Horse of the Year Invasor traveled half way around the world, was without his usual medication Lasix, permitted in America but verboten in Dubai, was taken out of his game when forced to attend the moderate pace of a classy rival, and fired generously to win the second fastest running in the history of the Dubai World Cup.
Then, four hours later in South Florida, Fountain of Youth Stakes winner Scat Daddy confirmed that victory by gamely withstanding the dual 3-year-old stakes-winning Notional in a dramatic stretch run after being used aggressively in the early running. Eastern Mega Barn Todd Pletcher first; Western Mega Barn Doug O'Neill second. At racing's highest levels, competition brings out the best in the thoroughbred game.
Now I know Ohio State, Florida, Georgetown and UCLA played aggressive defense. You don't make it to the national semi-finals with offense alone. But talk about underachieving? None of these teams played this year's Final Four at a high level. The games were worse than disappointing. They were awful.
Now racing's stewards can be no bargains, often acting like little more than traffic cops looking for lane violators. But I'm sick of "the whistle." Is it me or do the majority of calls seem to favor the higher seed? Sorry, but college players should not be treated with the same deference as Michael Jordan of Chicago Bulls fame. Had the whistle made the proper call last week, Ohio State might not have made it all the way to Atlanta. I remember thinking at the time, OK, the game should be decided by the players, not the officials. Then I remembered the ticky-tack foul called with eight seconds remaining in the national title game that cost Seton Hall an upset victory over Michigan's Fab Five.
On what was supposed to be a great sports day, racing kept it's share of the bargain. The college hoop game I love was decided less than. When it comes to championship events, when a battle of titans is scheduled to take place, I'll take horseracing every time. Isn't that so, Super Bowl fans?