It’s pretty twisted stuff. Not only is Suzanne Collins’s creation sacrificing the lives of 23 people to maintain order in her world a hot mess, but she has that lottery be sampled from a pool of 12-18 year-old boys and girls. The tributes, as they are called, train together for two weeks, fly to the “arena” together, then are separated before surfacing on the periphery of a giant circle lined with mines. Oh, and the best part, it’s reality television and entertainment for the rich people of the capital. Oh, and there’s a tote board with the winning odds for each tribute. Yeah, sick and mesmerizing stuff. Oh, and they broadcast the images of recently slain into the sky so you can see who just died.
The odds of winning are about as strong as breeding a Derby winner. Imagine a world where rich people cheer on tributes in a circular arena where there can be only one winner. As in the case of the “Hunger Games” it was a dead heat with Katniss and Peeta, kind of like Brother Derek and Jazil in the 2006 Kentucky Derby … if Katniss and Peeta were to finish fourth.
The other character is Elizabeth Banks’s Effie Trinket. Who is that? and why am I strangely attracted to her? She, of course, played Marcela Howard in “Seabiscuit”.
There’s a third character and, wait, no, there’s no mistaking it, that’s Woody Harrelson playing a damn fine drunk. The parallels to horse racing are everywhere, just everywhere.
Katniss ended up being the favorite to be the last one standing after the teenagers and pre-teens slaughtered each other, and, according to one Todd A. Pletcher, Union Rags is the Katniss heading into early April.
“I would say that Union Rags would be a one seed, Gemologist would be a one seed, Hansen would be a one seed, and Creative Cause would be a one seed,” he said during an NTRA teleconference.
The Wood Memorial gets Gemologist, an undefeated son of Tiznow, your classic one seed, and possibly No. 2 overall.
As Effie Trinket might say, “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
Brendan O'Meara is the author of Six Weeks in Saratoga. Follow him on Twitter, please.