great steed itself is thinking - both present tense such as "PULLTHEDWARFOFFME" - and a bit further on up the track such as "FUTURESEXMACHINE"?

I am kidding of course....well at least as far as you know anyway. I have never attended the Kentucky Derby. I cannot foresee the circumstances under which I ever shall. I am given to understand that it really is quite a tremendous event. While I do not know whether Tom Swales - an old friend of mine who owns thoroughbreds - has ever attended it as a fan, I hope that at some point in time he has the chance to participate in it as an owner.

Last year, the New Jersey Marathon started on the boardwalk in Long Branch. This year, it shall begin at Monmouth Park Race Track, where Tom's horses do the voodoo they do so well when racing here in the State of Concrete Gardens. Just for fun, I am going to start the Marathon wearing my assigned Bib # on the front of my shirt and a sign on the back of my shirt that has my # on it with the name "AFUTUREGLUESTICK" written above it in bold type. I wonder if I shall get any action....

....note to self: check the Morning Line in Sunday's Daily Racing Form.


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