TrackNotes: Here We Go Again

Here in The Beachwood Neighborhood, four-leggeds seem to garner the Page Six attention.

Ask Benny from Bucktown if he's comfortable with the pub, he can't say. I ask my pals Storm Cat (I'll tell you that story if you ask) and Ralphie, a mutt who came with that name from wonderful Anti-Cruelty, they demure and walk away. These three and the feline family menagerie in Wisconsin, I think they all text each other. So you act as if they're wearing a wire, Big Pussy.

TrackNotes is based on larger animals, and it's that time of year. The Pegasus Invitational is this weekend. While we'll get to that in the right tempo Count, let's blow the webs out of the Bat Cave. Here we go again. Sweet Cathy the Valley Cop, and I hope she knows how great she is, is, I'm sure, ready for a new Triple Crown campaign, first things first the Kentucky Derby, of course.

This year, however, I challenge her to at least touch on each prep in real time.

I'll admit a weariness, but when Theo told Cubs fans Eff You, we won a World Series after 300 years and we're goin' with what we got, world domination and all, I got turned off. So a horse's ass, a derogatory term in most parts, is a thing of beauty to me, though still descriptive in some ways inside Wrigley. The Cubs will never win again with this bunch, but Cathy and me have had two Triple Crown winners in four years, so fare thee well Theo. The 'Pharoah had it inside him in every race.

Boy'o'Boy, the PBS show Nature, must see because you'll always learn something and your jaw often drops to the floor, showed the first of two parts on "Equus: Story of the Horse" and I learned plenty.

God Almighty, and I'm not a religious person in the base human organizational sense, a horse will tell you how difficult it is to carry a person two miles at top speed. But he'll do it again any time you ask him!

So are the Pletchers, Bafferts and Browns of this world actually dissing, if not mistreating, these horses by not running them more often?

It doesn't seem horses have ever been predatory. They preferred to just run away, hence the evolution from having a bunch of toes to just one on each foot, and then learning how to run away, fast, and together. "DAMN," the big-toothed furry killer said. "I'll never catch him!"

And they have "elastic" strength. In stride, the mere momentum just flings the toe and ankle forward to put the bottom of the leg in position to hit the ground, dig in, and start a new stride. They don't actively step, it just happens.

The huff and puff? Hoomf hoomf? "Their stride and their breathing are linked one-to-one," the British guy said. When their front legs hit the ground, they fully exhale. When their front legs are in the air, they fully inhale, as they must. Wait just a doggone Turcotte! Just imagine how great Secretariat was at that at an accelerated syncopation at probably 43 miles per hour plus. When Chick Anderson said "He is running like a tremendous MACHINE," he really was!

The British guy said a horse's lungs, running, are like "pistons." Ribs locked, with air in, as the feet hit the ground, it's a total exhale. Cycling to inhale with feet in the air. "The faster he goes, the less time he has to breathe." It would render us unconscious, he said.

In a race, a horse's blood gets acidic, so he metabolizes energy without oxygen, they said. And, the horse gets euphoric, high. Did you see Secretariat make that lead? He must have played every album in his collection and snarfed all the Vienna sausages in the house from the end of the backstretch to the wire!

That's why, after a race, win or lose, the jockey canters out the horse two more furlongs or more. To make it easier on him or her, restore the balance. I did know that.

We learned that horses trust people, when deserved. We saw a real cowboy teach a horse, in the span of one morning, to take a saddle. Not by bucking with grinning Little Joe guffawing at the rail, but by showing the animal he wouldn't be hurt and enlisting the help of another horse. Kind. Gentle. Saddled. And a woman who brought back a more-than-endangered species of horse in Mongolia.

And putting pictures of people in front of horses, where they demurred from the picture of a mean face, attracted to a kind face. In a picture.

So the debate of whether a horse is stupid as dirt, or one of the smartest creatures on Earth? If I get on Jeopardy! with Goldikova, I will just concede.

"What is - No Chance?"

In all honesty, which we are around here, I almost accepted that my diet in 2019 would be nothing but Apathy Burgers, unless they were recalled. Here we go again. Tom E. Motion, ankle deep in nothing to hook on to. Drifting like a steward's inquiry.

But now, I'll understand how these horses really do run around the track, I won't trash my pick who finished sixth, because I know he did his best, and I can check the oxygen levels in The Form. Not really, that's yet to come.

When Anthony Rizzo, as in all the commercials for the Cubs Convention, stands at the plate and absolutely and clownishly styles that fly ball, he's a real he-man you know, I'll know my horse really is giving everything he's got.

Everything. Everything. For oats.

I just got jazzed on the new season, and the Pegasus looks intriguing.

I got to game it, for Cathy, my late horseplayin' mother, the Beachwood, and Eleanora Poultice. Never let it be said!

2019 sports? You'll know where to find me.


Tom Chambers is our man on the rail. He welcomes your comments.

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