Wow! Did you see the Preakness last weekend? If not, please do take a moment to watch this video before reading on.
I really don’t know a thing about racing, but I think it’s safe for me to say this was a jockey’s win – or whatever you call it when a race is won as much by the jockey’s skill as by the horse’s talent. Mario the Magician, we should call him. To coax that last burst of effort out of I’ll Have Another in the very last strides is, to me, the racing equivalent to Eric and Hickstead (we still miss you Sticks), or Charlotte and Valegro. The upcoming Belmont Stakes may be the most watched horse race in a few decades. I’ve read that Bodemeister is not going to race, which I have to say surprises me, because to me it’s fairly obvious the horse is capable of beating I’ll Have Another. In fact, if Mario weren’t aboard, I’d nearly bet that Bodemeister would beat him.
If you, like me, are a budding Mario Groupie, you may enjoy this article on ESPN. I just learned that I have another one-degree-of-separation connection to Mario, or Super Mario as the mass media have dubbed him. This one-degree is in the form of a person, and she apparently has his phone number. I may just have to reel that one in and try to get an interview too.
In this week’s news, I won’t comment on the viral Tennessee Walker abuse video because my post on Low-Down is all about that this week. But I am happy to report that the FEI has upheld its clean sport rules and given the two Saudi riders I mentioned a few weeks back a suspension that is in keeping with how they have penalized others who were busted for controlled substances. The suspensions and drop-in-the-Saudi-bucket fines were announced in a press release a couple of days ago. It’s pretty clear these two fellows will not be competing in London, as is only fair. Of course, we can expect the Saudis will take their case to CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport), which I don’t expect will overturn the FEI’s decision, since this is actually the right one for once. It’s unlikely CAS is going to suddenly be lenient when it comes to doping in sport. But I’m keeping an eye on this one, just in case.