2020’s Belmont Stakes will be run 20 June

It’s been a topsy turvy year for the Big Three races of the Triple Crown.

The Belmont will be held on 20 June as the 1st race in this very odd Triple Crown.

They’re cutting the distance to 1 1/18 instead of the 1 1/2.

The Kentucky Derby is scheduled for 5 Sep and the Preakness for 3 October. What this does to the Breeder’s Cup, I don’t know.

It will probably cause horse trainers to pull their hair out. I don’t know, but I imagine that the past hundred of more years of the three races in their traditional order has resulted in a paradigm of training, one that trainers haven’t had to really tinker with as it’s been refined over the years to a set formula. Not this time! And maybe that’s a good thing.

So we’ll see. It’s a good thing to see the tracks opening back up. Horse racing needs it. While I have a lot of misgivings about the sordid things that happen in the shedrow or on the track, (e.g. jockeys with buzzers riding doped horses), still…it’s the only sport you can count on seeing on national television that involves horses, although NBC tries very hard…and succeeds..in making it a fashion show/showcase of football/basketball/baseball stars.

It’s why I don’t give a rat’s ass about sports in general, because they all are merely versions of grown men chasing balls.

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Mixed up racing calendar

Well, we all know, now, that 2020’s Kentucky Derby was re-scheduled for Sep 5. But what of the next two races? The Preakness is traditionally raced two weeks after the derby..which would have been the 16th of May, and the Belmont comes on three weeks after THAT. But as of now, no date has been set for the Preakness. “They’re” talking about it being held in July, August or maybe October?  No one at Aqueduct has said a word about the Belmont.

I can understand putting the races on hold, I suppose. A track cannot survive a 0 ‘handle’ day (the handle being the term used for the public, attendees, people there to watch the race /bet.

But, putting the Preakness first, while it’s smart (as it’s a mile and 3/16ths, a bit shorter than the Derby’s 1 1/4 mile)…I never really understood the shorter race coming AFTER the Derby)) puts training into a frenzy. At least trainers prepping their horses for the Derby had at least a month to say, okay, let’s dial back on his training as there’s no point in him peaking for  a race that won’t be held.

I’m certain the trainers ARE keeping their horses training, but…for what length? And when will it be held, if at all? And what of the Belmont? That race, at a mile and  a half on a track notorious for its tight turns, is a tough one. YOu want to train your horse to go longer distances in ORDER.  In the meantime, the horses are in stalls, eating,  or on the track, training with no goal in mind. Owners and trainers don’t like paying for a horse that isn’t racing. (which is why a poor racer, one that’s no longer ‘good enough’ or a broken down one is disposed of quickly- and in many cases, I do mean ‘disposed’ of.)

No races means the tracks are in deep financial doo doo. Every track in the country has bills and staff to pay, hay and feed to order, and also has to maintain a bunch of lawyers to fight off developers, greedy, ambitious people who want that land in order to get rich by throwing up 1000 houses, cheek by jowl. They’d NEVER do that to a football or baseball stadium, but horse racing? Pffft, they don’t give a rat’s ass.

And finally, what happens to the Breeder’s Cup? That race is usually run ummmmmmm the first weekend in November.  Do you see the problem?

Let’s say it this way.

Let’s say the Preakness is run in, oh, late July. This gives the trainer four weeks to prep his or her horse for the Derby, run on 5 September. Let’s say the Belmont is run, then…given the same separation of races by two (Preakness) and three weeks (Belmont), means that the Belmont might be run first weekend in October. (I’m working sans calendar here, folks, so forgive me). That leaves three weeks til November’s Breeder’s Cup. Not being a trainer, I don’t know how fast a horse can return to a ‘peak’. and that’s only if the Preakness is run, as hoped for, in July. If it’s October, the entire schedule is screwy. And that’s not even (until now, when the thought just hit me) considering that no one had to worry about how much time before the Derby a trainer had to prep his horse. Some horses in the Derby haven’t run in weeks.

So it’s going to be interesting, I suppose.

The Derby weather in 2018 and 2019 was absolutely slop. It rained and rained and rained. It tickled me to see the bimbos at the track, women who were there NOT for the racing but to be SEEN, hopefully on TV, and were dressed (like my father used to say  “like hookers”,)  wearing ridiculous hats, cocktail dresses and six inch stilettos, trying to walk through the mud without actually walking. In a relentless rain. People there for the race had umbrellas and rain jackets. Or trash bags over their jeans and T shirts, but they were drier than the Ladies in Stupid Hats.

So of course, this past Derby day, 2 May 2020, had absolutely PERFECT racing weather. 70% humidity, 72 ° (F) temperature, sunshine,  a light wind and if they’d been at Churchill downs, the track would have been fast.

NBC, stuck with two hours of scheduled on air time, made a smart choice and reran the 2015 Derby with American Pharoah, who we know, now, went on to win the Triple Crown. When you know who won, beforehand, you watch the show with an eye less tuned to ‘your’ horse, and watch the show. There was one shot of the jockeys walking towards the saddling paddock. A woman on the sidelines, wearing her stupid hat, and  her strapless, sleeveless and much too tight cocktail dress, saw herself on TV. She held her smartphone to her ear in one hand, shoved her titties out as far as she could,  and  repeatedly stuck her tongue out, wagging it like a dog wags its tail,  in what I’ve learned is called “twerking’. Oh, jeeeeeeeeez, bimbo, just stay home, next time and twerk on You Tube.

So this season’s racing, IF it goes off at all, is going to be a total mashup.





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Epidemic silver linings

If you look, you can see that there are some things good about the current epidemic:

Epidemic silver linings:

No mass shootings.

Airline executives finally understand that packing passengers like sardines is wrong.

No traffic jams.

Parking readily available just about anywhere.

Air pollution lessens.

Public restrooms finally being cleaned.

It’s permissible to glare at someone who’s not covering their cough.

You can sleep in on Sunday rather than go to church.

A reason to binge watch television.

Big decrease in drunk drivers.

The dog finally gets walked every day.

Plumbers in great demand after people clog their toilet by flushing paper towels and ‘flushable’ wipes.

Beggars vanish from their most lucrative street corners.

People actually learn to cook a meal.

Finally have time to get around to all the little tasks that have been deferred.

Sanitizing one’s home can double as ‘spring cleaning’.

The news in newspapers and on television  finally gets more coverage than sports.

Kids find out that there are things to do outside-like play.

You can cancel your dental appointment without feeling guilty.

Being unemployed is no fun, but at least it’s not your fault.

and most welcome of all:

Starbuck’s ‘campers’ are forced to use their own bandwidth and monopolize their own kitchen table.



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We all understand this

Found this while surfing.something expensive

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Should I buy a horse?

Up until recently, I’ve not had the wherewhital to own my own horse. It’s been years since I had my arab, Jordan put down. I kept him here, on my five acres. But then things got in the way…he had to be put down with Cushings, my then husband divorced me, I was in school at the time, and had only a part time low wage job. Meaning, I had little if any discretionary income. Horses were not in the equation, at least not for any length of time.

Fast forward several years, I’ve remarried (and am very happy with THIS husband), the house has been paid off, etc. And, for the last several years, my friend, Sue, shared her horse, Raven with me. I paid for supplements and did all the appointments while Sue went to work.

Then we had to have RAven put down, last August. Twisted intestine. And I fell ill, with an ailment I have only now, in the last month, begun to feel normal again.

Sue bought a new horse last month.

Now, with Raven, it was love at first sight..with both him and me. I mean it. The moment I met Raven, he insisted I was his mare, me and Sue, and Sue finally aquiesced. He was happiest when it was ‘just us three’. That’s how the partnership started up.

With Marty, Sue’s new horse, there is NOTHING. I mean, between him and me. He’s ..just another horse.

So sue hit me up the other day with a question…why don’t I buy a horse of my own?

Wellllllll, I can afford one, now.

But. I’ll be 66 in May. I fell off of Raven 1.5 years ago and was grateful that nothing was hurt, not even my pride.  What hurt me was having to have him put down.

I don’t think I can handle the fear of colic. Laminitis. Or falling off.  The first is the most concerning to me, I can’t handle the dread that comes when you show up at the barn and everyone is in the arena walking a sweating horse in pain. I’ve been told walking doesn’t help the horse at all, so I suppose it’s more to keep a colicking horse from rolling and twisting an intestine.  Maybe it’s the same sort of task doctors used to give a worried husband (back in the days before women had babies in hospitals), that task being boiling water. What did it do? Well, maybe the doctor used it to wash his hands, but I think it was more to get husband out of the doctor’s hair by giving him something to do.

In other words, I fear the inevitable colic that would put a horse I’d come to love down.

Am I afraid of the emotional suffering? Yes. Part of my illness was due to stress finally overpowering my system. I can’t afford another go round.

So……I don’t know what to do. Part of me wants a horse. Part of me dreads it. Part of me fears and part of me says, I’m too old.

I don’t know what to decide.

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A German shepherd, a Lab, and a Siamese cat go to heaven…

A German Shepherd, a Labrador retriever, and a Siamese cat all die and go to heaven.

God is sitting on his throne when they arrive. He asks the German Shepherd, “tell me why I should let you into heaven.”

The German Shepherd says, “I’m loyal, and I will protect you from any harm.”

God says, “That’s good. You may sit here on my left,”

Then he asks the Lab, “Tell me why I should let you into heaven.”

The Lab says, “I’m cheerful and fun. I love to retrieve. If you drop something,I will pick it up and give it to you.” God says, “That’s good. You may sit here on my right.”

Then he asks the Siamese cat, “Tell me why I should let you into heaven.”

The cat says, “You’re sitting in my chair.”

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Chap. 152 The Gatha at Ruatha-Lizard show

Chap. 152 The Gatha at Ruatha-the Lizard show

The air was redolent with the scent of roasting meat and fresh baked pies. The lanes between booths were crowded with people, their accents telling K’ndar they were from all over the planet.

They stopped in front of a magician, a young man semi-circled by children and adults.

“Pick a card, any card,” he said, flourishing a spread hand of cards. A young boy hesitantly pulled a card from the spread deck in his hand.

“Like this?” the boy cried, showing the card to the man. The magician laughed and accepted the card. “No, laddie, next time, DON’T let me see the card, aye? But show it to everyone else. Just not me,” he said, as he shuffled the deck. “Now let’s try again,” he said.

The child pulled a card from the proffered deck and showed it to the crowd behind him.

“The five of hammers,” K’ndar thought.

“Now put it back into the deck, lad, anywhere, I’m not going to watch,” the magician said, closing his eyes. He shuffled the deck after the card had been replaced and compacted it.  Making a dramatic show of running his free hand over the back of the deck, he pulled out…the five of hammers.

“Is this your card?” he asked. The boy cried yes, yes! and the crowd clapped.

“How did he do that?” Glyena asked.

“I don’t know, Glyena,” K’ndar said, just as amazed. Something whispered in his mind, don’t ever play cards with this man.

“Come on, let’s see more!” she said, tugging on his arm.

They heard children laughing, and K’ndar caught a glimpse of a fire lizard hovering in the air.

It was Francie’s lizard show. She was in costume, of course. He could see she’d added several tricks to her performance.

Her three fire lizards wore bells with Landing’s colors and their names on them. They were lined up perpendicular to a slalom course of tall, regularly spaced pegs.

“Now, children, Keeso, Sisi and Coora are going to race each other on the pole bending race, just like we do on horseback. Ready to see them race?” she asked.

“Yes!” the children cried.

“Okay then…are you ready, my lizards?”

Coora and Keeso chittered. Sisi looked grumpy.

“Ready, set…go!” Francie cried. Coora and Keeso flew through slalom course. Sisi didn’t budge from her platform. Keeso, having completed first, landed atop the winner’s platform. Francie slipped her a treat as she turned to the other green.

“What? Sisi! Why didn’t you race?”

Sisi snorted.

Francie turned her head as if hearing a tiny voice.

“What? You’re HUNGRY?”

Sisi nodded.

The children watched, enthralled.

“Mebbe give her a treat!” one cried.

“But she didn’t race!” another child protested, “She just sat there!”

“Now, Sisi, you must race, the WINNER of the race gets a treat. Do you understand?” Francie said to the green.

Sisi raised her wings and shook them.

“Does she understand you?” a child asked, enchanted.

“Yes, she does, fire lizards are very intelligent,” Francie said.

“Now then, we’re going to try this again. Line up, and this time you must race, Sisi,” Francie admonished.

Turning to the children, she said, “You know what? I might need your help. I’m going to count to three, on three, I want you all to shout, “go!” Can you do that?”

One child cried, “Go!”

“Not yet, not yet, lassie!” a man cried, laughing along with the rest of the crowd.

“You hafta wait ’til she says “three”,” chided the girls’ older brother. The girl blushed.

The laughter quieted.

“Okay, now, the winner is the one who flies the course twice and lands here first. So, are you all ready to help?”

The kids all shouted, Yes!

Francie, working hard to keep from grinning, called, “One—two…THREE!”

The children shouted “GO!”

Coora and Keeso dutifully flew through the slalom course.

Sisi arrowed straight past the course, turned at the end and flew back even faster to land on the winner’s platform. She raised her wings in triumph as the others returned.

The adults in the crowd roared, the children shouting “She cheated! Ma’am, she didn’t go through the course, she just flew right past!”

Francie put her hands on her hips. “Sisi?”

Sisi wheedled.

“What do you mean, where’s your treat? Yes, I KNOW you got here first but you didn’t go through the course! That wasn’t fair.”

Sisi popped up into the air, then flew the course by herself. She then returned to the winner’s platform and looked expectantly for her treat.

“What am I going to do with you, you naughty little green?”

Sisi chortled at her cleverness.

Francie looked at the crowd.

“Well, now I’m perplexed, children. What should I do? Does Sisi deserve a treat?”

The children were dumbfounded. They chattered to each other and called out solutions.

“No! She didn’t race!”

“Make ’em race again!”

“But…Keeso and Coora are tired now,” Francie said, “and Sisi didn’t race fairly.”
“Hold the green back, like a handicap,” a man yelled.

“That’s a good idea,” Francie said, smiling at the man. She’d planned on saying it herself but it was always better when a member of the audience brought it up.

“Okay, we’re going to try this one more time,” she said to her fire lizards.

She held onto Sisi, and said, “Okay, children, you know what to do, now. One. Two. Three!”

The children shouted “Go!”

Coora and Keeso flew through the course. Francie released Sisi, who flew straight up. She vanished, going between and reappeared just as suddenly to land on the winner’s platform.

The crowd could not contain themselves. They roared, K’ndar and Glyena with them. So clever, Francie, so clever.

Francie shook her head.
Sisi crowed, proud of herself. Treat?

“Okay, I give up. Sisi, you go sit on your platform. No treats for cheats. We’ll go on to something else,” she said, as Coora and Keeso returned to their platforms.

“That were right clever of her, ma’am, she’s smarter than she looks,” a woman called out.

Francie nodded her head in agreement.

“They’re like kids, you know,” she said.



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