The Weekend That Was
SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY, November 30, 2013—For racing fans, those stationed at Churchill Downs with the rest tethered to their video monitors, it was anything but a Black Friday.
Put another way, Will Take Charge and Game On Dude set the bar pretty high for the Cigar horses and all those babies, the ones in New York and Kentucky.
Interesting how Thanksgiving weekend has become a player in the special events section that racetracks everywhere have acknowledged, turning good races into top class events. This is one thing that works—big time.
And, so, in the final strides Will take Charge did to Game On Dude what Mucho Macho Man did to him four weeks earlier; a photo finish that didn’t deserve a loser.
Indeed, the Clark was going to be a tough act to follow, but with so many actors on the final big racing stage of 2013, it just had to happen. So which was the more impressive?
Was it the fact that there was a three-horse battle in the Demoiselle stretch with the issue still in doubt with a furlong to go?
Was it Wedding Toast holding off Toasting, when she appeared beaten with less than a sixteenth left in the Comely, giving Javier Castellano his fourth win on the day?
Maybe it was the Bill Mott frequent flyer magic show--from Santa Anita to Payson Park to South Ozone Park with the 7 year old Flat Out, a dual Jockey Club Gold Cup winner that now boasts a worthy 3-2-1 slate in six starts at a mile?
But if you’re a Kentucky Derby fan then it had to be Honor Code snatching victory from defeat’s jaws with two Remsen jumps left, giving Castellano his fifth and Shug McGaughey a leg up on a second straight Derby score.
Thanksgiving: Lessons For a Life
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY, November 28, 2013—Given that there are exceptions to every rule, it’s fair to say that this hasn’t been a great year for the planet Earth in general, for America in particular.
All know what the issues are and rather than spell them out, if you’re that curious google-up any date on the calendar and the positive lead stories are few and far in between.
This is not the fault of mainstream media, although they work tirelessly at sensationalizing the truly trivial, lest they incur the wrath of underwriters. After all, corporations are people, too.
It is doubtless that many have had positive outcomes to the thankful for, but the overwhelmingly majority of all those people will, like their families, have to work overtime at the spin factory.
But, still, today is still the greatest of the secular holidays and it needs to be acknowledged by anyone who still is drawing breath. I personally have learned the hard lesson of 2013; that every day is a gift.
And, so, let us give thanks this day with our traditional acknowledgement for a life that may be well lived. Thanks to the efforts of sometime HRI Brad Morgan, let’s devour the words of Max Ehrmann like so many drumsticks and pumpkin pies:
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.