Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Horse Soccer Moms
What’s with all the one-ups-manship? Breeders’ Cup Classic purse butts up against the Dubai World Cup, so Dubai ups it by $4 million to $10 million. Your neighbor saw you string up a classy Santa Claus so he then lit up the block like Chevy Chase. And maybe the worst of all, Rachel Alexandra has a 125-colt so Zenyatta then has a 130-pound colt. For a couple of mares who never raced against one another, they just won’t let it rest.
The pictures of both colts are endearing. Rachel’s baby runs around like a freak and Rachel seems to be a good mom. Sometimes those rock-steady race mares bottom out as mother’s, but this picture of Zenyatta curling up to her foal shows that she’s been able to turn the page in her career.
I blasted Twitter with the question concerning my column’s topic this week and got one response … consequently from one of my two loyal readers (hey, that’s 50 percent) … and he suggested that to determine who is the best mother, Zenyatta needs to be bred to Curlin. It’s what any good scientist would do. Rachel Alexandra will be bred to Bernardini so the logical extension is to hook up Curlin and Zenyatta for yet another Horse of the Year ménage a deux.
Mothers (fathers too, for that matter) out there doing their baby-engendered activities want their kids to kick the living horse crap out of each other. They won’t admit it (the cool ones will), but every parent thinks their kid is Darwin’s gift to evolution. Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, though not capable our supreme consciousness (that same supreme consciousness that scams people out of billions of dollars, invented the Snuggie, and sends boys to kill other boys) must feel the same, right? You can picture it: Rachel brings orange slices to one soccer game; Zenyatta then brings a keg of Gatorade. Rachel hosts a spaghetti dinner; Zenyatta then brings over a Crock Pot full of brojules. Rachel won the Woodward, Zenyatta won the Classic.
And what’s to stop these mares from dressing their kids up like Ralphy from “A Christmas Story”? Trust me when I say this isn’t too far off. Look no further than Hidez, a full-body equine compression suit “specifically engineered garments [made with] fabrics cut in specific ways, then sewn together and strategically placed around the garment to focus in on certain muscle groups.”
This is worse than your mother trying to clean your ears as the bus approaches at 40 miles per hour down South Pickens Street.
Now, as some of you know, my day job takes me into the bowels of specialty running. We sell compression socks. They deliver more blood to fatigued muscles. Hidez’s science makes sense, it’s everything else that doesn’t.
For $900, this is exactly the kind of thing a horse owner with too much money might buy. It’s hard enough getting a horse’s legs wrapped and getting them to stand in an ice bath. Imagine Michael Matz wriggling Union Rags into his very own compression astronaut uniform. When I see technology like this I wonder what Woody Stephens or Sunny Jim might think. (Just found out next week’s column could be about. You see, creativity hits at such unpredictable times. What a world!)
The Hidez even has an open back end for those uncontrollable bouts of digestion that simply can. Not. Wait.
If I owned a horse I wouldn’t want him looking like a damn Power Ranger. Catwoman? Hmm, now we’re talking.
As for Rachel and Zenyatta, isn’t it great that the two delivered healthy colts? First hurdle jumped, no?
Brendan O’Meara wrote a book. He also tweets riffs on horse racing and writing.