Sunday, June 06, 2004

Sunday, June 6, 2004
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde

Birdstone won the Belmont Stakes yesterday.


I threw him out in the Derby, and didn’t even consider him for the Belmont. But Edgar Prado gave him a wonderful ride in the Belmont. Prado provided a similar upset in 2002, riding the 70-1 shot Sarava to beat War Emblem.

It wasn’t Smarty Jones’s day. I admit it, I cried when he lost, as did everyone around me. I felt worse for his humans than for myself, especially with the vicious response from the press, which continues today. It disgusts me that those who were quick to loudly jump on the Smarty Jones bandwagon now scramble to disembark, backpedaling and pretending they didn’t really like him anyway, and throwing blame. Most of these are press people who don’t regularly follow horse racing and don’t know what they’re talking about anyway. How dare they second guess the pros?

Thank goodness for jockey Aaron Gryder, who gave rational, detailed, intelligent and precise commentary after the race. Not only is Gryder one of the best (and often under appreciated) horsemen around, he’s one of the best commentators on the sport I’ve ever had the privilege to experience. He needs his own show.

True fans of Smarty Jones and Team Servis will stick around, as they’ve done with Funny Cide. The rest of the parasites can get lost and good riddance. This is a terrific horse with a great bunch of humans around him. The horse will get his well-deserved rest now and his humans can figure out a sane continuation of his racing career.

It certainly makes me appreciate the sportswriters who have class, intelligence and honour. And wish there were more of them.

Rock Hard Ten had a bad day as well, coming in fifth. He was upset going in to the gate – this time he was frightened rather than angry, the way he was at Pimlico. The gate crew was great with him. NYRA has the best gate crew in the country. Rock Hard Ten was agitated at the beginning. Much like Smarty Jones, he pressed hard early, refused to settle and relax, and wore himself out. He ran very differently here than at Pimlico, which I liked. This is a horse who doesn’t repeat mistakes (in spite of his gate problems – the cause was different this time). He’s smart, and he learns from race to race. I have no doubt he’ll wipe the field repeatedly this summer.

There were two excellent fillies in other races that day – Bear Fan won a terrific sprint and will hopefully go up against the boys in the Breeders’ Cup, and Intercontinental won a tough race on the turf.

Lunarpal, the two year old I like, won at Churchill, in spite of a rocky start. Hopefully, the colt will continue to improve and not burn out by next year’s Derby.

Game 6 between Calgary and Tampa lasted well past midnight. Martin St. Louis scored the winning goal 33 seconds into the second overtime, forcing a game 7 tomorrow. Last night, I definitely was rooting for Tampa, because I want a Game 7. I’m panicked that there might not be hockey for two years and I’ll be watching twenty year old games on ESPN Classic.

The game was a good one. Both teams are physically and emotionally exhausted, but they’re also determined. It was a good game, with the concentration on hockey, not allowing frustrations to make them behave stupidly, which is a relief.

I have no idea which team I’ll root for tomorrow night. I like ‘em both.

Another problem with the storage unit. The pain and suffering this place is causing me is unbelievable. I have to figure out a different facility and move my belongings as soon as possible. When they’re not double charging me as well as claiming I’m not sending in payments, they’re refusing to answer questions. One of the worst-run businesses I have ever had the displeasure to deal with.

On top of that, the time-sensitive racing article that was supposed to run in Friday’s paper – wasn’t there. Not only was every article in edition crap, they ran an article about Broadway shows that was poorly written, full of misspellings, and inaccurate. It’s insulting. I wrote m wrap-up for them today and sent it, but I’m not writing for them again unless a lot of money is involved.

On a more positive note, I will start writing for, mostly on horse racing and ice hockey, but also on other sports of interest. I’m batting around (pun intended) a few ideas. I like the site a lot, and the founder seems great. Hopefully, it will be a good experience.

I have to get some work done on Angel Hunt and The Widow’s Chamber before the Tony Awards tonight. But I’m not feeling inspired at all.

This is where skill and technique have to come in.

Too much this weekend. I’m ready for a breakdown.



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