Hypocrites on the Hoof
Beau Greely (trainer, Tres Borrachos, 30-1) [commenting on his horses' post position draw] – “Wonderful. He broke out of the inside pretty well the last time in the Arkansas Derby. Big Brown’s had an outside post the last couple of times. [Big Brown will start from post #7 out of 13.] If he’s [Big Brown] somewhere in the mix, maybe someone will knock him [Big Brown] around and play a little smash mouth.”
Well, the Preakness is Saturday and naturally there are a bunch of screechin' fe-lyings out there callin' for ya' to boycott the Triple Crown. I already tried tellin' 'em that was pretty silly since no one would consider boycottin' the Super Bowl or World Series or Stanley Cup or Indy 500 'cause of all the human carnage that could take place. 'Course they yowled right back with ole' chestnut 'bout not comparin' animals to humans… 'Scuse me? Aren't those yappy, sappy types the ones always tellin' anyone within earshot (and some who wish they weren't) that animals have the same feelings and emotions and rights as humans?
PETA, of course, will be holdin' a fund-rasin' rally outside for the gullible since it's official they sure as hell don't care 'bout animals.
Statistics from Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Since AHM and me just did a whole series 'bout Triple Crown winners, we thought we'd check 'em out for suitability, like, were they old enough, big enough, and healthy enough to be champions. So let's see…
Gallant Fox, Omaha, Count Fleet, Assault, and Secretariat were all born in the last week of March, while Whirlaway and Citation were born the first week of April, makin' 'em barely 3-years-old at the time of the Triple Crown. Only Seattle Slew and Affirmed were born in mid-to-late February (as was Big Brown).
Sir Barton (birth date unknown) won not only the Triple Crown, but four races in 32 days ( Derby, Preakness, Withers, Belmont).
War Admiral (birth date unknown) was a shrimpy 15.3 hands, raced 26 times as a 3-year-old, and won 21 of those races. Assault barely made it to horse status at 15 hands and was called the "Club Footed Comet" since he ran with a deformed right hoof after a juvenile foot injury. He also had kidney, splint bone, ankle, knee, and bleeding problems.
Seabiscuit was knock-kneed and Seattle Slew's right leg curved outward causing him to sway to the outside when he ran.
Hmmmmm… Doesn't sound like any of those horses should have been competin', does it? But maybe just the filly shouldn't have been runnin' with the big boys, females bein' such delicate little things, right?
Genuine Risk (born 2/15 and the last living Derby winner) won the 1980 Derby and finished second in both the Preakness and Belmont (the only filly to have ever come that close to the Triple Crown). If ya' watch the video, you'll see she got bumped around and still reached the finish line a winner. (Codex did manage to interfere her out of a Preakness win, but the officials wouldn't take down his number.)
Winning Colors (born 2/14) was a big—almost 17 hands—muscular, dark gray filly. Before the race, Winning Colors' jockey Gary Stevens, a race commentator at the Derby, said Eight Belles, at 16.2 hands, looked very much like his old mount.
So much for that idea.
Lots of other arguments are bein' thrown around out there 'bout why horseracin' is bad such as "horses can't agree to bein' raced." Maybe not verbally, but ya' know there's a reason for the old sayin' "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink." If a horse doesn't wanna' run, it just ain't gonna' run. And if ya' think usin' a whip on 'em will help, well, you just haven't been around horses—or their hooves. (No, watchin' The Horse Whisperer doesn't count. Besides, we knew the real "horse whisperer." Robert Redford ain't even close!)
If ya' bother to pay attention, you'll see the jockeys are usin' their sticks on the horses' butts which is sorta' like swattin' your little pussywillow on the butt through jeans. The place you do not ever want to swat a horse is immediately behind the girth. On day AHM was at the stable, just sittin' on her horse waitin' to enter the jumpin' ring, when some fool walked up, swatted the horse right behind the girth with a crop, and said "You're next." AHM swears her horse waited until the fool—being a real fe-lyin' fool—walked around the hind end. As soon as they were in range, the horse kicked the crap out of 'em, breakin' their back. (Yes, they eventually recovered fully.)
Another argument—horses only run fast 'cause they've been/are drugged. We're major anti-drugs around here so I'm not gonna' defend anyone caught dopin'. And I'm not sure if the kind of steroids Barry Bonds uses would "bulk up" a racehorse or not. Pennsylvania did some unofficial testin' around its tracks last winter and 98.8% of the horses tested clean for steroids. (No info on whether the steroids bein' used on the other 1.2% were to treat or mask an injury.)
Bottom line, if you're not feelin' good or not in shape, ya' shouldn't be competin' whether you're human or equine or canine. But I'll bet lots of those yowlers have taken an anti-pain med or two before headin' to the gym so they can keep the workout goin'. Not only that, I'll bet more than a few of 'em have shoved psycho-somethin' pills down their pet's (or kiddie's) gullets to "adjust" their behavior. (Not PETA-devils, of course. Their preferred method of behavioral adjustment is a bullet to the brain, so they're just cryin' crocodile tears over Eight Belles. Ya' know every time an animal dies, another PETA-devil gets their horns.)
Movin' on—what about trainin'/racin' horses at such a young age? Over at the PETA blogsite (yes, your intrepid canine-spondent braved the depths of hell) one commentor actually said it was like puttin' a 7-year-old in the Indy 500. Hmmm… So much for the you-can't-compare-humans-to-animals argument. (Besides, did ya' ever run into a 7-year-old in one of these? It may only be pedal-powered, but those puny little pistons can put out when they wanna'.)
Now in case ya' never noticed, newborn foals are up on those four toothpicks of theirs within minutes of bein' born and they're already tryin' to run after Mom the next day. We canines (and other species) don't even open our eyes for two weeks, and you humans don't grow up for—well—some of ya' never do.
I'll also bet a lot of the fools hissin' and spittin' about racin' two-year-old horses have their little pussywillows playin' organized sports (even if it is sissy soccer) 'cause they know regular exercise builds muscles and strong bodies. 'Course they don't let 'em have regular old play, like recess, 'cause they might actually, ya' know, compete with each other and, horror of horrors, skin their pwecious wuddle knees—which is why y'all got a bunch kids that waddle.
But ya' don't have to believe me… How 'bout listenin' to the vet on the scene?
[Dr. Larry] Bramlage was on-call at the Derby when Eight Belles took her final strides. Her injury, less common, but not caused, according to the vet, by her age, her jockey, or the track. […]
As animal groups…protest the sport and demand changes, Bramlage has repeatedly gone on the record to say they're misguided. "Their facts are wrong. It's been scientifically looked at that horses that train as two year olds race more times more successfully, earn more money and make more starts than horses that don't train until they're 3," Bramlage said.
"And while horses are delicate by nature, their injuries have to be put into context. "There'll be more dogs fatally injured taking walks this year than there will be race horses injured racing. I doubt that we'll stop walking our dogs," says Bramlage."
Don't count on it. We got a problem with fat canines, too.
After all that, what have we learned?…
…that there are waaaay too many ignorant, emotional hypocrites runnin' free durin' a presidential election year.
posted by Harrison at 3:23 PM