What a great day at the races. No, I wasn't at Churchill Downs. I, like most watched from my living room with the company of my sweetie, friends, Coronas and Fritos. Michael and I made our losing wagers early at Ocala Jai Alai boxing exactas with Curlin on top. So I won't be doing any paintings of Curlin - yet.
Emotions ran high all day. I started getting misty early with the breakfast show on ESPN as they showed Nafgzer and Frances Genter during the stretch run of the 1990 Derby win with Unbridled. If you've never owned a racehorse and watched it win, well, you just don't know...you just don't know...you just don't know...and it doesn't matter if it's the Derby or a $3,500 claimer - the feeling is the same, yes it is.
I was okay with the playing of "My Old Kentucky Home", usually a kleenex moment. Empathy abounds as I understand the work, work, work and disappointments, heartache, perseverance, exhaustion, determination and oh, did I mention work...that goes into the daily grind of training race horses. That's why the floodgates opened as Calvin Borel weeped ecstatically on his trip to the winners circle. Yeah Calvin, I feel ya and I know what you've gone through to get there.
Okay, I know I'm sounding like the dreaded 4-F emotional female, but I've been there, done that. Not much gray area for the lifers involved, it is a wild ride of insane highs and devastating lows. Interesting that NBC followed the Derby with an hour long emotional story on Barbaro. Heart wrenching and sugar-coated, the real issues about horse racing are still not being addressed and the uninitiated hasn't a clue. Things like, oh, you know, rampant drug use.