After studying and analyzing the long column of stats provided to those of us who are fortunate enough to have the privilege of casting ballots, I did vote for my top three to be considered as the best new rider. I filled in the appropriate blanks, along with those for every other category complete from champion Two-Year-Old Filly to Outstanding Breeder. And I thought that was it.
But then, evidently after a snafu regarding some of the stats and the way they were compiled, the votes were thrown out and we were asked to look over the newly-tallied numbers and repeat the process. I intended to do that, really
I felt the responsibility, but couldn’t find the motivation. Yeah, sure; I’ll get to that later, I kept telling myself. Then by the time later rolled around, it was too late. The polls were closed.
After feeling a slight, albeit momentary, tinge of guilt, I have to ‘fess up that I really didn’t care. I apologize to those promising young riders who really coveted that award, and would be happy to do so in person. But I haven’t the foggiest who you are.
I don’t know. Consequently, I don’t care.
Perhaps I’m spoiled. I do live in New Hampshire, after all. In the Granite State, which held its Presidential Primary one day before that second ballot was due, we’re used to that “up close and personal” experience with all of the candidates.
There’s a saying around here that we can’t make up our minds whether to vote for someone running for the nation’s highest office until we’ve met him, or her, at least five times. And one of those encounters had better be at the bean supper and dance over at the American Legion Hall on a Saturday night.
So with knowing nothing much at all about the candidates in the category of Apprentice Jockey, I decided to sit out this dance. For had I cast a ballot, and it would have been relatively easy to play a “pick ‘em” and do so, the decision would have been uniformed.
When I vote for the top three, in order, for each Eclipse Award, it ought to be with every confidence that my selections are the most deserving horses or people in each category. I might be wrong, but I damned well better feel sure.
Steve Crist wrote about the Eclipse Award voting process, and the honor for riders with the bug, in a January 13 column for the Form. As usual, he nailed it when he suggested the time has come for this award to be eliminated, and it would be better for the best apprentice to be honored in another way
Add my voice to the rising chorus. For had I cast a ballot, it would have been with an uniformed decision. And that wouldn’t be fair to anyone.
Maybe I didn’t shirk my civic duty after all.