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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Pain and Suffering at the Breeders' Cup

Twist and turn, the knife grinds away below my right kidney like a garbage disposal looking for its next bit of dinner scraps. Where did it come from? Who stuck me like a dirty rat in the big house? And it’s big. From the feel of it, this blade would make Jason Vorhees drool. Move a little left or right, a little up or down, and the knife stabs. Sharply. Take my back please. Pain is just a state of mind, right? Any walking around, and I feel like Don Knotts. A spasm hits, my eyes bug out, and my body flinches in strange and before unknown gyrations that would scare anything that laid eyes on me. If I had a gun in my holster, I surely would have blown off a toe by now. But wait a minute … this is Breeders’ Cup week. The draw is later today for crying out loud. I’m due on a plane soon. LAX. California. Swimming pools and movie stars. How’s that flight going to feel, big fella? It doesn’t matter; I need to get to the World Championships.
 
Come on man, suck it up. Seeing Groupie Doll will make me feel a whole lot better. Last time I saw the fastest girl this side of Oz up close, she was burning up the track at Churchill Downs. Derby Day nothing, that was a day for the doll, and she had 165 thousand groupies.
 
All I need to do is fight through a little pain. I mean how must have Animal Kingdom felt not once, but twice with that sore leg of his. Look at him now. He’s a Derby winner, and he’s looking better than ever. What a good looking horse he is. If he is going to win the Mile though, he’s going to have to beat the best line-up that this year’s Breeder’s Cup has to offer. Yes, I said it. The Classic has depth, and the Ladies’ Classic has stars, but the Mile has both, and from two sides of the Atlantic.
 
The Europeans are always an enjoyable addition, and this year will be no different. Horses like Excelebration and Moonlight Cloud, Ridasiyna and The Fugue, Sky Lantern, Shareta and St Nicholas Abbey. If their connections can trudge all the way here just to be at the Breeders’ Cup, can’t I get on a plane for a few hours with a little pain in the back? Sure I can. 
 
I probably should mention the Japanese horse as well. Trailblazer is really good, and we already know he likes the Santa Anita. Maybe I will eat some sushi in California in his honor. You ever watch a good sushi chef at work? Talk about artists. They can really make their knife dance. Maybe that’s what has decided to take up residence in my lower back … a crazy sushi chef slicing up some yellowtail. 
 
I’m not going to lie, this hurts. The blade has entered again, just a few inches from the spine. Speaking of point of entry, this might be the turf horse America has been waiting for since big ole’ John Henry called it a career at age ten. Point of Entry has been inhaling his competition on the East Coast, like my old college buddy, Matt, used to treat White Castle sliders after an evening of drinking. Still, I’m just a little bit skeptical. This is a whole new level of competition and cast of characters he will be facing. His impressive streak may be in jeopardy.
 
My Breeders’ Cup experience in 2012 is not in jeopardy though. So, I don’t feel perfect. Perfection is unattainable. Or maybe it isn’t. Maybe Awesome Feather will close out Friday on the highest of notes. I can picture it now … running free down the Santa Anita lane, defeating a world class field to remain unbeaten and to become a two-time champion. Personal Ensign did it. She had to dig deep to do it, but she did it. Why not Awesome Feather? I don’t care if Mack has his knife so deep in me that I can see the point tickling my belt buckle, I want to be there for an undefeated Feather.
 
Bent over in pain or not, I’m going to Santa Anita, because this is what I love to do. Breeders’ Cup or Bust ... literally!
 

 

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Older Comments about Pain and Suffering at the Breeders' Cup...

Feeling a little better today ... I am going to make it to Breeders' Cup. I am going to make it to Breeders' Cup. I am going to make it ...
Warm wet compresses directly over the muscles reheated every 10-15 minutes will also do the trick
The older we get the harder it gets...but looking forward to something always helps. We're not that old t
Sit-ups gently and slowly even if it kills you. Then just blame it all on Hurricane Sandy, who's caused all kinds of havoc these last few days.
Robaxin (methcarbamol) works wonders in muscle spasms. Too bad that in the US it is Rx and not OTC
Hang in there fearless leader!!! I have been there with the back spasms. It will be a little better tomorrow and each day to follow.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.