Churchill Downs, home of one of the wildest infields in horse racing for the Kentucky Derby (or at least it was), had a brilliant idea earlier this year. “Say,” they said (and we’re paraphrasing here, obviously). “Why not hold races at night for the first time ever? And on a Friday night? You think people will enjoy that?” Amid bewildered stares, hemming, and hawing, the track did just that last week.
(We couldn’t find any pictures of last weekend’s night racing, so uh… this’ll do. Took us hours to make.)
Shockingly, over 28,000
drunks degenerate gamblers “racing enthusiasts” showed up, completely overwhelming the track and its concessionaires. The lines were long and the beers overpriced, and mumble grumble people no happy, prompting a full-page apology in the newspaper.
Ah, but this story has a happy ending. Read more…
Some people will tell you that they’re just fine consuming their office workers right from the cubicle, where they’ve been sitting still for years and letting their muscle tone waste away while dumping any ol’ crap from the vending machine in their feeding drawers. However, the conscientious person with a taste for fine corporate drone will always opt for the free-range office worker that gets out into open spaces for hours at a time.
Also, they’re much better if you opt to let them marinade in a combination of light beer and rainstorms, freeing them to bray at the passersby. That’s what happened at the U.S. Open this weekend and the results were Long Island charmers fresh from their jobs in the import/export business taunting Tiger Woods and friends ruthlessly and relentlessly at Bethpage Black. And that’s nothing compared to what happened at Churchill Downs Friday night.
While the entire human population of the world is freaking out about a possible swine flu pandemic, this is a scary time for the animal kingdom as well. Just last week, 21 polo horses dropped dead in Florida due to a medication mixup. The other day, 38 assorted animals died in a fire at a California wildlife refuge. If you’re an animal, especially a horse, watching the news as of late has got to be depressing indeed.
Sadly, the animal carnage continued today at Churchill Downs, where, according to multiple sources including DEADSPIN, a 2-year-old filly named Raspberry Miss died and another horse, Dr. Rap, was injured in a horse-on-horse collision during a training session.
(Video after the jump.)
Awhile back, we made a fabulously naïve comment about Rick Dutrow, Jr., offering a fresh and interesting (if rather braying) voice to the sports community that was entertaining and should be embraced. We’re kind of an idiot.
Dutrow can’t stop injecting himself into the news for all the wrong reasons. Now it’s because he can’t stop himself from injecting too many drugs into horses. The NEW YORK TIMES is now reporting that the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority caught him injecting too much clenbuterol into one of his horses a day before the Kentucky Derby for a stakes race.
And the hits keep on coming for horse racing’s fragile base. Yesterday, two horses fractured rather important parts of their limbs during normal Saturday racing at Churchill Downs (home of the Kentucky Derby) and had to be put down.
In the first of those accidents, the jockey (Shaun Bridgmohan) tumbled off the injured horse and was kicked by a passing steed before coming to a dramatic halt. Bridgmohan took a few bumps and bruises but avoided the barbiturate overdose recommended by the vet for the two damaged stallions.
For us, the Kentucky Derby is an opportunity to relive Hunter S. Thompson’s well-documented 1970 trip to enjoy the masterpiece of Southern life and horse racing. Therefore, welcome to our yearly attempt to live up to the Gonzo search for the Kentucky Derby ideal:
“So the face I was trying to find in Churchill Downs that weekend was a symbol, in my own mind, of the whole doomed atavistic culture that makes the Kentucky Derby what it is.”
We’ll do our best.
On our trip south, let’s make a pit stop in Long Island, NY, where a charming couple chose to stop into the local off-track book to enjoy the Kentucky Derby. How grand, right? Unfortunately, they left their two-month-old in the car during the 20-minute stopover. Police frowned upon that; both have been arrested.
(It’s okay, though, officers! The mother left the heat on in the car. It’s like a baby chicken egg.)
That’s an auspicious start; let’s look at the celebrities and locals that graced Churchill Downs with their “pretentious mix of booze, failed dreams and a terminal identity crisis”. (Thank you, Hunter.)