Sunday Evening Coming Down

Up until about six PM on Sunday it had been a pretty good Breeders’ Cup weekend. I found the races to be either too hard or too easy (the dreaded “Goldilocks” card), so I wound up making just a few inconsequential bets. There was also a column to write, so I was mostly hoping for some entertaining races that might make for easy writing and perhaps even some fun reading.

My column runs in the Tuesday Blood-Horse Daily, which comes out on Monday nights. Because of my straight job, Sunday is effectively my deadline. But I had promised my wife that we could take a drive and go visiting on Sunday. Therefore, the plan was to write the column while the races were still fresh, make any final edits in Sunday’s cold morning light, then send it off to Lexington and go visiting.

That was exactly how it went. We visited and ate cheese and drank Pinot Noir and ate some more and finally departed the Shawangunks, re-crossed the Hudson, and settled back in for what figured to be a relaxing evening at home. Then I glanced at Twitter and saw that Mattress Mack had fired Maria Borell and I knew right away that the column was screwed.

The first 330 words were still all right. It was many of the next 120 that were the problem.

Besides, who needs American Pharoah now that we have Maria Borell and Runhappy.

Red Smith is long gone, but his belief that the best stories are found at the racetrack is borne out by these two. Runhappy is a gentle charmer who likes to sleep the day away and run like hell whenever he hits the racetrack. Maria Borell enjoys snuggling in the hay with her star and sharing it with fans on social media.

How had this happened? This movie was missing a reel. There was just no way we should already be in the “girl loses horse” part of the film, yet here we were. Having just lost American Pharoah to Ashford Stud and the ages, now we had to sit and watch while young Elizabeth Taylor and “The Pie” are ripped apart? This was no kids movie. This was National Blue Velvet! On Twitter there seemed to be a shared mantra. What the hell is the matter with these (Jim McIngvale and Laura Wohlers) people?

The problem for me was, “what the hell is the matter with Mattress Mack & Co” did not seem to be enough of a foundation upon which to write a new and more timely column. Instead, in a late casting change we substituted the presumptive juvenile filly champion and Jerry Hollendorfer for The Pie and Elizabeth Taylor (in the revised column here on page 11).

It has been a bit more than 48 hours since this all started to break on social media. Mattress Mack has not yet plummeted to the depths of the dentist who killed Cecil the Lion, but there still seem to be quite a few people willing to toss him a manhole cover. Lawyers are now involved. It sure looks like irreconcilable differences. You can’t help but feel bad for Ms. Borell, who nursed the colt back to health and made him a champion. And also for Runhappy, who is probably missing Maria Borell almost as much as she is missing him.

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