Friday, November 5, 2010

Bizarre Happenin's at Breeders Cup

Today had to be the strangest Breeders Cup I've seen yet. I got a lot of seconds but some firsts as well, but that's not what's strange. Here's what was strange:

Calvin Borel went nuts after the Marathon! I have NEVER seen a jockey so angry that he lunged at another jockey in the winner's circle. Seriously, it took several men to get him off of Javier Castallano, and if flames really could shoot out of eyes, they were spitting out of Calvin's as they hauled him away to the jockey's room.

I don't know why he flew off like that, because if anybody had reason to clock Javier, it was Martin Garcia. From what I could see in the replays, Javier aimed his horse at a hole and swung into Garcia's path just as they were all starting to roll. Javier's horse clipped Martin's horse's heels, and Martin almost fell off the horse (seriously, he was out of the saddle). His horse then interfered with Calvin's and for a quick fraction of a second it looked like Martin might've landed in Calvin's lap had he not been able to keep on his mount. Needless to say, Javier's horse was DQ'd.

But this stuff sometimes happens. All I can surmise is that perhaps Calvin said something to Javier about it and however Javier responded, that just set Calvin off. That Cajun boy was dropping f-bombs left and right. Astonishing thing to see in racing at this level.

Oh, and so of COURSE Bobby Flay's horse won, after I blogged that I wasn't sure she was good enough to run with these. Open mouth, insert foot.

The last thing was something that bothers me: before the Ladies Classic, it seemed pretty clear that Life at Ten was not warming up well. I mean, Jerry Bailey and the ESPN guys were talking with the jockey, Velasquez, who was miked, and even he sounded concerned about the horse not being right. But they loaded her in the gate anyway. Sure enough, she breaks slowly, stays at the rear, just jogs along and shows zero interest in the race. I'm not even sure she finished. She didn't break down or anything (thank goodness), and my guess is Velasquez just pulled her up.

But the point is, if he thought she was off in ANY way, he should've at least called for the track vet to check her out. I don't care if it's Breeders Cup; you DON'T race a horse if there is any question about their soundness. I'm thinking Todd Pletcher and J. Velasquez have some 'splainin' to do. The commentators on ESPN sounded pretty outraged, and I don't blame them. I just hate it when dollar signs blind us to the welfare of the animal. This had the potential to be something ugly, and all I can say is that I'm glad it wasn't (though people who'd bet that horse are probably pretty pissed about it. I looked at her and canceled the trifecta and Super High 5's I had--am glad TwinSpires allows that.)

Okay, enough ranting. Now I need to go do a quick 'cap of tomorrow's races. Will post picks either later tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. Hope everybody had a profitable day!

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