Tina Fey was a guest judge, so too was Eva Longoria-Parker, joining Seinfeld on the stage. The three watch a dispute between a marriage, season the discussion with observational humor, and then the Marriage Ref rules in favor of the husband or wife.
It was funny, but I still went to bed to read the fantastic “The Breaks of the Game” from the invincible David Halberstam.
The Marriage Ref could be used with this story by Bill Finley about the Medusa-ugly saga of I Want Revenge, which is hairier than Frank and Jamie McCourt’s divorce.
I can see one of these owners taking a power saw and dividing this colt in two.
After Big Brown’s marvelous sophomore year and the continued success of IEAH’s other horses like Kip Deville and Benny the Bull, IEAH president, Michael Iavarone, was out for yet another home run. He had just bought Stardom Bound, who tanked worse than a supernova, so he put I Want Revenge in his crosshairs.
David Lanzman, owner of I Want Revenge, sold shares of this colt after the its explosive win in the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. Smelling a Derby contender, IEAH stepped in with $3,75 million plus a $1 million bonus after I Want Revenge’s marvelous Wood Memorial triumph. The rich get richer.
I Want Revenge was scratched the morning of the Kentucky Derby. Then the manure hit the fan. His value fell faster than Tiger Woods’ reputation. IEAH said it would pay $550,000 for the colt. A deadline passed. No money. Lanzman sued.
Lanzman, as quoted in Finley’s article, said, “People have told me that I have a dispute with these guys. Using that word is like saying Bernie Madoff’s investors had a dispute with Bernie Madoff ... Every time I turn the other cheek, I get punched again on the other side.”
It was said that IEAH sold more than 10 percent of the colt to investors, breaching the contract Lanzman and IEAH had signed. Lanzman sued. IEAH said that Lanzman had knowledge of the colt’s injury prior to IEAH’s purchase. IEAH countersued.
“The whole thing is disgusting,” Iavarone told Finley. “Then he brings a lawsuit against us to create negative media surrounding us in an attempt to get money. He’ll get his day. I promise you that.”
What to do?
The celebrity panel of marriage judges has listened to these horse owners squabble. They’ve listened to them fight over the soundness of a horse, the millions of dollars involved, and Rick Dutrow is nowhere to be found!
Tina Fey, “Whatever happened to the old days when men just put a beer your hand, a stripper in your lap, and you called it even?”
Eva Longoria-Parker, “I’d do that.”
Jerry Seinfeld, “What’s the deal with airline peanuts?”
Fey, “Jerry, what ... what does that mean?”
Seinfeld, “Do you like slow-pitch softball? Because I hit a whopper the other day!”
Marriage Ref, “I can see this is going nowhere, so let’s settle this once and for all.
“Mr. Lanzman, I have determined that you had prior knowledge to the colt’s health before you sold shares to IEAH. You must renege your lawsuit and be happy with your $4.75 million.
“Mr. Iavarone, sure you’ve gotten a bad rap over the last couple years, some deserved, some not. You will pay Mr. Lanzman $300,000 for the colt instead of the previously-agreed-upon $550,000.
“For the pair of you, neither is allowed within 500 yards of I Want Revenge. He will be placed in a foster home where he will be the next Harry Potter.
“The Horse Who Lived.”
Brendan O’Meara blogs about horse racing here at HRI and at The Carryover. He also blogs about narrative nonfiction and his book project “Six Weeks in Saratoga” at The Blog Itself. His Web site is www.brendanomeara.com.