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TrackNotes: Virtual Stupidity

I have a very good longtime friend who lives, if I did the right vector Victor, 182 miles straight north of my house.

She's in the middle of town really, but has such a nice yard that a deer or two will visit once in awhile. Not to mention rabbits. But her two cats watch over.

A friend for years before that, we ended up both being big fans of horse racing. I'm not sure how that happened, or the genesis of it, and I might be responsible for it. But where I'm a crusty bread heel, she loves the knockabouts and the class both, finds and sticks to a favorite horse, and then shows me how So And So the colt seems to be running well. "What about this one? He looks good." She's got instinct. Reads the Past Performances.

That's handicapping. It is.

She loves the game and wagers from time to time, sometimes through me, reluctant to open an online account. I give her all credit for that. But she just loves the horses and the game and we have a lot of fun comparing notes.

After a long weekend of racing, I called and asked "Did you see that virtual Kentucky Derby? It was crazy."

She said, "No. And I have no interest in it. It's stupid."

No wiser words were ever said. I asked, "Don't you just want to laugh at it?" "No. It's stupid."

I thought, Yeah. Then I said, "If I'm going to write about it, I have to watch it." "OK," she said: stop.

And that was that. And I thought to myself, "The voice of reason." It was heartwarming. Somebody's got to shovel the snow.

And right. It was really bad.

You too can watch it. It was horrible. Jesus H., did anybody think Secretariat was not going to win? NBC wonks went through the motions. Randy Moss took Secretariat and Jerry Bailey took Citation. The "finish" was Secretariat, Citation and Seattle Slew. Ya think?

NBC pretended one or two or three people in a single household were having Derby parties with one lady's hat and four tablespoons of sugar ruining good bourbon for the two guys.

My friend said, "Yeah, hats."

MARKETING. You think they're going to break little girls' hearts and not have Secretariat win?

Secretariat won by three-quarters of a length.

They didn't even have Secretariat's famous checkered headdress with the side shades he always wore. Which means you couldn't "see" him. His tail was blonde instead of red. Mike Tirico, Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss: You are co-conspirators.

ALL of the horses were ALL OVER the track. Secretariat wasted too much energy going left and right to have won.

As you know, Secretariat had that HUGE stride. The dime horse ride out front at Woolworth's had a longer stride than that video crap!

In the "showdown," the horses looked like me walking on an icy sidewalk.

Whirlaway bam bump hit American Pharoah coming out of the turn, which would have been an inquiry at least.

Too bad. The shell of the NBC program was schmaltz, but they did have some good features. The Pritzker virus briefing pre-empted a big chunk in the middle. Perfect.

As I write this, I SWEAR, channel five Chicago news just reported the cartoon as if it was real.

In the Oaklawn racing and the Arkansas Derby, chalk ruled as Charlatan easily dominated Division I and Nadal took Division II, giving Bob Baffert the sweep.

As for the cartoon race, this is the end of it.

My friend will tell me that we shall never speak of it again. I'll listen.


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

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